When Apple previewed the Apple Watch last week it wasn’t the only thing they showed off. The company also announced a partnership with HBO to bring its HBO Go streaming service to the Apple TV without the need for a cable TV subscription –– though this is only coming to the US for now. You can thank international licensing laws for that.
OS X El Capitan To Bring Safari Streaming To Apple TV
“When OS X 10.11 El Capitan is released this fall,” notes The Verge, “you’ll no longer have to mirror an entire Safari browser window to your Apple TV just to watch a video. One of the features that didn’t get a demonstration on stage is the new operating system’s ability to send videos to Apple’s set-top box and play them at native resolution and at their full, original quality. This feature has been available on iOS for some time, and now Apple is bringing similar flexibility to the Mac.”
Apple is reportedly overseeing the final stages of its first proper move into TV territory. According to reports Apple is planning to launch a VOD service, consisting of 25 channels, that will be available on all of its devices (Apple TV, iPhone, iPad and OS X) in the very near future. Apple is in talks with US broadcasters such as ABC, CBS and Fox to launch the service, reports The Telegraph. The idea is to offer a “skinny” bundle with popular channels like CBS, ESPN and FX, while leaving out many of the less well-known networks that are included in standard cable TV packages.
“New details have started to emerge about what kinds of deals the tech company will make with its content partners,” reports 9to5Mac. “The NY Post says that these deals will involve Apple turning over certain data about its users to programmers to help solidify its agreements. Apple is reportedly giving TV partners a lot of leeway, allowing each network to decide how to handle areas like advertising on the service. However, in order to attract these content producers, Apple is offering up data regarding its viewers, such as who they are, which shows they watch, viewing schedules, and more.”
The service is rumoured to cost around $30-$40 per month, making it quite a bit dearer than Netflix and Amazon’s already established services. The new Apple TV service will apparently be announced in June (potentially alongside a new Apple TV unit –– we hope).
“According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is aiming to offer US consumers a package of 25 channels for $30-$40 a month. The service should be available by autumn,” reports The Guardian. “Content from broadcasters such as ABC, CBS, 21st Century Fox and Walt Disney would be available across all Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads and Apple TV set-top boxes.”
But all is not well and things are taking longer to finalise than perhaps Apple had anticipated.
Still –– there’s always hope for a new Apple TV. Last year, Apple dropped the price of the Apple TV a whopping 20 quid to just £59. It’s now a better time than any to pick up Apple’s digital media player. And whether you already own one are are planning on getting one soon you’ll be excited to know Apple has also built in some cool advanced commands –– noted by iMore –– into the sleek remote bundled with every Apple TV. Here are the top hidden Apple TV remote controls you need to know.
Restart Your Apple TV
This is my favorite tip on this list because I frequently find myself navigating into the Apple TV’s layered Settings screens to restart the device whenever it gets Wi-Fi issues. Well, no more! Simply press and hold the DOWN and MENU button at the same time for six seconds to restart your Apple TV.
Sleep Your Apple TV
You can also quickly put your Apple TV to sleep using the remote. Usually it goes to sleep at after a predetermined amount of time passes. To make that happen sooner hold the PLAY/PAUSE for five seconds.
Get To Home Screen Instantly
Sometimes you can be knee deep in submenus on the Apple TV, especially when using some third-party channels. The good news is you don’t need to back out of each sub-menu step by step. Simply press and hold the MENU button on the Apple TV remote for three seconds and you’ll be taken to the Home screen right away.
Arrange / Hide Channels
For the longest time the layout of the Home screen was fixed, but then in a software update last year Apple finally added the ability for the user to rearrange and hide channels. This no doubt came in response to the increased availability of third-party channels on the Apple TV–some of which a user may never have an interest in viewing.
To rearrange channels simply hold down the SELECT button for two seconds. The channel icons will jiggle. Use the DIRECTION arrows to move the selected channel. Or press the PLAY/PAUSE button to hide an channel.
Rewind / Fast Forward At Different Intervals
Everyone knows you can use the left and right direction pad to skip backwards and forwards, but you can actually use the same left and right buttons on the direction pad to rewind and fast forward at different intervals. Hold the LEFT button to rewind 30 seconds. Press the LEFT button to rewind continuously. Alternate your rewind speeds further by pressing LEFT once each time to cycle through slow, medium, or fast rewind.
The opposite applies to fast forwarding as well. Hold the RIGHT button to fast forward 30 seconds. Press the RIGHT button to fast forward continuously. Alternate your fast forward speeds further by pressing RIGHT once each time to cycle through slow, medium, or fast fast forward.
This one is really cool. You can rewind or fast forward through video in slow motion on the Apple TV. To do this simply press the PAUSE button then press the LEFT or RIGHT button to rewind or fast forward in slow motion.
View Video Settings
Sometimes you might want to adjust audio or other settings for a video that is already playing. You can use the Apple TV remote to quickly do this by pressing and holding the SELECT button for three seconds while the video is play. This will bring up the video’s settings including subtitles, speaker settings, audio, and closed captions.
Mark Episodes As Watched
Many times we have full TV series we’ve bought via the iTunes Store that we watch on the Apple TV. However most of the time we’ve already seen some of the episodes in each season. This tip allows you to use the Apple TV remote to mark episodes as already watched. To do this you need to be in the iTunes TV Shows channel on the Apple TV. Select the episode you want to mark as watched and then press and hold the SELECT button. You can also mark entire seasons as watched by selecting the season and then pressing and holding the SELECT button as well.
Pair / Unpair Apple TV Remote
If you’ve got lots of Apple TV’s in your house you may have some remote conflicts. The good thing is you can quickly pair and unpair remotes simply by using…the remote. To pair a remote to an Apple TV press and hold the RIGHT and MENU buttons for five seconds. To unpair a remote from an Apple TV press and hold the LEFT and MENU buttons for five seconds.
Switch On-Screen Keyboards
Using the on-screen keyboard is one of the chores of navigating the Apple TV. You’ll use this keyboard whenever you need to enter login information (say, for Netflix) or when you are searching for a show. Thankfully the Apple TV remote has these hidden controls to make using the keyboards easier.
Press PLAY/PAUSE when entering text to switch between the alpha, numeric, and symbol keyboards. You can also hold down the SELECT button for two seconds to bring up the accented characters and then press PLAY/PAUSE to select the one you want.