Apple TV Channels

page 1 of 14

Apple TV channels

Since its debut in 2007, Apple TV has gradually improved its channel lineup. Let’s take a look at Apple TV’s channels and what they have to offer.

This article covers Apple TV channels for the 2nd and 3rd generation models. The new Apple TV 4 features an App Store with thousands of apps, many of which are content channels. Most of the channels presented in this article are available as tvOS apps for Apple TV 4. For more information on Apple TV 4, check out “Apple TV 4: The Unofficial Manual”. If you are interested in the top Apple TV 4 tvOS apps and a video displaying every tvOS app, please read “Apple TV tvOS Apps”.

This article catalogs and describes every channel on 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TV’s in alphabetical order. The following channels are covered: A&E, ABC, ABC News, ACC Sports, AOL On, Apple Events, Bloomberg, CBS, CBS News, CBS Sports, CNBC, CNNgo, Crackle, Computers, Crunchyroll, Dailymotion, Disney, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, Feeln, Flickr, FOX NOW, Fusion, FX NOW, FYI, HBO GO, HBO NOW, History, Hulu, iCloud Photos, iMovie Theater, iTunes Festival, iTunes Radio, KORTV, Lifetime, M2M, MLB.TV, MLS, Movies, Music, NatGeo TV, NBA, NBC, NBC Sports Live Extra, Netflix, NFL, NHL, 120 Sports, PBS, PBS Kids, Podcasts, Qello, Radio, Red Bull TV, Showtime, Showtime Anytime, Smithsonian Channel, Sky News, Tastemade, TED, Tennis Channel Everywhere, The Beatles, The Scene, Trailers, TV Shows, UFC, USA NOW, Vevo, Vimeo, Weather Channel, Willow, WSJ Live, WWE Network, Yahoo Screen, Young Hollywood and YouTube.

If you’re looking for a quick reference of Apple TV channel costs, check out “Apple TV Channels by Cost”. If you want to read about Apple TV channels in detail, including pricing information and screenshots, continue reading this article.

A&E

The A&E channel for Apple TV offers original dramas, reality shows and other programs for viewers. Popular A&E shows include Duck Dynasty, Storage Wars and Bates Motel.

Launched in 1984 as the Arts & Entertainment Network, the channel was the result of a merger between Alpha Repertory Television Service (ARTS) and The Entertainment Channel. The channel was initially aimed at being a commercial version of PBS, with high-brow entertainment. Over the years, A&E has had many programming changes. Most notably, A&E has moved into producing original content, like many other networks. While some of the programming appeals to less sophisticated audiences, A&E has managed to produce extremely popular programs.

The A&E channel for Apple TV offers free programming for everyone, however, cable subscribers have access to additional episodes and content. Users can activate the A&E channel by navigating to Settings > Sign in to Provider from within the channel. From this screen, the user is given an activation code which must entered into a web page for activation.

The A&E channel features a simple user interface. The main screen has a scrolling marquee featuring popular shows. Users can scroll down the screen to browse content organized by category. One can search content and access settings from the top menu.

Price: Free; more content available with activation (requires cable subscription from participating provider).

Tip: For more information about the A&E channel, go to Settings > FAQ from the channel’s top menu.

A&E Channel for Apple TV

ABC

The ABC television network has its own Apple TV channel. Viewers can watch live ABC television from their local affiliate or enjoy on demand content. Unfortunately, ABC’s on demand offering is far from comprehensive. Viewers can only choose from a few episodes of ABC programs.

Users can browse content, however this channel does not offer a search feature. There’s really not a lot of content to choose from, so searching may be superfluous.

Program pages offer links to ABC shows in iTunes, enabling the user to purchase more episodes. It’s typically more cost-effective to subscribe to Hulu Plus, which offers many ABC programs for a modest monthly subscription. One can also use their iPad and AirPlay to watch ABC shows on Apple TV.

Price: requires cable subscription for activation

Tip: The ABC app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch can beam shows on to your Apple TV using AirPlay Screen Mirroring.

ABC for Apple TV

ABC News

ABC News is another great way to stay informed on Apple TV. The news channel offers live, streaming video, in addition to video on demand. This is one of the best organized and most useful news channels on Apple TV.

With its origins dating back to 1943, ABC news offers decades of broadcast experience. The network originated after the FCC ruled that the NBC Blue Network must be spun off into a new, independent company. ABC is now owned by the Walt Disney corporation. Over the years, ABC has been known for high quality news, including Nightline, which started during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. Nightline is still broadcast and is available on the ABC News Apple TV channel.

ABC News for Apple TV is well-organized and easy to use. The channel opens with the Featured view, displaying a marquee of top stories and featured programs. Below the marquee, users can pick from a few live streams. Top Stories appear below the live streams. This is one of the best places to find up-to-the-minute news. The news stories are updated throughout the day, making it easy to stay up to date and follow breaking news. The Featured view also displays news grouped by top stories, enabling viewers to watch multiple videos about the same news story.

The Sections view organizes news by categories including U.S., International, Politics, Health, Entertainment, Technology, Travel and Money. This is a great way to find news that caters to a specific interest.

ABC News shows are featured in the Shows view. Popular news shows such as Good Morning America, World News, Nightline, 20/20 and This Week are available to viewers. All of the content is updated regularly, shortly after the show is broadcast on ABC.

The Local section is an area that could use some improvement. ABC’s local news only covers a few urban areas — New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Fresno and Milwaukee. Ideally, local news should be offered based on the viewer’s location. These affiliate features are available with other Apple TV channels, however, ABC is not taking advantage of this technology.

