With the live Channels app, Apple TV just became the best box for streaming live broadcast TV

“Channels, an app for watching live television through the new Apple TV, has received a substantial update with timeshifting support,” Jared Newman writes for TechHive.

“The app, which first launched in December, works in conjunction with SiliconDust HDHomeRun networked TV tuners. Users plug an antenna into the tuner, then connect the tuner to a Wi-Fi router,” Newman writes. “This setup allows for streaming live channels to other devices around the house, using companion apps such as Channels for Apple TV.”

“Channels is the first app for HDHomeRun tuners to support timeshifting without complicated plugins,” Newman writes. “The app begins storing up video when users first tune into a channel, caching up to 30 minutes of programming. Users can also pause live video for up to 30 minutes. Although the app doesn’t offer full-blown DVR, it’s still useful for rewatching a bit of dialog that you missed, or pausing through the first 15 minutes of a show so you can skip all the commercial breaks.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The new third-party Apple TV app, Channels ($15), lets users watch live TV through a SiliconDust HDHomeRun networked tuner. HDHomeRun receives video from any broadcast antenna and it connected to a Wi-Fi router. Using apps like Channels, users can stream live TV on various devices throughout Wi-Fi network.

Channels is only available via the new Apple TV App Store. Just search for “Channels” to find and download it.

How to watch free live HDTV on your Apple TV – January 19, 2016


  1. Sorry, but I’ll buy (I did) a digital antenna and avoid the hit on my internet data usage. Comcast claims they don’t throttle high users of internet, but I don’t trust them to find a way to charge me extra for it.

    1. Neither of the tuners mentioned in the article ever touch the internet.
      They receive the OTA signal and transmit it through your local network.
      You are not receiving anything from the internet.

  2. I just gave this app a try. It is very interesting. It displays all of the channels as tiles with the appropriate artwork for the show that is on. The rewind feature worked well. To designate a channel as a favorite it appears you start the stream, press the down arrow, and click Favorites. I like it.

  3. So let me get this correct; You have to buy another set-top box for around $100.00 and also add the app for $15 or $25 now it is February and then get an antenna before you can connect it to the AppleTV box.

    Why can’t Apple provide its own “Channels” app and antenna as Higo said above, to do live TV?

    1. This is perfect for what I am about to do.
      We have DirecTV and they have doubled our bill to $120 a month. Just talked with the wife and we both are done with them.
      We had an old TV antenna on the roof but it was probably 40 years old and we had it removed when a new roof was put on. So, checked out new TV antennas, Walmart has a 60 mile range one for $30. Great. We live about 30 miles out. If I pickup all the channels, we will end up with 35 counting sub channels. At this point we would be back to watching live TV. If I wanted to record shows and then watch them on the main TV or other TVs or iPhone, iPad or laptop, this product mentioned above “SiliconDust” is one part of the puzzle.
      It will convert in real time, two HD channels to streaming video. So that covers watching it anywhere on my home network.
      To have it show up in the Apple TV for convenience and possible searching, the “Channels” App adds that.

      After just three months of DirecTV bills, $360. It’s all paid for and no more bills after that. Now I just need to see what is the best DVR software to run on the Mac for recording.

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