Channels has extensive remote control support while watching TV. It supports Apple TV’s included Siri remote, as well as universal IR remotes, and the Apple TV Remote iOS app available on the App Store.

Siri Remote

The Siri remote that comes with Apple TV has a lot of nifty features. Channels embraces them to their full extent. The diagram below points out how to get the most out of it while watching TV.

Channels supports some special features while watching TV as well as multiple ways to time shift.

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Universal Remote

Along with the Siri remote, Apple TV supports universal IR remotes as well. You can program these remotes multiple ways.

If you have a Harmony remote, you can add Apple TV support for it the normal way you add any other device to it. Your Harmony remote should walk you through adding a device.

Some common universal remotes will let you add support for the Apple TV by entering a code. Once programmed, it should control the Apple TV.

A third, more extensive way to control your Apple TV with a universal remote is to have Apple TV learn its commands. Here are some instructions for teaching your Apple TV which buttons to use on your remote. Using this method allows you to pick exactly which buttons for different commands.

Supported Remote buttons

While your universal remote might have a lot of buttons, Apple TV only supports a specific set of buttons.

  • Up, Down, Left, Right
  • Select
  • Menu
  • Play
  • Pause
  • Stop
  • Rewind
  • Fast Forward
  • Previous Chapter
  • Next Chapter
  • Skip Back
  • Skip Forward

Button Mappings

Here’s a list of what the buttons on universal remotes will do while watching TV.

  • Up - Show the timeline
  • Down - Show the Quick Bar
  • Left - Seek back 7 seconds
  • Hold Left - Rewind
  • Right - Seek forward 30 seconds
  • Hold Right - Fast forward
  • Select - Pause and resume playback
  • Play/Pause - Pause and resume playback
  • Press Play twice - Jump back to last channel
  • Stop - Exit back to the menu
  • Menu - Exit back to the menu
  • Hold Rewind - Rewind
  • Hold Fast Forward - Fast forward
  • Previous Chapter - Not used
  • Next Chapter -Not used
  • Skip Back - Not used
  • Skip Forward - Not used

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Tip

You can press Down while the timeline is showing to dismiss it. Likewise, you can dismiss the Quick Bar by pressing Up while it is showing.

Apple TV Remote app

The Apple TV Remote app lets you control Apple TV directly from your iPhone or iPad. Channels fully supports it. You can pause, seek, and even scrub right from your phone.

It will even show you details about what you’re currently watching.