The ABC News Channel offers an auto-play feature, making it a bit more like real TV. It also shows a small summary pane on the lower left of the screen as each video loads. This makes for a pleasant viewing experience with minimal user interaction required. Overall, the channel offers a wealth of news information. It is probably the best news channel on Apple TV for Americans.

Price: free

Tip: “Top Stories” on the main Featured view is the best way to get the latest news from ABC. Simply start the first video and the auto-play feature will play all of the latest news videos.

ABC News on Apple TV

ACC Sports

Fans of college sports can keep up-to-date with their favorite teams using the ACC Sports and Campus Insiders channel for Apple TV. Although the channel carries the Atlantic Coast Conference brand, college sports conferences such as the PAC 12, Big 12 and others are featured on this Apple TV channel.

The ACC sports channel doesn’t feature live or on demand games in their entirety. Content includes game highlights, standings, and college athletics shows such as The Seth Davis Show, Inside the Mountain West, and Inside the Tourney.

The ACC Sports channel features an easy-to-use interface. The top menu allows viewers to browse content by categories such as ACC, Campus Insiders and Most Recent. Users can also search through a vast collection of programs and video clips. Viewers can browse specific conferences and teams by clicking on Campus Insiders from the top menu and navigating the Conferences category. Clicking on a conference will display a list of schools and clips.

Unlike some Apple TV sports channels, ACC Sports lacks an app-like way to browse standings and statistics. Users can still find this information, organized by team, however the information is presented with short videos. This isn’t necessarily a shortcoming, as the videos present insight and analysis of teams and their competitors. The ability to browse content by sport seems like a much-needed improvement. It is possible to use the search feature to find a specific sport.

Price: free

Tip: Use the search feature to find information about a specific sport or team.

ACC Sports for Apple TV

AOL On

America Online was once the leading Internet service provider (ISP) and web portal. After the .com meltdown and the explosive growth of Google, America Online became less relevant. When their merger with Time Warner proved unsuccessful, AOL was spun off into a separate company. AOL is building itself as a media company, acquiring The Huffington Post, MapQuest, Moviefone and other media holdings.

The AOL On channel for Apple TV offers news and information programming. The main screen features many different content “channels”, however, this term is misleading. These are more categories than channels, and include topics such as news, entertainment, tech, sports, home, food, business and more. Each channel has a row of associated videos. The news stories provided are informative and up-to-date. The main screen also features a scrolling marquee with top stories.

From the top menu, users can browse shows from AOL On. Currently, there are 25 shows available to Apple TV viewers. The shows are mainly about technology and entrepreneurship, but also include diverse topics such as tattoos, auto racing, and parenting. It’s a veritable potpourri of random content. Users can also search content from the top menu.

Price: free

Tip: Check out the food channel on AOL On for great recipe ideas.

AOL On for Apple TV

Apple Events

Apple is known to host engaging keynote events. These happenings are shrouded in secrecy as techies ponder the new creations that Apple will unveil. Most people will never get invited to these events. Even if they’re hosted at the Moscone Center, only a few thousand people can attend. Unless you work for a major media outlet, chances are you won’t be invited. For everyone else, Apple TV features the Apple Events channel.

The Apple Events channel features live streaming of the latest Apple event. If you’re interested new Apple product features, it’s worth watching. The Apple Event channel is not a permanent fixture on Apple TV. It appears before an Apple event and is removed within days. Viewers can watch the event live or on demand.

Price: free

Tip: If you missed the latest Apple event and the Apple Events channel is no longer on the menu, try downloading the Podcast. Apple posts all of their major events as Podcasts, which don’t expire. You can even watch some of the old events with Steve Jobs. (continue…)

Apple Events on Apple TV

next page →





More from Appledystopia:

69 thoughts on “Apple TV Channels

    • Yes, there are many ways to get free yoga instruction on Apple TV. The easiest and best is to subscribe to a Yoga podcast. First, launch the Podcasts channel on your Apple TV. Once inside the Podcast channel, click the menu button on your Apple TV remote to display the Podcasts menu. Go to the Search menu option and enter “yo”. As you can see, there are many options. One of the top results, “yogamazing” offers several full-length yoga instruction videos. Select “yogamazing” (or whatever you prefer) from the list on the right side of the screen and click the center button. You should see a screen with a YOGAmazing icon, which is highlighted with a blue border. Click the center select button and you will see a list of yoga videos. You can also subscribe to the Podcast, which will place an icon on the Podcast channel main menu.

      There are other options. I’m sure YouTube is full of yoga videos. There are also apps that can beam yoga videos to your Apple TV with AirPlay.

    • Unfortunately, the Disney channel is not free. Like some Apple TV channels, it requires a cable, satellite or telco (u-verse) subscription for activation. You have to go to your TV provider’s website to activate the Disney channel on Apple TV. If you don’t have cable or a supported TV provider, you can’t activate the channel.

      Although streaming video is not new, there are still exclusive deals between content providers (Disney) and cable companies. If they let everyone get anything online, without cable, no one would subscribe to cable. This is the leverage they use to keep people subscribing to cable.

      The times are changing. This year, both HBO and Showtime allow anyone to subscribe to their services, without cable. Disney and others will likely follow suit. In the meantime, you can access children’s programming on PBS, Netflix, Hulu and even HBO. HBO actually started producing Sesame Street. If you need to see a Disney show or movie, you can also purchase it on iTunes.

      I have had Apple TV for four years now, and I cancelled cable when I bought it. I don’t miss out on anything except an expensive cable bill!

    • I am not affiliated with Apple, so I don’t offer any channels. I am simply describing what is available on Apple TV. Many people use both Apple TV and cable. I think people want an accurate description of Apple TV channels, rather than buying one and finding out the hard way.

