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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has added AMC and The Hallmark Channel to the universal search function on the fourth-generation Apple TV in the United States, enabling viewers to search for popular TV shows such as The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul in addition to holiday-themed programming such as Countdown to Christmas.

walking_dead_apple_tv-800x469.jpg

For those unfamiliar with universal search, it's a feature that allows users to conduct Siri voice searches or text-based searches to find TV and movie content across a wide range of channels. At launch, universal search only supported a few channels, but Apple has been rapidly expanding the feature to encompass additional channels.

Apple TV universal search is now available for a wider number of apps in the U.S., Australia, Canada, and the U.K., but the feature is limited to iTunes and Netflix in France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden. In some other countries and regions, only movies in iTunes are supported.

Article Link: Apple TV Universal Search Now Includes AMC and The Hallmark Channel
 

profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
4,749
5,100
It's been over a year, and still no sign that developers will be able to use this universal search for their apps as well.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnpaczkowski/tim-cook-talks-apple-tv

Cook said. “But we’re also opening an API, so that others can join in.”

I wonder if he meant this for online services, like all the ones that have been joining over the past year, and not for local apps / libraries?
 
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TopToffee

macrumors 6502a
Jul 9, 2008
706
121
Anyone noticed issues in UK with Siri search on ATV?

Used to be able to do stuff like "show me the best comedies on Netflix", but recently I've been getting an error message, something to the effect of "not available in your region"... Checked settings and everything is set to UK...
 
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Jukens

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2013
247
184
It's been over a year, and still no sign that developers will be able to use this universal search for their apps as well.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/johnpaczkowski/tim-cook-talks-apple-tv



I wonder if he meant this for online services, like all the ones that have been joining over the past year, and not for local apps / libraries?

Seriously this! What could be a killer feature if opened up to the devs is no different than how the new TV app is turning out, worthless without full dev support....I want to voice search or open my TV app and it include all my content available and watched as opposed to what Apple decides.
 
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TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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Seriously this! What could be a killer feature if opened up to the devs is no different than how the new TV app is turning out, worthless without full dev support....I want to voice search or open my TV app and it include all my content available and watched as opposed to what Apple decides.

Where do you get the ridiculous idea that this is the case?

Apple wants the TV App to have content from every service on AppleTV. That is the entire point of the App.

Whether or not that happens is, like everything shown on the box in your living room, subject to nauseating anti-user licensing agreements across various Apps and services.
 
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Jukens

macrumors regular
Jun 13, 2013
247
184
Where do you get the ridiculous idea that this is the case?

Apple wants the TV App to have content from every service on AppleTV. That is the entire point of the App.

Whether or not that happens is, like everything shown on the box in your living room, subject to nauseating anti-user licensing agreements across various Apps and services.
Because of the way the API works, it does not look through local catalogs or works with local content like a DLNA server I.E. Plex. It requires online catalogs from the partners for Siri to search through. Nvidia shield search for example looks into the app and provides not only online but also local content available. The TV app works the same way.
 
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TurboPGT!

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Sep 25, 2015
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Because of the way the API works, it does not look through local catalogs or works with local content like a DLNA server I.E. Plex. It requires online catalogs from the partners for Siri to search through. Nvidia shield search for example looks into the app and provides not only online but also local content available. The TV app works the same way.
Those are completely different topics. That's not even a response to my post.

You're never getting Siri Search or TV App integration with DLNA server content like Plex because the content cannot be vetted for compatibility. There is no guarantee your content's meta data is good, or even exists at all. That muddies the experience of search and aggregation tremendously.

Trust me, I would love to see that work with Plex, but I fully understand why it never will and don't expect it to.
 
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profets

macrumors 601
Mar 18, 2009
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Exactly - for a local library it wouldn't be simple, especially with the current way Siri and Universal Search works.

Good post I found from a Plex forum that really outlines it:

Plex's integration in Universal Search will require significant design changes to Apple's implementation of Universal Search.

Currently there are zero custom content databases in Universal Search.

How it works currently:

  1. Third party content provider uploads their content library list (for each region) to Apple's servers
  2. AppleTV records the voice query and sends it up to the Apple cloud
  3. Apple cloud translates queries
  4. Apple cloud performs search against all content libraries in region that user has access to
  5. Apple cloud returns the results to AppleTV.
For that design architecture to work with custom libraries, you're going to have to upload your entire Plex content to Apple's cloud servers. Unlikely that's ever going to happen for a whole host of reasons (and would still require some design changes).

No, for custom libraries to be searchable in AppleTV's Universal Search, the following change would have to happen:

  1. AppleTV designs and implements a new feature: Local Universal Search
  2. Third party content provider registers the local custom library with AppleTV's new Local Universal Search API
  3. AppleTV records the voice query and sends it up to the Apple cloud
  4. Apple cloud translates queries
  5. Apple cloud returns the search query to the AppleTV
  6. AppleTV performs search against all content libraries in Local Universal Search database.
It's probably not extraordinarily difficult to do, but it is a fairly radical architecture change to Universal Search.

And there's not a lot of incentive for Apple to do this. There's no financial gain. This feature only benefits people who don't buy content which generates a revenue stream for Apple (iTunes, HBO, Netflix, and all the other subscriptions that give Apple a cut). If anything, making it easier to use Plex libraries disincentivizes users to pay into those streaming revenue streams that Apple benefits from. So... probably a low priority for Apple.

TL;DR: Custom libraries in Universal Search are not gonna happen for a while. Almost certainly not outside a full-version update of tvOS. And it will be low-priority, as it would actively discourage people from paying for the content providers that Apple gets a cut from.
 
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adamjackson

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2008
1,925
3,245
Has someone commented on DirecTV Now getting Universal search? I'd like to tell AppleTV to watch AMC and have it go to the live now page and start playing.,
 
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