Support Articles

Deep Links

Channels for iOS and tvOS supports Deep Links, allowing you to launch the app directly into content, including automatically playing it.

Open Channels directly to a specific show, collection, or even a specific channel to immediatly start watching. Deep Links can be used in a variety of ways, learn more below.

Note: Deep Links on tvOS

You might wonder how this is useful on tvOS, since there’s no browser, Shortcuts, or anything else directly on the platform.

If you’re a home automation fan, you might have your Apple TVs set up in Home Assistant, or something else. These tools can launch and run deep links for you on your behalf.

This is super useful as it means you can just use deep links to open/play content, vs having to wire up schemes to launch the Channels app first before you can hit the Channels API to do the same thing.

Deep Links mimic the URL structure of the Channels API as well as the available functionality. Read below on how they are formatted.


The scheme for Channels Depp Links depend on which version of the app you are using.

  • channels:// - Store release
  • channels-beta:// - TestFlight beta


Use identifiers for your content. You can retrieve these either via the Server API or just by inspecting the URLs in your Channels DVR Server web admin. Browse to the content you want to link to and look at the URL in your browser’s address bar for the unique identifier.

Build your deep link by appending a path to the scheme you’ve chosen. The path should be formatted as follows:


Jump to the type of deep link directly from the list below:

Read below to learn about all of the available actions and deep links you can use.

This will let you open a section in the app. Use the name of the section as the parameter. Be sure to URL encode the name. This means replace spaces with %20, i.e. /TV%20Shows



These will let you open the content in the app. Nothing will play.

  • /open/show/:id
  • /open/video_group/:id
  • /open/recording/:id
  • /open/episode/:id
  • /open/movie/:id
  • /open/video/:id
  • /open/collection/:id
  • /open/playlist/:id


These will let you play the content directly in the app.

  • /play/channel/:id
  • /play/show/:id
  • /play/video_group/:id
  • /play/recording/:id
  • /play/episode/:id
  • /play/movie/:id
  • /play/video/:id
  • /play/collection/:id
  • /play/playlist/:id

Play Options

The following paramaters can be added to the end of the deep link to control playback.

Parameter Value support content
playNext true Playlists, Shows, Video Groups
playFirst true Collections, Playlists
shuffle true Collections, Playlists, Shows, Video Groups