Universal search on the fourth-generation Apple TV continues to improve. The latest enhancement brings multiple new channels into the mix, providing an easy way to find content anywhere with a single question to Siri. Nine new channels are taking advantage of the feature, including History, Food Network, Travel Channel, Lifetime, and A&E.
Apple TV fans are still waiting for a live streaming package, which failed to materialize last year despite rumors of ongoing negotiations with content providers. Even as Apple continues to pursue such a subscription package, a new Live Tune-In feature has been added to tvOS 9.2. Live Tune-In combines certain apps that provide a live stream with Siri, to offer instant live viewing of supported channels.
Two years ago, Netflix froze pricing for existing HD users at $7.99 per month. These rates are set to expire in February, ending the grandfathered pricing plan. This means all Netflix users will have to start paying $9.99 per month, or downgrade their plans. Currently, the standard plan for $9.99 includes HD video and allows two different screens to be watched simultaneously. The downgraded basic plan comes at $7.99, however HD video is not available and only one screen can be watched at a time.
There has been a recent trend toward online only TV subscriptions, slimmer programming bundles and à la carte subscriptions. HBO launched its stand alone HBO Now a few months ago and Showtime recently followed suit. Earlier in the year Dish launched Sling, an online subscription service of 16 channels for $20 a month. Apple has a streaming TV service in the works that will supposedly include about 25 channels for somewhere in the $30-$40 per month range.