One of the great things about this time of year not specifically related to a holiday is that it's safe to just not do anything with a weekend and no one looks at you funny. After all, between the cold and the hazardous road conditions that can crop up in the blink of a metaphorical eye, staying in for the weekend with a pizza and Netflix just sounds like a good idea. Apple TV, meanwhile, wants to make it a bit easier to do just that—well, it won't be any help with the pizza part—by adding a set of new channels to its lineup that will give viewers plenty more to watch.
The channels include ABC, Bloomberg, Korean channel KORTV, and Sony's streaming service Crackle. These channels join a line of several others that have recently become part of the Apple TV lineup in recent months, including Yahoo Screen and PBS in the last month, as well as gains like Disney and Disney Junior, and there's word that Apple TV is in talks with Time Warner Cable as well as The CW to bring more content to Apple TV soon.
There is, however, a fairly significant downside to many of these new channels, in that said channels won't be available unless the viewer can authenticate with a television or satellite provider, which means many of the new channels won't be available to those engaging in cable-cutting practices.
Crackle, however, is likely to remain free as it's currently available online without the need for a cable or satellite provider, even if some of the shows are a bit, well, fragmented. For instance, most of the “All in the Family” episodes on Crackle are from season three, and some of these aren't immediately noticeable. Given “All in the Family”'s overall format, this may not be so much of a problem, but those wanting to see episode two, three, six, 11, 12, 15, 16, 18 or 19 will be oddly and sadly out of luck.
It's also kind of hard to swallow that ABC, an over-the-air network, requires authentication to view on Apple TV, but not on regular antenna-based television, nor on ABC's actual website, suggesting that once again the best piece of home theater equipment out there may actually be a real, full-on PC. It's funny, but many of the authentication requirements and the like found on streaming boxes and similar platforms just aren't found when the PC comes into play. It's always been odd to me that Hulu, for example, can't deliver episodes of SyFy's “Paranormal Witness” on the Roku box, but accessing Hulu with a PC proves no problem for spooky fun, at least, within a certain date range.
Still, new channels are welcome, and even with the authentication requirement will still likely prove valuable to users as a way to catch up on what was missed. It's a little off-putting, but there are still plenty of options out there for those looking to cut the cable but still keep up with television as we know it today. With winter coming on in full swing, it's worth knowing how to keep occupied for a weekend, and online video like Apple TV can do a great job on that front.
Contributing TechZone360 Writer
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