The top shelf is a content showcase area above the top row of apps on the Apple TV Home screen. The user can decide which apps are in the top row. When one of these apps is brought into focus, the top shelf displays featured content specific to that app.
The top shelf is a unique opportunity for your app to highlight new, featured, or useful content and let the user jump directly to it. For example, when the App Store is in focus, banners highlight notable new apps. When the iTunes TV Shows app is in focus, people see a row of featured shows. Focusing on and clicking a TV show goes right to the related product page in the app. Pressing the Play/Pause button on the remote while a show is in focus begins media playback for the show.
For featured content design guidelines, see Top Shelf Images.