Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Apple TV Bulks Up Again, With New Apps From Disney, Weather Channel, Vevo

apple tv updateApple’s TV hobby continues to expand in scope: Apple has added five more apps to its Web TV box, from providers including Disney, the Weather Channel and Vevo.

Some of the apps are free, and offer on-demand programming to anyone with an Internet connection. Two apps from Disney — Disney Channel and Disney XD — also provide live “linear” programming, but only to pay TV subscribers whose providers have a deal with Disney.

This is the second time Apple TV has grown in the past few months. In June, Apple added high-profile apps from ESPN and HBO, along with a few others.

The most significant offering this time around is Disney’s popular Disney Channel. If you’ve got a pay TV subscription with several of the big providers, you’ll get access to the cable channel’s live feed, along with on-demand options. But if you get your TV from Time Warner Cable, Dish or DirecTV, you’re out of luck, for now.

The Disney apps appear to be the only ones offering live versions of pay TV channels, unless you count Vevo’s “live” version of the Web video service. Smithsonian Channel, co-owned by CBS and the Smithsonian Institution, offers on-demand clips, as does the Weather Channel. (Update: In some cases — most likely a storm with national impact or interest — the Weather Channel app will provide a live feed of the pay channel, as well, I’m told.)

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus