Bonus Home Cinema Setup Option:  One Source Device, One User Interface Including A Watchlist & One Remote

 

I have a Smart TV with its remote, a 5.1 Surround Sound system with its remote and 1 or more source devices, each with their own remotes.   These source devices can be Streaming Media Devices (SMDs) like Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Google TV and/or an Android TV device such a TiVo Stream 4K or NVidia Shield.  I may also have a cable STB/DVR as well as a gaming console such as Xbox or PlayStation.  And I may also have a CD, DVD or Blu-ray player.  

So How Do I Get Down To One Device For Accessing All Your TV-related Content???

Assuming you already are using your Smart TV or a Streaming Media Device for all your streaming media applications, then we just need to sort out two potential issues:

  1. If I don't have an Apple TV steaming device, then I buy a 4K Apple TV (see below) to replace my existing streaming source

  2. Follow these step-by-step instructions of setting up my Apple TV

Best Source For All Media Access - Apple TV

Apple TV - One Unified Watchlist, One Remote

So why switch to Apple TV?

 

As a D User, I want to track BOTH my streaming viewing & my 'Live TV' viewing.  The only solution that offers both is the Apple TV 4K along with the AT&T TV 'Live TV' app.

The Apple TV App tracks your streaming viewing while
The AT&T TV App tracks your 'Live TV' viewing.  Selecting either one shows what's Up Next for each app aka recent or to be watched streaming shows and recently recorded TV Shows and Movies via AT&T TV Cloud DVR.

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(4) Choices of Apple TVs

If you already have a Apple TV, make sure you have the Siri Remote, otherwise buy the new Apple TV 4k w/Siri Remote.

  • Apple TV 4K 32 bit (2021) - this is the one to get - it has the new Siri remote!!!

  • Apple TV 4K 64 bit (2021) - the only need is if you use 20+ Streaming Media Apps, some of which need storage

  • Apple TV 4K 32 bit - do NOT get this one - it has very bad remote - order a Siri Remote for it if you already have it

  • Apple TV 4K 64 bit - do NOT get this one - it has very bad remote - order a Siri Remote for it if you already have it

Lastly, you might need a USB to Lightning cable to charge your Siri Remote​

Setup My Apple TV As My ONE Media Source

So why upgrade to Apple TV?  There are 3 key reasons to upgrade:

  1. Unified Watchlist - I not only get a unified watchlist across all my streaming apps - such as Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBOmax, et al - I also get my 'Live TV' watchlist included in the Apple TV App !!!

  2. Wired Internet Access - by plugging my Apple TV into an ethernet cable and connecting directly to my Internet router in my home, I get the best bandwidth so I can watch 4K content without any buffering or image degrading

  3. One Remote - my Apple Siri remote can control my Apple TV, my TV and my surround sound system, including powering them all on/off

Add The Apple TV App - My Watchlist App - To The Home Row

This lets you immediate see what to watch next

  1. Find the Apple TV App

  2. Move it to the Home Row, ideally to the far far-left hand side

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If I Want 'Live TV', Then I Setup The DirecTV Stream App

The DirecTV Stream app integrates with the Apple TV App!!

AND by signing in AT&T TV as your Apple TV "TV Provider" allows you to access TV Everywhere apps via your Apple TV TV Provider, so you don’t have to sign in to every channel’s app. 

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of tvOS.

  2. Go to the App Store, search for, download & install DirecTV Stream app

  3. Move it to the Home Row, ideally to the right of the Apple TV App

  4. On your Apple TV, go to Settings.

  5. Choose Users and Accounts, then choose TV Provider.

  6. Select your TV provider. You can also scroll down to choose a TV provider from a different country or region. Then select Sign In. 

  7. Select the email that you use for your TV provider account. If it isn't listed, select Enter New and enter your account information.*

  8. Enter your password, then select Sign In.

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Enable Streaming Apps Apple TV App Can Access

The most popular streaming apps integrates with the Apple TV app!!

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of tvOS.

  2. Make sure you have installed the streaming apps you most often use

  3. On your Apple TV, go to Settings.

  4. Choose Apps, then choose TV & scroll down to Connect To TV.

  5. Enable all the TV streaming apps listed

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Adjust Settings For The Apple TV App

  1. Open Settings  on Apple TV.  (I HAVEN"T REVIEWED THESE YET)

  2. Go to Apps > TV, then do any of the following:

    • Use your play history for personalized recommendations and Up Next: Turn on Use Play History.

    • See live sports scores in Up Next: Turn on Show Sports Scores.

    • Set what appears on the Home screen when the Apple TV app is highlighted in the top row: Select “Top Shelf,” then choose What to Watch to see previews of featured TV shows and movies, or Up Next to see what’s in your personal queue.

    • Get Game Start and Close Game notifications for games you’ve added to Up Next: Turn on Games in Up Next.

    • Get notifications about recommended sports and events: Turn on Exciting Games.

    • Turn the sound on or off for background videos that automatically play in the Apple TV app: Turn Autoplay Video Sound on or off.

    • Set which Apple TV channels and apps share content with the Apple TV app: Select an app from the list to turn it on or off.

    • Remove information about what you’ve watched (which is synced with the Apple TV app on other devices): Select Clear Play History. This also removes TV shows and movies from Up Next.

Checklist For Adding Streaming App To Apple TV App

Every once and awhile, I will add a new streaming app to the mix.  Here's my step-by-step checklist to quickly add the app:

  1. Open Settings  on Apple TV.  

  2. Blah, blah, blah