Apple TV Adds HBO GO, ESPN

June 19, 2013

Apple’s venerable hobby got more content today, with the addition of HBO GO, ESPN, Sky News, Qello, and Crunchyroll.

Have no idea what the last two are, but the first three are much appreciated. A common hurdle to “cord cutting” has been the lack of live sports and news, and that bucket is partly filled with ESPN and Sky News. And the absence of the current season of popular HBO shows (Game of Thrones) in iTunes is now partly solved, too.

But of course I say “partly” because with HBO GO and ESPN, the full range of programming isn’t available unless you’re also a cable subscriber to those particular channels – which is rather annoying as I’ve “cut the cord.”┬áSo HBO GO seems essentially crippled, with all the pretty pictures leading to requests to enter an activation code. ESPN is a little kinder with some free content, but locks on the live stuff. So it looks like I’ll get the most use out of Sky News.

But one downside of more of these “apps” – we’re getting to the point where a “top down” approach is needed – a global search where you enter the name of a show and Apple TV finds it. The hapless spouse is already getting confused, wondering why she’s being asked to pay for a show that was free just the other night (she found the show in iTunes vs. Hulu Plus). Maybe Siri can help.

Second, the number of icons is getting rather unweildy. I have found a solution, though: turn on Parental Controls, and you now have the ability to hide apps from the main screen.

Still, it’s nice to see more “channels” in the form of apps make their way onto Apple TV. I just hope in the future the word “partly” doesn’t have to be part of the vocabulary when explaining this hobby.


  1. Mike Solin says:

    I like your idea of searching multiple services – sort of like an Apple-native version of this:

    It’s unfortunate that you still need a cable subscription for some of these – over $100 a month is pretty steep for how little TV I actually watch.

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