Apple TV received a number of new channels/apps today that include the Disney Channel, Disney XD, Vevo, The Weather Channel and Smithsonian. Similar to the implementation of HBO GO, the pair of Disney channels require confirmation of a valid cable subscription. These channels, specifically The Disney Channel, are different from what’s available on Roku. The Roku offering has been around for quite some time, but only offers a myriad of clips, but no live programming.
The addition of ESPN, HBO Go and today’s new channels continue to improve upon the hobby. Apple has yet to open up the SDK, however it’s plausible that some of these media companies have been directly involved in developing their apps. This would suggest that at some point, Apple might take the locks off the SDK, perhaps enabling an Channel App Store some time in the future.
These are small, yet meaningful steps in their attempts to make their way into our living rooms. With each new channel, there’s a reason to use your Apple TV. It’s far from the speculated Apple television, but rather a continuing app crawl, one that offers solid if unspectacular improvements in the $99 box. Things will get interesting when Time Warner Cable integrates their live TV.
When you combine the support for Airplay, is there any greater entertainment value at this price? Roku offers more channels, but for iPhone owners, it’s hard to beat the simplicity of showing videos and photos on your TV. Apple TV now has a distinct advantage for families with your children, in addition to having YouTube, a channel that has alluded Roku.
Is there an Apple TV in your home? Does the addition of these new channels make it a more attractive product? Let us know in the comments or in our Apple TV forum.