Josh Centers, writing for TidBits:
The Apple TV app on the Apple TV is currently the bane of my existence. In theory, it should be a tidy way to manage everything you watch, bringing together content from Apple, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and other streaming services (but still not Netflix, for some reason), plus live news and even sports. It sort of does that, but over time, Apple has started using the app to push the company’s own paid content, especially its Apple TV+ service.
Josh explains how to adjust the TV app’s settings to display your up next list in the top shelf instead of recommendations. This is an absolutely essential change — everyone that owns an Apple TV should have it set that way. It helps to mitigate some of the frustration with Apple promoting content that you may or may not have access to from within the Apple TV app itself. You can simply launch directly into your content from the top shelf extension. But I still wish you had the option to limit the media in the Apple TV app to only show what you already pay for. I don’t expect that will ever be added, though.
It’s becoming clear that Apple is more than happy promoting their services through apps like Apple TV. And because of this, I’ve slowly moved away from using Apple’s apps and services toward alternatives. For most of my TV and movie viewing, I use Infuse, which streams content from my Plex library. That library is populated with ripped DVDs, Blu-rays, iTunes content that I’ve stripped the DRM from, and media I’ve recording using Plex’s DVR functionality. It’s a much nicer setup and I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll need to pay in order to watch something listed.
I still pay for Hulu and Disney+, but I’m watching less and less there. I sort of hope I can eventually reallocate the money I currently spend on streaming services toward purchasing media instead. Canceling these recurring charges would feel pretty freeing and I have a hunch I will end up saving money in the long run — especially since I tend to rewatch the same dozen or so TV shows most of the time.