I am thinking about getting an Apple TV. I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts, and I understand that there are apps on the Apple TV that will give access to those. How do I get access to broadcast, and cable channels on the apple TV? Are there apps for that? Keep in mind I want everything to be legal and on the up and up. Thanks for your help!

closed as too broad by fsb, user310476, Nimesh Neema, nohillside Feb 22 at 6:09

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  • I don't believe that you can do that legally – Sam Feb 21 at 17:46
  • You can use apps like Plex or hardware like the HDHomeRun to watch broadcast TV with your own antenna. Almost all channels from your cable company have their own apps that work on the ATV. Is your question about specific channels or something else? As it is, your question is a bit broad. – fsb Feb 21 at 17:55

There are many Apple TV apps for streaming services (e.g. PlayStation Vue, YouTube TV, etc.) that will replicate the functionality of a traditional cable subscription. Your best bet would be to try doing a search in the App store to see which ones are available and what their capabilities are.


If you want actual TV from antenna or cable, you need a network tuner in addition to your Apple TV which accepts a signal and makes it available on your computer network.

I bought an HDHomerun a while back which allows for four simultaneous streams for unencrypted channels. This combined with the Channels app on my Apple TV 4K worked very well. Behaves like a TV with time shifting, and supports my bluetooth speaker.

  • Nearly every "broadcast" and "cable" network have dedicated ATV (tvOS) apps. However, to use MOST of them, it's been my experience that you need a cable TV subscription. I think CW is an exception to this - the shows are all free to watch (with commercials). Apple is rumored to be launching a TV service soon (macrumors.com/2019/02/14/apple-tv-service-launch-months-off), so you might want to wait to see what they offer. Otherwise, get a basic cable-TV package and get legal access to all of those ATV apps. – jimtut Feb 24 at 18:36
  • @jimtut I am describing how to access the actual signal a tv would use. In addition to that, for me recording a show is as simple as using curl. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 25 at 0:18
  • I meant to post my "comment" as a separate answer, not underneath/related to your comment. Not sure which the Op wants, recording/streaming OTA broadcasts or accessing them thru official TV apps. – jimtut Feb 25 at 4:09
  • @jimtut Yes. You can still do so. If you need clarification, ask as comments to the question itself. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 25 at 7:57

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