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Apple TV update gets, Netflix 5.1; quick hands-on [U]

updated 02:25 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011

Apple TV update adds games

(Update: NBA too) In a quiet companion update to iOS 4.3, Apple on Wednesday also added to the Apple TV. Those using Apple TV 4.2 (build 2060) can watch both live and archived games, including in HD where the option exists. Users can hop to particular plays or at bats and can play the version of the broadcast from either city.

The update requires at least a standard subscription worth either $100 a year or $20 per month. An Premium subscription should be necessary for the alternate broadcasts for either $120 per year or $25 per month.

We tried the update quickly, and while we didn't have an subscription to try, the interface is simple but effective. A basic layout lets you see live games, the overall standings, and a breakdown by the individual team. The layout for each is clean and surprisingly attractive, with live scores and basic stats about the game even if you're not a subscriber. Our chief complaint is that the Apple TV remote can still be unwieldy at times for navigating large amounts of information, although thankfully this is less often than in some parts of the Apple TV interface.

Other updates include 5.1-channel Dolby surround sound for Netflix videos when available, a slightly improved on-screen keyboard, new slideshow themes that include Holiday Mobile, Photo Mobile, and Scrapbook themes, and the necessary AirPlay support for third-party apps. is coming relatively late to the Apple TV and has already been present on devices like the Boxee Box and Roku Internet Players.

Update: It also adds NBA League Pass support for US Apple TV owners with similar season and monthly passes.

by MacNN Staff



  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    NASCAR Raceview would be more interesting/compelli

    See, I guess I'm just old, but give me baseball over the radio any day. I just can't get excited about any of the MLB's attempts to modernize the delivery of the sport.. It's a feel, more than anything.. A matter of taste, similar to preferring some books in dead-tree form, and finding others superior in ebook or audiobook form.. Just as I prefer an old Sherlock Holmes book in dead tree, I prefer baseball over the radio. And, just as I prefer most sci-fi in audiobook form, I prefer my motorsports in 5.1 surround on a 46"+ HDTV and supplemented w/ online content..

    If this update included support for a non-flash version of NASCAR Raceview, I'd be tempted to either add an AppleTV or replace my Mac mini w/ an AppleTV for the first time since the first AppleTV was introduced...

    Something similar to and NASCAR Raceview but for the WRC would also make the AppleTV more tempting..

    For me, the Mac Mini is still the better option for my home theater..

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    No need to upgrade

    Baseball? Unless this upgrade fixes the Netflix problems, then I will pass until something more compelling is offered.

  1. aross99

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'll take it...

    Glad to see Apple adding some of these "Channels" to the Apple TV. I would hope a Hulu Plus channel is coming soon. MOre content is always good for the platform.

    Personally, I love the MLB option. Only drawback I can see is that the Blackout restrictions pretty much limit this to watching someone other than your home team. This is pretty much true with all of the MLB options though.

    It's great if you follow an out of state team, but not so good if you were hoping to help you "cut the cord" and eliminate cable...

  1. cartoonspin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Great addition

    I was really hoping these channels would be offered. I agree that the addition of Hulu would be big. Since adding AppleTV we have slashed our cable bill by 60%. Love it!

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