tvOS: 5 Favorite Siri Commands for Apple TV

If you’ve purchased a shiny new Apple TV with its shiny new remote, you may know that you can use the Siri button to ask the voice assistant to do stuff for you.

I find this really helpful for all sorts of things, especially those actions that are a bit…cumbersome…to do under tvOS otherwise. Cumbersome. That’s definitely a good word for it. 

So in any case, here are my favorite Siri commands for the new Apple TV!

1. “Turn on the captioning.”

OK, so I watch a lot of BBC shows, but I’m not always the best at understanding English accents. Go figure. So I almost always use the subtitles, and if you want to as well, just hold down the Siri button on the remote and tell it that you’d like the captions on.

2. “What did he say?”

Similar to the above, if you miss a bit of dialogue, invoke Siri and ask it “What did she/he say?” That’ll rewind your video a bit, and it’ll temporarily turn the captions on, too, if they’re available.

“Rewind.” Huh. Is that still what we say?

3. “Who stars in this?”

With anything you’re watching, asking Siri about the actors will give you a little pop-up box with that info.

Select an actor’s name within that box if you want to see what else he’s been in, and then you’ll press MENU to return to your show.

4. “Go back 20 seconds.” 

You can skip both ahead and back in what you’re watching using Siri, and I find it much easier than trying to scrub with the remote. 

5. “Show me ‘King of the Hill,’ season two.”

Employing Siri to do your searches for you saves a ton of time, and the Apple TV will even find all of the places you can watch whatever you’re looking for, like this:

So if I want to watch this cartoon, I could see some of its seasons on Netflix or Hulu, or I could purchase them on iTunes. And of course I want to watch this cartoon! In fact, I watch far too many cartoons. Is there a 12-step program for that?


This tip was suggested by the ever-awesome Bryan Mahler. Thanks, Bryan!