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I’m not impressed by this offering. There’s not much content and the app is too simplistic. None of the videos piqued my interest. I watched one video about the Biosphere, which seemed sensational and tabloidesque. If you want quality documentary content, check out the PBS app for iOS, as well as Netflix and Hulu Plus. The Smithsonian Channel isn’t bad, it’s just not that great. I’m really hoping for a PBS Apple TV channel.
Disney Channel/Disney XD
Last, and certainly least, is the Disney Channel. This is another content channel that is only available to cable subscribers. Unlike ESPN or HBO, there is nothing available without a subscription. Furthermore, only a handful of cable subscribers can access Disney’s Apple TV offerings. The channels can be unlocked if you subscribe to AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Midcontinent Communications, Optimum, or Verizon FiOS. Quite a few major cable and satellite providers, such as Time Warner, are not eligible.
What’s the difference between the regular Disney Channel and Disney XD? The two channels are delineated by gender. The Disney Channel has content that appeals to girls. Disney XD is geared for boys. The latter used to be Jetix. Before that, it was FOX Kids.
Don’t Like A Channel?
Apple TV’s main screen is starting to get crowded. With so many services requiring cable or subscriptions, it’s a good idea to clean up the menu. This can be done using Parental Controls.
You don’t have to turn on the Parental Control feature. That would be annoying for many people. You can, however, show/hide icons on the main menu. To do this, simply navigate to Settings > General > Parental Controls. Turning on Parental Controls isn’t necessary. Instead, scroll down to the list of channels and toggle show/hide by clicking the center select button. I’ve been able to hide almost half of my Apple TV channels.
If you really want to get organized, you can move the icons on the main menu. Simply hold down the select button on any icon, except those on the top row. The icon will start to jiggle. Move the icon to the desired location. Press the select button when you’re done. Repeat this process until you get your Apple TV’s menu optimized.
I like to put my most accessed channel right below the Settings icon. Since I go to Settings to put my Apple TV to sleep, it wakes on the Settings page. Clicking menu takes me to the main menu, with the focus on the Settings icon. I have Netflix right below that. It’s the channel I watch the most. The next most-used channels (Hulu Plus and Podcasts) are either to the left or underneath Netflix. (continue…)