Siri Commands on Apple TV

We are about to release a new episode of Mac Power Users all about the new Apple TV. One thing I've noticed in my first week of usage is that I rarely use Siri. I'm just not used to talking to my TV. In order to fix this, I spent a few hours with the TV sorting out all the Siri commands. Here's what I found:

To start out, remember to press and hold the Siri button when adding commands. If you just tap it, Siri isn't listening.

Basic TV Commands

These are the ones everybody should know. After my experimentation, it is absolutely clear to me that you will get a movie started fast this way than drilling for it with the remote.

  • “Find Henry Thomas Movies.”

  • “Find a movie starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore”

  • “Play ET”

  • “Find the series finale for the Newhart Show.”

  • “Play the Episode of the New Girl with Prince”

  • “Play Alto’s Adventure”


Siri Search

If you're in the mood for something, Siri can help you out.

  • “Show me Spy movies”
    After it shows you spy movies you can further narrow the list:
  • "Only Comedies”, "Only Dramas", "Only from this year".

You can also get more specific:

  • “Show me James Bond movies”
  • "Show me James Bond movies with Daniel Craig"


 Siri Scrubbing

  • “Move back two minutes" / "Jump back two minutes”

  • “Play from beginning”

  • “Fast Forward three minutes" / "Jump forward ten minutes"

  • “What did he say?”
    This one is much talked about and magical. It rewinds 15 seconds and turns on closed captioning for just that section and then turns it off.


Siri Movie Information

  • “Who Directed this?”

  • “Who Stars in this?”

  • “What is this movie Rated?”

  • “When was this movie released?” / “When did this movie come out?”

I tried a few more that didn't work like "Who is that?" while a single actor was on the screen and "Who wrote the soundtrack for this?". I'd love to see this expanded.


Siri Data

  • “What’s the weather?”

  • “Is it going to rain tomorrow?”

  • “What’s the weather in Orlando?”

  • “What’s the weather this week in Orlando?”

  • “What time is sunrise tomorrow?

  • “How’s Apple Stock doing?

I'd like to see data returns expanded. When I asked  “How many days until Christmas?”, it returned "one month", which is sort of right. When I asked "How many days until January 7", I got the same answer. It also doesn't give me contact data. When I asked "What is Katie Floyd’s Phone Number?”, it displayed a movie called "Phone Booth". It also doesn't do math, "What's 17 plus 32?". It also doesn't access my calendar. Siri couldn't answer when I asked “What are my appointments tomorrow?". That seems like a no-brainer.


Siri Utilities

  • “Turn on Closed Captioning.”

  • “Turn on subtitles” / “Turn off subtitles

  • “Reduce Loud Sounds”

  • “Go to Movies.”

  • “Go to Earthlapse"

  • “Open Settings”


Siri Sports

  • “Did the Saints win?

  • “Who do the lakers play tomorrow?”

  • “Who is the kicker for the Seahawks?”

My big take away is that using Siri with my TV is nearly always faster than using the remote. Put these to use. You won't regret it.