      Channels requiring cable subscriptions are indicative of the collusion between cable companies and networks. This partnership is starting to dissolve. Channels like HBO and Showtime now allow direct subscriptions, without cable. Other networks will follow suit. There is a reliable rumor that Apple is negotiating a live channel lineup for Apple TV. It will be the major cable and local networks available without a cable or satellite subscription. Also, Apple TV 4 will feature the App Store. You can’t use real apps on a cable box. Apple TV is really a computer and uses the same processor as an iPhone and a variant of iOS — tvOS.

      If you like cable channels, you should stick with cable. I cancelled cable 4 years ago, and don’t miss it at all. The digital cable boxes have horrible user interfaces and are very buggy. The on demand options are incomplete. My cable service, even with new wiring, would break down once a month and I had to wait 4 days for a technician, then I had to be home all day.

      I haven’t missed out on anything. Any show I follow is either on HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Hulu or iTunes. I may pay $10-30 for a season of a show on iTunes, but between the few subscriptions I juggle and iTunes purchases, I spend a lot less than cable. More importantly, I don’t have to ever use that horrible cable box or wait around all day for the cable guy to fix a service that constantly breaks. I found cable to be a horrible experience. Some people like it.

      I never watched most of the channels on cable TV. Cable seems to be loaded with reality and food shows. I would much rather watch HBO, Showtime, Hulu or Netflix, and buy or rent from iTunes to fill in the gaps.

      There are a lot of free channels. PBS, SKY News, CBS News, ABC News, Crackle and many others are free. Some channels only require cable subscriptions for full activation, but you can watch some content for free. I don’t feel like I have missed out on anything. I have more content than I can possibly watch. In fact, I cancelled Netflix and Hulu because I wasn’t using them, but I will subscribe again later.

      Additionally, iOS apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch enable beaming content to Apple TV using AirPlay. For example, I can download the NBC app for my iPhone and beam shows onto my Apple TV for free. My local news station, KRON, offers an app that can beam their live newscasts to Apple TV using AirPlay.

      There’s so much to watch on Apple TV, I’m not bothered if some legacy cable channels are requiring cable subscriptions for activation. The few good shows they have are either on Hulu or iTunes.

      • It all depends on how you watch television and what you watch. For me, the 500 channels of food and reality shows was a lot of garbage to sift through. The UIs on cable boxes are terrible and the on demand selections are usually incomplete. It was a lot more work for me to have cable, because, even if I subscribed to HBO, they didn’t offer everything on demand, so I had to order Netflix DVDs to fill in the gaps. I had to remember to record shows with the DVR, and if I found a great show midway through the season, if I was lucky, I could find it on Hulu. With cable, I had to supplement my viewing with Hulu and Netflix. It was a horribly fragmented user experience, and expensive too.

        When I had cable, I subscribed to HBO and other premium channels. I now have HBO NOW and no cable subscription. I am re-watching shows that I partially watched when I had cable and HBO. I am realizing that I missed a lot of episodes, thanks to cable. My combined bill, with Internet connectivity and services is less than $70 a month. Of course, if someone subscribes to every service and sports package, it adds up.

    • Unfortunately, that channel doesn’t exist on Apple TV. You can try the MLB channel or perhaps use AirPlay with an iOS app that can play those games. A lot of streaming sports content providers block in-market games.

    • Yes. Mac OS X (10.8 Mountain Lion or later) has native support for AirPlay, but it only works on newer models of Macs: iMac (Mid 2011 or later), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or later), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or later), MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or later), Mac Pro (Late 2013 or later).

      If you have an older Mac, older version of OS X or use Windows, you can still use AirPlay. I have a 2009 Mac Pro, so it does not have native support for AirPlay. I use AirParrot, which is excellent and only costs $10. AirParrot works on Mac OS X, Windows and ChromeOS.

      There are also some free options if you look around. My advice — don’t bother fiddling with these. AirParrot is good and inexpensive.

        • Most cable TV providers using their App will not allow Airplay, ex Time Warner Cable. You will get a message telling you to directly connect your device to the TV with a cable. So paranoid that someone might record the commercials.

          • Wow… Is this true of AirPlay screen mirroring too?

            The cable companies are so desperate to keep people using their old, stale technology. I cut the cord 5 years ago, and couldn’t be happier.

  1. When compared to ROKU, Apple TV would have to improve significantly just to suck. Once again, Apple lists choices. It’s a pathetic channel line-up when compared to ROKU.

    • ROKU has more channels, but their integration with devices isn’t as good as Apple TV. With AirPlay, you can beam anything on to Apple TV, which adds a lot of content. There are thousands of apps that can beam content onto Apple TV. Basically, anything you can play on an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or any computer (Mac, Windows, ChromeOS, Windows) can be viewed on Apple TV.

      If you don’t have any devices, ROKU is a better option. If you have an iOS device or any computer, Apple TV can play more content.

      • I bought this apple tv4 thingy few days ago, sware to god, it just sucks. I mean being an indian you don’t get any apps at all. there is no sony intertainment, ditto, or others apps. it just sucks for me. I only enojying so far is dailymotion and youtube.

        • Thanks for your post. Living in the US, it’s easy to forget that Apple products aren’t the same everywhere. I’d imagine, a lot of the services that I use every day aren’t available in India. So there’s no HBO NOW, Netflix, Hulu or anything like that? I suppose iTunes is available, but it’s very expensive. I use it rarely, only for shows and movies that I really love (Star Wars, The Walking Dead). They also have a 99 cent movie of the week rental. Sometimes it’s pretty good. I rented “99 Homes” a few weeks ago for 99 cents. It’s a good movie.

