Opening App on AppleTV / SmartTV When Starting Activity

Is there any way to send a direct command to a smart TV or AppleTV(4) to open an app?
For example, if I want to turn on the TV and open the Plex application, is there any way to do this with one click of a button on my iPad (and not need to fumble with the TV remote or the Apple TV Remote)?

(I know there isn’t currently remote support for ATV4, but hopefully that will come soon)

Just want to know if (in theory) this is a possibility.


I’m not aware of a direct command (except on the WD TV media player) but I use a workaround. I figured out the series of button presses to get where I need to be to open Plex for instance and programmed them in as a series of commands. Now when I press the Plex activity button, it runs though the sequence to get me to the application.

So, out of sheer curiosity and not having gotten an answer, I went and bought a Sony TV.
It appears that the app list is populated within roomie, and you can open the app from the click of a button.
I am hoping to get the “app name” so that I can use the “.application launch” command to open apps.
How can I find the name to use for this command? The app name in the populated list doesn’t seem to match

I was wondering the same thing. I have an Apple TV 4 and a Sony XBR55X810C. I do not see any commands (methods) listed for the Apple TV to start a specific app. However, the Sony TV has a command (method) listed called .APPLICATION LAUNCH to which you supply Parameter1. Nothing happens when I put in app titles (i.e. Plex, Netflix, etc…) for Parameter1.

Does anyone know the proper names or format for Parameter1 in order for this to work?

I would like to add my request to find some information about the parameter1 field, it would really be useful to launch apps on tv, i’ve got a 2014 sony tv and the rest of the commands are working really well.

Thank for Your support.

So I have figured out a HTTP POST command to open various apps for Sony TVs. I can get this to work in the advanced REST client. However, I have no idea how to program a HTTP command into an activity in Simple Control. Anyone know?

curl “http://192.168.#.###/sony/appControl” -H "X-Auth-PSK:####” -d ‘{“id”:3,“method”:“setActiveApp”,“version”:“1.0”,“params”:[“uri”:“”]}’

This opens plex. The only pat that changes for different apps is the uri. Others include:

Why not just use the existing .APPLICATION LAUNCH command that is already there for Sony TVs?

But if you want to do it yourself, the DDK does provide detailed examples of sending such commands. The sample in the DDK is in fact a Sony device with near identical syntax. See the Knowledge Base for that.

Enable pre-shared key on your TV: [Settings] → [Network] → [Home Network Setup] → [IP Control] → [Authentication] → [Normal and Pre-Shared Key]
Set pre-shared key on your TV: [Settings] → [Network] → [Home Network Setup] → [IP Control] → [Pre-Shared Key] → [sony]

Setup the Pre-Shared Key authentication, mine set to 0000.
Send this command to get installed apps list

curl “” -H “X-Auth-PSK:0000” -d ‘{“id”:3,“method”:“getApplicationList”,“version”:“1.0”,“params”:[]}’

Pick through the json data that comes back, looking for app names.
Sony TVs have an Application Name you can use in Simple Control. Use the app name from above as parameter 1.