Siri on Apple TV lets you launch live channels with just your voice

Siri on Apple TV isn’t nearly capable enough yet to replace your remote, but Siri helps you pick up the remote less. Siri can search for movies and TV shows, adjust volume, and toggle captions.

A lesser known hands-free feature on Apple TV is Siri’s ability to launch live channels. A fair amount of setup is required for this to work, but the convenience of voice control is worth it.

For the best hands-free experience, use a HomePod with your Apple TV. Siri on the Apple TV remote also works.

Using Siri to launch live channels restores the convenience of just turning on the TV and watching what’s on your favorite channel. However, there are a few things to know before you get started.

The first is which phrases work with Siri.

A voice command such as “Watch ESPN live” can take your right to SportsCenter as it airs. Siri can also switch to live content on various channels including CNN, Disney, Food Network, and HGTV. Just say “Watch [channel name]” to view its live content.

Next is which apps, or channels, allow Siri to bring up live TV. You will need to install and set up each app on your Apple TV that you want to use with Siri and live content. Some are free, but most require a TV provider to work.

Apple currently lists nearly 30 channels or apps that are compatible in the US:

  • ABC News
  • Altice One
  • AT&T TV
  • Bloomberg
  • CBS
  • CBS News
  • Cheddar
  • CNBC
  • CNN Go
  • Cooking Channel
  • Disney NOW
  • DIY
  • ESPN
  • Food Network
  • Fox News
  • fuboTV
  • HGTV
  • MUTV
  • NBA
  • NBC Sports
  • Spectrum TV
  • TBS
  • TNT
  • Travel Channel

Outside of the US, live channel support is also available in these countries:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

For me, the big omission from the compatible app list is Hulu. While Hulu with Live TV can go to specific channels with voice control on Amazon Alexa devices, the Apple TV version does not support this feature with Siri.

FuboTV, however, is an example of a live TV service that is compatible. For instance, you can say “watch ESPN live” with Siri on Apple TV to launch live content on that channel inside the FuboTV app.

Have you tried watching live content with Siri? How are you using Siri on Apple TV? Let us know in the comments.

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