          I read that Tim Cook visited and really pushed Apple TV. Without the services, it’s worthless, but I think they will come.

          Even in the US, although we have great content options, most of them require a cable subscription. That doesn’t make sense. Why not just watch the show on cable? It’s because of the collusion between cable companies and the networks. Comcast (the largest cable provider) owns NBC. HBO NOW was a huge deal, because they broke ties with the cable industry and offered HBO to people who don’t have cable.

          I would hope you have access to most of the games. One game I highly recommend is Asphalt 8. It’s free, but I am really into it and have dropped about $15 in in-app purchases. They got me. It’s about the only great game on Apple TV. It’s a super fun racing game, and one steers the car by tilting the remote. It’s surprising how many racing games use the touchpad, which makes the game unplayable. I would give AirWings a thumbs up (hey, isn’t that a cola beverage in India?). It’s paper airplane combat. Very fun, but it’s hard to join multiplayer games because there just aren’t enough people playing.

          Hang in there. It will get better.

      • I sometimes have buffering issues with Apple TV, but it ends up being a problem with either my ISP or the content provider. My main problem with Apple TV 2 is that it reboots itself repeatedly, about 1-5 times a night, often in the middle of a show. There’s a pretty long thread on the Apple Support Forum about it. The problem has been around for about a year and they haven’t provided an update to fix it. It’s a bit disappointing, but I am able to enjoy programs, for the most part. There have been a few frustrating moments where it reboots itself, I spend 10 minutes getting back to the place in the show, and then it reboots again. Whatever happened to “it just works”? I know, they don’t say that anymore, but Apple TV is the buggiest technology product I have ever owned. Even back when I used Windows, it never repeatedly crashed like this.

        As for the new one, I have read the Apple Support Forum, and there are a lot of problems. A few customers say their most frequent destination is Settings > General > Restart.

        • It depends on your Internet connection, location and also what you’re watching. Content is hosted on the service provider’s servers. Some of them host their content in excellent data centers, with content distribution networks to serve numerous locales.

          I’ve heard great things about Roku, particularly their stick device. If you’re not vested in the Apple ecosystem, I would recommend a non-Apple TV appliance, and probably something inexpensive. This industry just isn’t there yet and most people will need to supplement their TV appliance with a cable, satellite or telco (U-verse) subscription.

    • Absolutely. Hulu offers Survivor and Big Brother is available via iTunes. A season pass for Big Brother costs $19.99 for HD and less for SD. If these are unaffordable, check out the iOS apps for these networks. They often provide the shows for free. You can beam them to Apple TV via AirPlay, but it doesn’t always look great. If you have a computer, you can check out the networks’ websites. They also sometimes offer the shows for free. You can beam anything from a computer to Apple TV using AirParrot.

      Apple TV offers free news channels, such as Sky News, PBS, CBS News, ABC News, WSJ, Bloomberg and others. The ones I just mentioned are free and do not require a cable, satellite or telco subscription. I watch ABC News and the PBS NewsHour. CBS News (CBSN) and Sky offer live 24/7 streaming news. The others offer limited live coverage (not 24/7), but they constantly update top stories.

      You sometimes have to buy shows or pay for services on Apple TV. I subscribe to HBO NOW and I have recently purchased season passes to Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead. When I compare these costs to cable service, it’s much cheaper to use Apple TV. If you aren’t into the 500 channels of garbage on cable, Apple TV may be a good fit.

      There are strong rumors that Apple will unveil a live streaming channel package soon. It is estimated that they will offer 30 channels — the major networks and cable channels. The service will cost less than cable.

    • CBS just launched on Apple TV. It is a subscription service. The CBS All Access subscription costs $5.99/mo and gives you access to all CBS programs, in addition to a lot of old shows like Taxi, Perry Mason, I Love Lucy and others. If you are looking for Big Brother and Survivor, CBS All Access is probably a better deal than iTunes or Hulu, if you don’t mind commercials. You may just want to connect an antenna to your TV, but then you have to tune in when the show is on. CBS All Access provides on-demand access for shows.

      I just published a channel description for CBS on this article. The service just launched a few days ago.

  2. That sound great, but I forgot to tell that I am in Canada. Is Hulu is available in Canada? I know that Shomie is. Thanks for your reply.
    I really am debating between Roku and Apple tv. I own Ipad and Iphone and I really like Apple stuff but I want to cut it with cable. I feel like I am paying money for not much at all but Apple can also be expensive. I heard that there is a lot more free content on Roku versus Apple T.V

    • There’s some tricks as to how to get Hulu and other services in Canada. You can use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) based in the U.S. There are also some other ways. Here’s a site with some information, but I can’t take responsibility for the outcome. Use it at your own risk and try to find out if it is legitimate before diving in:

      http://www.howtogetitincanada.com/how-to-watch-hulu-in-canada/

      Roku offers more free content as built in channels, but Apple TV offers AirPlay, which allows you to beam content from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or relatively new Mac to Apple TV. Basically, any app that can play video can be displayed on Apple TV. Furthermore, software like AirParrot allows you to beam content via AirPlay from older Macs, Windows and even ChromeOS. AirParrot 2 costs $14.99 USD. There are some free options if you look around.

      Roku is not a bad option, but with Apple TV and AirPlay, the sky’s the limit. Also, keep in mind, Apple is much better at cementing content deals. I had HBO NOW back in April and it just came to Roku recently. Apple will always out-maneuver Roku when it comes to getting the best content. I personally only subscribe to HBO NOW, because they have so much to watch. But I do use the free Apple TV channels like PBS and ABC News every day. Apple TV might not have 1000 channels, but they have the right ones. Everything else can be beamed with AirPlay.

