Support Articles

Why doesn't Picture in Picture work?

Picture in Picture on iOS and tvOS requires the use of Apple’s system video player and Channels uses a custom video player.

PIP Requirements

Picture in Picture in iOS and tvOS requires the system video player to be used. Picture in Picture is not something developers have to implement. It comes free with the system APIs while using the system video player.

Developers can not use Picture in Picture without using the system video player. They can not just put anything they want in the tiny windows.

If we could implement Picture in Picture, we would have done it on the first version we shipped.

Why don’t you use the system video player?

Apple’s system video player can not play back the video format of broadcast TV. Because of this we have implemented our own custom video player. But that’s not all we get out of our custom video player.

Video playback is the #1 most important feature for Channels. Having our own custom video player allows us to have more control over everything like streaming, buffering, and playable video formats.

This has not only enabled us to support live TV broadcasts, it has allowed us to create market leading playback that includes sub-second channel tuning, incredible remote streaming, not to mention that we play back almost any video format directly on the devices, no conversion needed. That includes 4K HDR as well.

Custom Video Player Advantages

Controlling our own video player has allowed us to deliver these kind of great features to our Channels fans.

  • Sub-second channel tuning
  • Almost flawless remote streaming
  • Playback of almost any video format directly on the device without conversion
  • 4K and HDR playback
  • 60fps de-interlacing
  • Ability to make small tweaks for each device Channels runs on to perfect playback


A workaround, for Channels Plus members, is to stream your channel or recording from the Channels DVR Server web admin. From there you can put the video into PIP mode.