The Apple TV app provides access to a number of ‘channels’ that users can individually subscribe to, making it easier to watch preferred shows and movies without having to actually install any additional apps. However, the current list is fairly limited compared to the number of streaming services that are available, so while Apple TV channels may be a solution for some services, they won’t be for all the services an individual or household might want access to.
As the name suggests, Apple TV is Apple’s app for everything TV. While the app is available on the confusingly named Apple TV, the app and player are very different. The app can also be accessed on many other devices, such as an iPhone and iPad, and even on select Android TV devices as well. Within the Apple TV app, users can also add individual channels.
Arguably, the most useful channel for Apple TV app users is going to be Apple TV+. However, the company’s own streaming subscription service is not the only channel that Apple TV users can add. In fact, there are currently more than 30 streaming services that can be added as an Apple TV channel. All of them also come with a free trial as well.
|Channel||Price p/m||Free trial|
|Acorn TV||$5.99||7 days|
|A&E Crime Central||$4.99||7 days|
|Apple TV+||$4.99||7 days|
|BBC Select||$4.99||7 days|
|BFI Player Classics||$5.99||7 days|
|Carnegie Hall+||$7.99||7 days|
|Eros Now Select||$3.49||7 days|
|Hallmark Movies Now –||$5.99||7 days|
|History Vault||$4.99||7 days|
|IFC Films Unlimited||$5.99||7 days|
|Lifetime Movie Club||$3.99||7 days|
|Moonbug Kids||$1.99||7 days|
|Out TV||$2.99||7 days|
|PBS Living||$2.99||7 days|
|Sundance Now||$6.99||7 days|
|The Great Courses Signature Collection||$7.99||7 days|
|Up Faith & Family||$4.99||7 days|
Although the list above is the current full list, that’s not to say new channels won’t be added in the future. At the same time, it doesn’t mean that any of the channels listed above won’t be removed either. For example, HBO, Comedy Central Now and MTV Hits we’re all available as Apple TV channels, but have since been removed. Not to mention, channels are related to location, so users in one country or region may find they get more or less than the channels listed above.
Adding an Apple TV channel
Providing a streaming service is available as an Apple TV channel, then subscribing is pretty easy to do. As an Apple TV app is required to add Apple TV channels, the user should already have an Apple account (Apple ID) set up, and a payment method linked to the same account. If not, this will need to be done before subscribing to any Apple TV channels.
With everything in order, all the user has to do is open the Apple TV app on one of the supported devices, navigate to the ‘Watch Now’ tab and then scroll down to the ‘Channels’ section. Here, Apple lists all of the currently available channels. Simply navigate to the channel wanted, click/tap on the channel logo and then on the ‘Try It Free’ button. Alternatively, Apple TV users can use the app’s search function to directly search for a channel. For example, performing a search for “Paramount+.” Providing a channel is available for the searched service, the Apple TV app will show the channel in the search results under a ‘Channels’ section. Again, click/tap on the logo and then on the ‘Try It Free’ button.
Regardless of the route taken to find the Apple TV channel, the app will then provide a heads up on when the free trial is due to end and ask for confirmation to add the channel. Once the user clicks on the ‘Confirm’ button, the subscription to the channel will be created, allowing the user to immediately stream any of the shows, movies and exclusive content that’s available through the streaming service. Once the free trial comes to an end, the subscriber will be charged the monthly subscription price via the payment method linked to their Apple ID.
Apple TV channels summary
There are currently more than 30 Apple TV channels available to subscribe to. While these channels don’t make a subscription any cheaper, they do remove the need to download any additional apps, with all of the channel’s movies, shows and original programming available to watch directly within the Apple TV app on a compatible device. The use of Apple TV channels can also be a way to take advantage of a free trial for a service that someone may have already subscribed to directly, and are no longer eligible for a free trial.
While convenient, Apple TV channels are not without their issues. The most obvious one is the limited selection that’s available. For any services that are currently not available as an Apple TV channel, the user will still need to subscribe separately and download the app on their Apple TV device, or other streaming player. Apple TV channels do also require an Apple account and a payment method to be set up. Although this limitation is unlikely to be much of an issue for existing Apple device owners.