    • Apple TV doesn’t offer a built-in TNT channel, but you can use the iOS app or website to beam it on Apple TV with AirPlay. I’m going to download the app and try it out. I’ll update this comment with some notes as to picture quality and whether it has native AirPlay support (vs. using AirPlay Mirroring). They also have a website that streams free video. That can also be beamed onto Apple TV using AirPlay on a newer Mac, or apps like AirParrot and AirServer on older Macs, Windows PCs and even ChromeOS.

      They might offer an Apple TV channel in the future. I think the reason there are some holdouts is because Apple takes a slice of their revenues, be it subscriptions or advertising.

  3. I am considering buying either Roku or Apple TV (want to get rid of cable). Does Apple TV include live channels (not recorded stuff).

    1) For example, Roku has many live channels (same content at the same time as if you were to view the channel on cable or thru an antenna). I am interested in channels like Discovery, Discovery Kids, Disney, History, Science, and Startz.
    2) Does Apple TV have channels in Spanish? Can you change the audio (like when I view Starz on cable I can set the program to English, Spanish, subtitles, etc.).
    3) For Puerto Rico, does anyone know if Apple TV works here (some services only work in the continental USA)? If Apples works in Puerto Rico, do they offer any local news or channels?

    • Apple TV doesn’t offer a lot of live channels, but it has some. For the most part, everything is on demand. A few channels, like CBS News, Sky News, Showtime, CBS and others do have live channels. Apple is rumored to be negotiating with the major TV and cable networks. They will be offering a live TV channel lineup. Personally, this doesn’t thrill me. I prefer on demand, as long as the show is released about the same time as it airs. With HBO NOW, I actually watch new shows before they air, because I live on the West Coast. With iTunes, I usually have to wait until the next day.

      Apple TV does offer Spanish language programming, depending on the channel or content. They have the Fusion channel, which is Latino programming. HBO offers Spanish language programming. Apple TV can handle multiple language tracks and subtitles. As long as the content provides it, Apple TV can do it.

      Unfortunately, Apple does a poor job of explaining which channels are available in Puerto Rico. They do offer a website that explains which channels are offered in different nations, but they don’t delineate between Puerto Rico and the United States. I did some research, and there is no clear explanation of what’s available for Apple TV in Puerto Rico.

      In your case, I would say go with Roku. They seem to take the Puerto Rican market seriously. Apple is just starting to take their TV platform seriously, whereas it’s all Roku does. The main reason I went with Apple TV is because it integrates with my Apple products. I can beam content from my iPhone, iPad or Mac using AirPlay, which opens up a lot of possibilities. I can browse content on my Mac directly from Apple TV. It’s a great device for people who are invested in the Apple ecosystem. In your case, Roku may be a better option.

    • Not as built-in Apple TV channels, but you can usually use the app or website to beam content to Apple TV with AirPlay. Keep in mind, the new Apple TV 4 just came out today. A lot of these networks will be developing apps for Apple TV now. Before Apple TV had an App Store, networks had to work closely with Apple to launch a channel. Now the process is much more open and available. I expect to see virtually every network come on board. 2016 will be the year of the cord-cutter. I cancelled cable back in 2012 and couldn’t be happier!

    • On the new Apple TV, there’s the Livestream app that has live, streaming TV channels from all over the world. They have Arabic channels. I quickly glanced through the popular channels, and they had CNN Arabic. As far as the 2nd and 3rd generation models, there aren’t any Arabic channels, at least in the United States. Of course, with AirPlay, you can beam just about anything to your Apple TV from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or computer.

  4. I hear a lot about airplay but not exactly sure how it works. Is it the same thing as “casting to the TV?” Meaning, if you want to watch something on your Apple TV, you have to first get out your phone or computer, choose something, and then watch TV? (no more sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and a remote, you kinda have to plan what you’re gonna watch?) So if your cell phone dies, you have to plug it in and charge it so you can turn it on in order to watch tv? I’m just trying to figure out the logistics to see if it is a better experience than cable tv. Thank you.

    • It’s possible that The Big Ten Network and CW will offer tvOS apps — apps that run on the new Apple TV 4. There doesn’t seem to be much interest in adding new channels to the older Apple TV models. There hasn’t been any additions since Apple TV 4 launched.

      You could download the BTN2Go app in the App Store and see if it will work with AirPlay. The CW also has an iOS app which could possibly support AirPlay. If the apps don’t directly support AirPlay, you can try AirPlay screen mirroring. AirPlay screen mirroring doesn’t always look good. In some cases, the developers disable screen mirroring support.

      If these workarounds don’t work, you can always try to use their websites and beam it to Apple TV using either AirPlay (on a newer Mac) or AirParrot 2 ($14.99, works on Windows, Mac, ChromeOS and Linux).

      Never underestimate the power of AirPlay! If they don’t offer a built in channel, AirPlay is often a good way to go. I use it regularly to play Spotify music on my Apple TV, because they have yet to launch a tvOS app. I found Apple Music to offer poor quality — too buggy to justify $10/mo.

  5. Is this the most recent lineup list? I did notice some channels missing, like Freeform (formerly ABC Family) for example. I have also heard that with the newly released Apple TV 4th gen, you can download additional channel apps (previously only available to your iPad or iPhone) – is this true?

    • It is recent, except I missed Freeform, because it appears they didn’t launch it on Apple TV 2. Are you sure it launched on the older Apple TVs? I never saw it on my Apple TV 2, which I used until Dec 2015. I looked at their FAQ and they claim it is only available on Apple TV 4. I also spent several minutes on Apple’s site. It appears that they overhauled the content and no longer provide a list of Apple TV 3 channels. It’s all about Apple TV 4 now, and they provide minimal information about the older model, which they still sell.

