iPhone For Dummies
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Open the iPhone TV app for the first time and you’ll be greeted with a Welcome screen; tap Get Started. You’ll be asked to sign in to your television provider, if you’ve not done so already.

Signing in will allow you to use the TV app to access content in other apps (like ESPN or Disney), if such services are supported by your TV provider. This way, you only need to use the TV app to access content and sign in, as opposed to having multiple apps to juggle and sign in to.

Should you decide to skip signing in to your TV provider and worry about it later (or if you’ve already opened the TV app and cruised right past this part), you can access the same options by going to Settings → TV Provider (as shown), tapping the name of your provider, and then entering your account information. If you’re not sure of your account information, you’ll need to contact your provider for assistance.

TV providers

The TV app offers a couple of ways to view movies and TV shows: via third-party providers (many require a subscription, such as Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney+, and Netflix) or items you’ve purchased or rented from the iTunes Store.

Content from third-party providers

To access content from providers like Apple TV+, NBC, ABC, PBS, and more, tap the Watch Now button in the bottom-left of your screen. Swipe to see hit shows and browse by genres like Comedy, Action, and others.

third-party TV providers

Tap on a show that interests you, like in the following figure. Tap an episode to begin playing it or tap the Details button to see a description of the episode, as shown. If you have the app that supports the video, the video will open automatically in the correct app. You may be prompted to connect apps from providers like PBS and ABC to the TV app so you can watch their videos in TV; if you want to do so, tap Connect, but if not just tap Not Now. If you don’t have the app installed that you need to watch the video, you’ll be asked if you’d like to download and install it.

tap the TV show
TV show details

If your iPhone is on the same Wi-Fi network as your computer and both are running iTunes, with the iPhone and iTunes set to use the same Home Sharing account, you see the Shared List. With this setup, you can stream videos from iTunes on your computer to your iPhone.

How to watch video from iTunes

To access video you’ve purchased or rented from the iTunes Store, follow these steps:
  1. Tap the TV app icon on the Home screen to open the application, and then tap Library at the bottom of the screen.
  2. On a screen like the one shown, tap the appropriate category at the top of the screen (TV Shows, Movies, Family Sharing, Genres, and more, depending on the content you’ve downloaded), and then tap the video you want to watch.
    TV categories
    Information about the movie or TV show episodes appears.
  3. For TV Shows, tap the episode that you’d like to play; for Movies, the Play button appears on the description screen. Tap the Play button and the movie or TV show begins playing. (If you see a small, cloud-shaped icon instead of a Play button, tap it and the content is downloaded from iCloud.)
  4. With the playback tools displayed (as shown), take any of these actions:
    • Tap the Pause button to pause playback.
    • Tap either Go to Previous Chapter or Go to Next Chapter to move to a different location in the video playback. If a video has chapter support, another button called Scenes appears here for displaying all chapters so that you can move more easily from one to another.
    • Tap the circular button on the Volume slider and drag the button left or right to decrease or increase the volume, respectively.

      If your controls disappear during playback, just tap the screen and they’ll reappear.

  5. To stop the video and return to the information screen, tap the Done button to the left of the Progress bar.

How to turn on closed-captioning

iTunes and iPhone offer support for closed-captioning and subtitles. Look for the CC logo on media that you download to use this feature.

Video that you record won’t have this capability.

If a movie has either closed-captioning or subtitles, you can turn on the feature in iPhone.
  1. Begin by tapping the Settings icon on the Home screen.
  2. Tap Accessibility, scroll down and tap Subtitles & Captioning.
  3. On the menu that displays, tap the Closed Captions + SDH switch to turn on the feature (green). Now when you play a movie with closed-captioning, you can tap the Audio and Subtitles button to the left of the playback controls to manage these features.

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