Apple TV 5.3: Worth Upgrading?

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Qello for Apple TV

Sky News was founded by Rupert Murdoch, owner of the News Corporation. The network is not without controversy. Critics feel the programming has a right-wing, conservative bias. The Wall Street Journal, which also has an Apple TV channel, is owned by Murdoch. However, most critics feel the WSJ is a left-leaning publication. Murdoch has his bases covered.

News is not objective. Beyond the subtle filtering, newspapers and news networks often endorse political candidates. Even the PBS NewsHour has to be mindful of who’s underwriting the program. If you don’t like Sky News, check out Podcasts and iOS apps from your preferred network. Many of the iOS news apps have AirPlay compatible video streams. I often watch news on my Apple TV using the PBS iOS app and Podcasts of the NBC Nightly News.

Qello

Fans of music can now find even more options on Apple TV. Qello, the largest collection of HD concerts and music documentaries, is now available. The service requires a $4.99/mo subscription, but with a 7 day free trial, it’s worth checking out.

Qello is available on many platforms other than Apple TV. The subscription gives your mobile device and web browser access to the music video service. Qello supports iOS, Android, and Windows Phone devices.

Crunchyroll

Asian media content provider Crunchyroll is now available on Apple TV. The service is based in the United States with a focus on Asian media. Fans of anime, drama, music, manga, auto racing and electronic entertainment will enjoy this new content channel.

You can watch free programs on Crunchyroll. There is also a premium membership plan. For $6.95/mo, one gains access to more programming. Crunchyroll is available on many platforms, including gaming consoles, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Roku, and Google TV.

Worth Upgrading?

The 5.3 update includes some stability improvements. Users would occasionally be presented with an error — “Cannot Connect to iTunes Store”. While infrequent, this problem could make it difficult to use many services on the device. This has been fixed in the 5.3 release. In my testing, I have not yet experienced this issue.

Apple TV did not prompt me for the upgrade. If this occurs, simply go to Settings > General > Update Software. Follow the onscreen instructions to install the update. It took about 5 minutes to do update my Apple TV. I think the patch was downloaded in the background before I initiated the update, because it didn’t need to download anything.

The 5.3 update for Apple TV is worth upgrading. In addition to 5 new content channels, the release offers greater stability. It looks like Apple is taking their set-top box much more seriously. Every few months, we’re presented with new features and options. The stability is improving. It’s actually becoming a real Apple product, instead of just a hobby.

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