      This article only covers Apple TV 2 and 3 channels, not Apple TV 4 tvOS apps. As far as the new model, I can’t provide a list of tvOS apps, because there are over 5000 and it increases every day. Even if I worked on it 24/7, I wouldn’t be able to keep up, and I think the App Store covers all information about it better than I could. A lot of apps even have preview videos and multiple screen shots.

      I provided this content for older Apple TV models because there are a finite number of channels, only a few were added each month and there aren’t any other good sources of information. Apple’s website had a list, but not much in the way of descriptions or screen shots. Another non-Apple site had a list, but the descriptions were short, the screenshots were bad and they stopped working on it a few years ago. I am keeping this article posted because they still sell Apple TV 3, and even when they discontinue it, some people will still be buying used ones. I have been writing a lot about Apple TV 4, and even have an unofficial manual. I do plan on writing reviews for tvOS apps — both good and bad apps. Of course, I won’t be able to review 5000+ apps.

      The thing about Apple TV 4 is that some “channels” on the older models are not yet available in the tvOS App Store. There’s now over 5000 apps available for Apple TV 4. Since it takes effort to create an app, some of the smaller content providers haven’t developed tvOS apps yet. Even Spotify doesn’t have a tvOS app yet (and they never made one for the older models).

      A lot of the tvOS apps are really lame. It’s kind of like when the App Store first launched for the iPhone. The low hanging fruit tend to be the first apps. Unfortunately, because Apple TV will never sell as well as the iPhone, I don’t expect it to appeal to developers as much as the iOS App Store. But it is true that some apps are available on the new model that aren’t on the old one. It’s also true that some channels on the older models don’t yet have corresponding tvOS apps on the new one.

      Also, the new Apple TV 4 is quite buggy. I was hoping the new tvOS 9.2 release would resolve some of these issues, but it is actually buggier. It has frozen on me a few times and I am getting even more network problems (slow connections, as though apps are not closing network connections). I am seeing the same overall problem as with my last Apple TV. They break things with updates. They are not doing regression testing. If they are, they aren’t fixing the defects. It’s pretty standard for QAT to run a full suite of regression tests with each build. They may be doing this, but just not fixing the bugs.

      I like it, but it is not the quality one would expect from Apple. After all, they’re not putting their best engineers on the Apple TV team. My last Apple TV 2 used to randomly reboot itself. After doing some research, I found that a lot of people had that problem. This one isn’t any better or worse in terms of overall quality. It looks better. Siri is useful, but it can also cause the OS to freeze. Apple’s own tvOS apps (especially iTunes TV Shows) are some of the worst apps. That’s true with iOS too. Notes, Reminders, Safari, Mail — they’re some of the worst apps in terms of quality and functionality. There are some great games. I really like Asphalt 8. These types of racing games work well with the remote, but other games are difficult to play. Apple has a policy that all apps and games must work with the Siri remote. Users can buy a game controller, but Apple’s requirement limits the type of games available on Apple TV 4.

        • From what I understand, Freeform is only available on the new Apple TV. It’s a tvOS app. I have the new Apple TV, but this article is about the built-in channels that are available on the 2nd and 3rd generation models.

          As far as the fourth generation model, I am not writing a piece on all the available channels (content apps). There are thousands of content apps for tvOS. It simply would not be possible. The App Store is sufficient for browsing channels on the new model.

          Since Apple still sells the 3rd generation model, this article is still salient. Also, people will still hold on to their 2nd and 3rd generation models for a few years. I know quite a few people who are content with their 2nd or 3rd generation Apple TV. To be honest, most of the apps on the new Apple TV are kind of lame. The most important content channels — Netflix, HBO NOW/GO, Hulu, etc. — are all available on the 2nd and 3rd generation models.

    • I did some research, but I when I tapped on Watch Eurosport (on their site), I only got a blank web page. I checked out their app in the App Store, but they didn’t have any information. I’ll download it and see if it supports AirPlay. Since Eurosport does not offer an Apple TV channel, the only way to watch it on Apple TV is using AirPlay.

      AirPlay lets you beam just about any video (or audio stream) to Apple TV. Sometimes developers disable it, but they can’t do this on a computer. So if you can watch it on your computer, you can beam it to Apple TV. If you don’t have a relatively new Mac, you may have to buy software to use AirPlay. The best option, AirParrot 2, costs $14.99. There are some free AirPlay utilities too. AirParrot 2 runs on Mac OS X, Windows and even ChromeOS.

    • That does suck! I really hate it when they disable AirPlay so you can only watch it on your device. Have you tried using AirPlay Mirroring? Sometimes it will work, but it usually doesn’t look very good. Connecting your iOS device to the TV directly with an HDMI cable can often work, but they can disable that too. I checked out their website, and they require a TV provider, so using AirPlay from a computer won’t work unless you already have cable. If you have cable, what’s the point?

      I have to admit, it is frustrating to see how some networks are dealing with the transition.

  6. Any updates on tnt for apple tv? With the other channe;s, I hook up and either get asked for an activation code, or asked for my xfinity account. I don’t like airplay cause it really drains my iphone battery. Since I have an xfinity acct and tnt is in my bundle, why can’t apple tv offer a tv app? I heard Comcast was being a hard ass about this when it comes to contracts with Apple. Cannot even use a ‘workaround’ url.

    As I said, I really don’t want to depend on airplay to watch 3 hrs of tnt.

