Local Content, Virtual Channels, On Later, Library Collections, and more! Channels 5.0 for Apple TV & iOS is now available.

new features for channels 5.0 for apple tv and iOS

For the past few years, we’ve been working hard on the required core features for DVR. We had to do this first before we could start working on the features we’ve always wanted to deliver to you.

Today, we finally get to release some of those fun features.

Local Content

Import your own movies, TV shows, and recordings from previous DVRs. Just point Channels DVR Server at your movie and TV show folders and it will add them right in to your Channels library.

channels 5.0 local content

Channels supports all of the formats you expect it to, including 4K HDR. There’s no transcoding needed and Channels will play your videos directly.

Learn More → about Local Content.

Library Collections

Curate your own groups of movies or TV shows with Library Collections.

channels 5.0 library collections

Build a collection for your Marvel or Star Wars movies. Create a collection for Mom’s shows. The possibilities are endless. You can add your own art and title to personalize them just for you.

Library Collections can be created by simply adding them to the collection, but you can also use Smart Rules to build them dynamically. Our new Smart Rule system lets you build queries to have movies or shows automatically added.

Learn More → about Library Collections.

Virtual Channels

Virtual Channels let you turn content from your own library into your own personal live TV channels.

channels 5.0 virtual channels

Virtual Channels appear in your Guide and act like your other live TV channels, but they’re powered by the content in your own Channels library. Add movies or TV shows to your Virtual Channel to give it content. They can even use Smart Rules to make them dynamic.

Build a Law & Order channel that never stops its marathon. Build a sitcom channel with all of your favorites. Build a Pixar channel that always has a good movie on. You’ll always have something to watch with Virtual Channels.

Learn about The On Demand Commitment Phenomenon and why we built Virtual Channels.

Learn More → about Virtual Channels.

On Later

On Later helps you find things to record by browsing upcoming shows, movies, and sports with a simple interface.

channels 5.0 on later

On Later is a new section that presents upcoming items that may be of interest to you. Browse new shows that are premiering. Browse shows and movies by genres. Browse sports by sport league. On Later attempts to dig deep into your guide to help you find things to record.

By fine tuning its results with your personalizations, you can make it work even better.

Learn More → about On Later.

Siri Shortcuts

Channels for iOS now provides shortcut actions that let you build powerful Siri Shortcuts.

channels 5.0 siri shortcuts

Open a section, watch a channel, open and shuffle a collection, open a show and watch the next unwatched recording, and more. You can build great automations using Channel’s actions.

You can even build these actions to open things on Channels running on your TV’s streaming client. These new actions provide building blocks for amazing automations.

Learn More → about automating Channels.


We were quiet over the summer, but we were working hard to bring you all these great features. We think they’ll go a long way at helping you really personalize Channels and get it working well for your home.

Android TV & Fire TV will begin to receieve these features soon. You may have noticed that we’ve put a lot of effort in to them over the summer with the last two big releases. We’ve made some changes to make sure these platforms have all of the latest features as soon as possible and don’t plan on stopping.

That’s it for now. Have fun!