    • TNT is a holdout on all TV appliances. It appears that Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and other devices also don’t have TNT. I expect that they will come into the fold, eventually.

      Apple has been enabling this collusion between the TV provider industry (cable, satellite, telco) and networks. At the WWDC, they announced single sign-on for channels/apps that require a TV provider subscription. While this is convenient for those who have cable, it kind of defeats the point of a TV appliance. Apple TV can only be an adjunct to cable, satellite or U-verse. This hurts both consumers and Apple. They could sell a lot more Apple TVs if the industry didn’t have this level of collusion.

      As a former cable subscriber, I cut the cord out of frustration with cable. There were problems all the time, especially with on-demand and Internet access. These features would not work for days, and it happened monthly. All they could do is send out a technician 4 days after the problem (no on-demand or Internet access for 4 days, which meant no working from home). They fixed it and it broke again in a month.

      In the SF Bay area, most people live in older homes and apartment buildings. The cable infrastructure is horrible. They actually re-cabled my condo, and it still didn’t work, because the distribution boxes were old and they refused to fix them. The solution to the outage was always in the distribution box, not in my home. They simply refused to fix it and felt that 4 days without Internet access and on-demand was acceptable. My attempts to get them to pro-rate the charges and even disputing the charge with my bank were unsuccessful. This is why Comcast regularly wins the “Golden Poo” award for worst customer service. Their solution? Let’s call it “Xfinity” and make some commercials with Jim Gaffigan to convince people that we’ve changed.

      As much as I believe this madness can’t go on, there’s no sign it will end. Apple’s rumored TV channel lineup seems to be the victim of stalled negotiations. Technology is not the limitation here. It’s all about the TV provider business that refuses to be relegated to Internet service providers. The margins are thin in the ISP industry. Then you have corporations like Comcast that own NBC/Universal… I’m all for corporations making money, but come on, how long can this go on? TV appliances like Apple TV can’t just be adjuncts. How many boxes and services do we need just to watch a show? And yes, AirPlay and other “Rube Goldberg” solutions are ridiculous. Not only will it drain your iPhone’s battery, but it will shorten the overall life of your iPhone’s battery. I’ve also found AirPlay to be a bit buggy after the recent overhaul. I use it mainly for Spotify, and I get the occasional audio dropout. (But it is still more reliable than Apple Music, even when used directly on Apple TV.)

      I’m probably even more frustrated than you with all of this. The single sign-on coming to tvOS simply makes it easier for consumers to tolerate the collusion. Now you can register with your TV provider once, and all of the channels will be activated. But you still need to pay for cable. At the very least, they could sell a service to provide a surrogate subscription, just for your TV appliance. I might very well pay Comcast, Xfinity (or whatever they’re called) $20-30 a month to just be able to activate these Apple TV channels. (Please, leave that power-guzzling, humongous cable box with the 100-button remote in the van.)

      I can only imagine these meetings must be like a viper pit. There’s so much money to be made, and consumers can have such a better experience, but due to short-sighted greed, it just isn’t happening. It really is short-sighted. Apple, TV providers and content creators (networks, movie studios) would all stand to gain if they could create a subscription service for people who don’t want cable. Some people can’t get cable, particularly dorm-dwelling college students and people who travel frequently. There’s an untapped market…

      I would never, ever, ever sign up for cable again. No matter where I lived, it’s always been a horrible experience. I don’t think Internet service will be delivered though 1970s coaxial cable for much longer. I think the cable companies know this, which is why they desperately cling on to this obsolete business model.

    • You can now get TNT and a bunch of other cable channels on Apple TV 4, without a cable subscription. Sling offers an Apple TV app and service providing 25 live, streaming cable channels for $20 a month. TNT is one of the included channels. They have additional packages that can provide up to 65 channels, including HBO.

      I’m going to use the free trial and write an article about Sling. I think it’s a game changer and a vital service for cord-cutters. My only concern is that it only gets 3/5 stars in the App Store. I really need to use and evaluate the product before I fully recommend it. That said, there’s no harm in going for the free trial.

  7. My family only watches a handful of channels. Trying to see what’s a better deal for us. We have 5-6 TVs that we use. Do we have to buy one for each TV?
    Any idea of prices for these channels?
    ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox for basic channels. Then the others:
    Disney
    Nickelodeon
    HGTV
    AMC
    TBS
    TNT
    TrueTV
    All ESPNs. Like 5 ish?
    The big one is FoxSports for MLB
    Any thoughts for us?
    Thanks.

    • In your case, I would recommend sticking with cable. It’s the best and most cost-effective way to get your desired channel lineup. The problem is that the streaming video industry is fragmented by competition. A service like Sling TV is about as close as you can get, but they don’t offer NBC or CBS. To get NBC, you need a cable/satellite subscription. CBS offers all of their programming for $5/mo with their All Access service. You’d really need to subscribe to many services to get this (Sling TV, CBS All Access, Hulu, etc.) and you would still be missing some of these channels.

      Hang in there. The industry is changing.

      As for Apple TV, you do need to buy one for each TV. That’s all the more reason I recommend sticking with cable. Cutting the cord isn’t for everyone (yet).

  8. To the question regarding getting broadcast TV and selected cable channels:

    We put an antenna on the roof, get excellent high-def TV from all local network affiliates (better than cable/satellite). Using DVR called Tablo, we can record any of those TV stations, no monthly fee (and Tablo now has app for Apple TV, long had one for Roku, so any TV in house with Roku/ATV can watch DVR).

    Sling TV has split into two services (Blue and Orange). Blue features Disney-owned channels like ESPN, Freeform and Disney Channel, with limitation of one TV streaming at a time.

    Orange, instead of the Disney-owned channels has channels owned by Fox (Fox Sports 1, FX, FXX, and some regional Fox Sports networks) and NBC-U (USA, Bravo, Syfy Tru TV, Comcast Sportsnet, NBC Sportsnet), and allows 3 streaming sets at a time. If you’re big on the Olympics, this bundle makes sense.

    BOTH feature Turner channels (CNN, TNT, TBS), plus HGTV, Food Network, BBC America and others.

    Blue is $20, Orange is $25, and both are $40. Blue is the original service, we recently switched to Orange. My experience is that the services are robust and reliable.

    Easy to buy returned Roku devices (3rd gen or newer) on Amazon, or used through eBay, for much less money. Mission-critical is a reliable internet connection with good bandwidth, along with a MIMO wifi router.

  9. I want to add a new channel in Apple TV. Could you please instruct me how I can add new channel in Apple TV? Please let me know.

    • If you have the new Apple TV 4, just go to the App Store on the Home screen, browse for an app and tap the “Get” button (or button with the price of the app). The app will be installed on the Home screen. If you have an Apple TV 3 or earlier, you can’t install apps on it. Apple controls the “channels” on older models of Apple TV.

  10. Why is CBC not one of the Apple TV channels offered in Canada. There are a bunch of U.S. networks but no national network in Canada!! This is not right for Canadians who have Apple TV.

    • It’s up to the network. There are a also a bunch of new channel bundles available on Apple TV — SlingTV, Sony PlayStation Vue, DIRECTV NOW. Hulu will be launching a similar service too. Check these out, as they may offer CBC.

      The problem is with negotiations. These bundles are usually missing some channels. For example, PlayStation Vue doesn’t have Comedy Central. DIRECTV NOW doesn’t have CBS. Since this technology is new, it’s an opportunity to renegotiate fees. I think a lot of people are better off just sticking with cable until it all gets sorted out.

      From what I could find, CBC does offer a tvOS app. It just launched a few days ago.

    • Apple TV works over the Internet, so theoretically, you don’t need cable to view these channels. Unfortunately, in the real world, these networks look at Apple TV as an adjunct to cable. Many of these channels require a cable account in order to activate the channel. Basically, you go to your cable provider’s website and create an online account and use these to unlock the Apple TV channels. Kind of defeats the point, right?

      The good news is that new, online-only services are popping up that provide a bundle of channels for Apple TV (and your iPhone, iPad and computer) without a cable subscription. There’s Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW. Hulu is supposed to be launching a similar service soon. I figure Comcast will also join the ranks soon enough.

      There are still some limitations with these services. The most obvious flaw is that some channels are missing. PlayStation Vue doesn’t offer Comedy Central. DIRECTV NOW doesn’t have CBS in most markets. Beyond the missing channels, sometimes content is blacked out. I was watching a program on DIRECTV NOW on my Apple TV, and the screen went blank and a message appeared that the show is blacked out.

      Until all of these problems and deals are sorted out, these online channel bundles are inferior to cable. Since they are new, some of the apps are buggy. DIRECTV NOW for Apple TV is a train wreck! I expect they will eventually fix these bugs, but it’s almost like they didn’t beta test it and their quality assurance testers aren’t very good. For now, I would recommend that if cable is important and you use it a lot, stick with it. It’s still better than these online channel bundles, although some of them are quite affordable ($20 – $35 a month).

      Personally, I canceled cable long ago and made do with the 2nd generation Apple TV and upgraded to the 4th gen model last year. I prefer services like Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu and iTunes. I get news for free on CBSN, Sky News and YouTube. I don’t watch a lot of TV, so it worked out well for me. I’m also a bit of a TV snob. I like the great shows that are available on HBO, Netflix, etc. I’m not into reality shows, food shows (with the exception of Bourdain and Zimmern) and infomercials. That’s a big reason why I canceled cable. I was paying over $100 and had to sift through a lot of garbage to find what I wanted. I don’t like channel surfing. I don’t like tuning in at a designated time.

      The nice thing about cutting the cord is that I can switch between services. I can subscribe to Netflix for a few months, and when I get bored, I cancel and sign up for HBO NOW. It’s so easy to do this. This leaves me with a lot of savings, so I can rent movies or buy TV shows on iTunes. I don’t miss out on anything, and I’m still saving money.

      If you’re on the fence, there’s no harm in waiting. These devices and services will get cheaper and better. That said, Christmas time usually has the best deals on the devices. If you shop around, you can get a 32GB Apple TV 4 for less than $100.

    • Not really, at least not as a standalone device. While tvOS could possibly offer productivity apps, for now it doesn’t have any. It doesn’t even have a browser. At best, you can use an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and AirPlay Mirroring. With that setup, one could beam their iOS device screen onto Apple TV. I’m thinking of doing this with my iPhone and a bluetooth keyboard. It would be a great way to do a little light work in my living room. But really, a MacBook would just be so much better! I don’t even think an iPad is an acceptable substitute for a computer.

    • The closest thing I have is “Apple TV Channels by Cost”. Channels are sorted by cost and then alphabetically. This article only covers channels for the 2nd and 3rd generation models, but it’s still valid. People still have them and they are sold in the used market. Apple just stopped selling them fairly recently.

      An alphabetical list of apps for the fourth generation model isn’t possible. There are thousands of tvOS apps, and new ones are added every day. It would be a full time job to author that list. The best you can do is browse the iOS app store and they indicate whether an app is available for tvOS (Apple TV 4). But they do not have a website with tvOS apps listed.

Please leave a comment. Email, name and website fields are optional. Your comment will appear after being approved by the moderator.