Apple TV adds A&E, History Channel, Lifetime

Apple TV adds A&E, History Channel, Lifetime

Apple TV users in the United States have three new channels to get content from today: A&E, History and Lifetime have been added to the more than 40 other channels available on the Apple TV.

Each channel contains popular programming from each cable television channel, including clips and full episodes of TV shows. Programs like Bates Motel and Duck Dynasty are available from A&E, while History has programming from both the History Channel and H2, like Vikings, Pawn Stars and Ancient Aliens. Lifetime's available programs include Dance Moms, Preachers' Daughters and Devious Maids.

Like many cable and satellite channels that offer content through the Apple TV, the three A+E Networks-owned channels that activated today require you to log in to an activation page on a web site, verifying your cable or satellite TV provider to gain access. As the channels launched, only DirecTV, Optimum and Verizon FIOS were supported.

Are basic cable channels like A&E, History and Lifetime important for you to have on your Apple TV, or are you looking for something different? Sound off in the comments.

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Apple TV adds A&E, History Channel, Lifetime


1) If it requires that I already have cable, why would I give a crap about the AppleTV app of the same thing?
2) If it requires me to pay fees on the order of Netflix, then again, it's a bad deal, and basically the same thing as having cable.

Netflix is only worth 8 bucks a month, because it aggregates a huge amount of content from around the world. It's the depth of the catalogue that makes it worthwhile. No single TV station of any kind is worth 8 bucks a month because ... it just isn't. The content isn't there and if all stations like A&E and HBO did this, we would be paying more for AppleTV apps than we already pay for cable access, and cable access is already way overpriced (because of the monopoly you know).

I cut my cable years and years ago, and I'm looking for a good deal for *my* viewing habits, not the seniors who still watch cable who this is supposed to entice. Give me legal, fairly priced access to content. The rest you can keep.

I'm with you, Gazoobee. These additional channels/apps are useless to me as a non-cable person.

However, to your comment "No single TV station of any kind is worth 8 bucks a month because ... it just isn't," I would say that I probably would plop down $8 a month for HBO (if they ever decide to go the a la carte way...)

Cable TV is only a monopoly because no other cable TV operators come into a city that already has cable. This is not the fault of the existing cable operator. It's just too expensive for a competitor to overbuild and then sit back and cross their fingers they can draw enough customers away from the incumbent to survive. Then of course you will start getting price wars between them. Good for the customer but can pose problems for the competing companies as they try to trim costs to stay afloat. Sure, they have a lot of headroom for that, but they usually start trimming from the bottom up.

I think we as consumers are on the cusp of seeing some of the needed changes coming our way. It will take some time. The problem is that these giant media companies are ran by people that don't "get it" when it comes to how people like to consume their product. And like many instances (can you say music business?) they are too ready to try to bleed as much revenue out of us as they can, above and beyond what any sane person would consider fair. Hell, look at MLB, the NFL, and such and see how they lock down everything to get us to pay. I have to pay for cable service to watch almost any game, and if it's in a blackout area I can't even watch it AT ALL! They think I have access and cash to actually go to a game if I wanted to (I live in Lincoln, NE so the closest would be Kansas City).

We just have to let THEM know we aren't going to take it. Keep voicing our opinions and vote with our wallets. I do NOT use Hulu+ because of their double rip-off of fees AND commercials.

Take a stand folks (and don't watch Duck Dynasty in any circumstance)

We dumped DirecTV over a year ago.
Netflix and local over the air HD channel 45 of them and counting for free.
Do I miss programing?
Not one bit.
Saving $96 dollars a month.
Netflix and my Apple TV give me all I need as well as the local FREE in HD!
A la Carte baby is the way.

Just let me pay for what I want to watch. I have attached uverse with 100's of channels and I don't even know what half of them are, not to mention the fact we end up essentially paying for local channels and then have 45min of advertising for an hour long show.....

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We in Canada do get new channels like they do in the USA.This is why Canada sucks when it comes to availability of content on TV/APPLE TV/iTunes/NETFLIX

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I still think Apple should acquire Aereo and Netflix. Aereo for local & live, they could add a cloud-based DVR and then the Netflix catalog combined with the iTunes library would satisfy most of my viewing needs.

On another note, every addition to the Apple TV lineup makes the user interface worse. It is getting close to unwieldy... IMO.

Apple are deep into the dregs in America now adding all kinds of trifling piffle, whilst still not adding Amazon Instant Video, or in the UK - the most popular streaming service here by a mile, BBC iPlayer.

That old ATV interface is shockingly dated and cheesy too. The much rumoured ATV update had better be spectacular, and include a full fat app store.

Canada only has close to 14 channels get with the Times Apple and add channels for Countries outside of the USA for once

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Sounds great! Too bad time warner and Att uverse aren't supported. Those are the 2 options in my area.

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I'm underwhelmed. These new offerings seem redundant and pointless to me. And the ridiculous, faux reality crap that today passes for "content" on these channels is depressing.

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Having more basic cable channels does make Apple TV "feel" more like TV. I like the Apple Apps as it extends the Apple experience from mobile devices to the living room. I like Yahoo Screen, PBS, vevo, and YouTube. What I'd really like to see is a la carte programming at reasonable prices (not comparable or exceeding current cable rates), HBO along with a Safari browser, and FaceTime. I don't like needing a cable subscription to see programming on HBOGO, Watch ESPN, and especially PBS and ABC ( basic channels).

I'm glad that Apple keeps adding content even though I need a cable subscription to use the apps on AppleTV. I have a TiVo and as of yet, Time Warner does not provide cable cards that give access to on demand programming (heck, you need a wonky tuning adapter just to get live TV with their cards). So it's nice to be able to watch some of their programming at my convenience without having to watch live or record.

The jewel in the crown of media apps is of course HBOGo. Kudos to HBO for getting it right. I really don't bother setting up TiVo for any of their programming and watch it all on AppleTV & the "Go" app. I can also easily watch that same programming using my iPad. Great! Great! Great!

The Smithsonian Channel app is another example. Commercial free and some great on demand episodes. Only complaint there is the limited number of full episodes out-balanced by a bunch of under-5 min clips. I don't even know what the reason for this is. If it's interesting, why would I want to only watch 5 minutes of it? If it's not interesting, 5 minutes is too long. I would suggest to them thy add a Preview to the full episodes and call it a day.

Then, there's crap apps like Hulu+ and the new History, A&E, & Lifetime channel apps. Now, I haven't watched anything on the A&E app, and won't bother with the Lifetime apps, but I just tried out the History Channel app and I'm disappointed. Aside from the content itself (this is the Pawn Stars channel anyway), I can't believe that the one episode I watch was riddled with ads for their (and the other two apps') programs. It's like downloading a freemium app and being hounded to buy "coins" or "jewels" or download yet another ad-app every time you blink. It creates a horrifying user-experience and I'm pretty disappointed that Apple lets stuff like that into their ecosystem. I know they've had Hulu+ on there which is an even more egregious offender. I mean, you are not only paying for the internet connection, but you're also paying for their "service"; and you get commercials anyway!!

So this model may not be a first, but I'm hoping it's the last. We as consumers need to let these guys know that we're tired of paying every time we try to watch something. We've paid several times for this content and we don't need to be coughing up any more money or time. I know that Apple has to make deals it wouldn't normally just to get content on their service. In an effort to build a top-notch system they are having to compromise on this aspect (think FairPlay).

I am excited that we as consumers are getting more and more options for watching this contact. I just hope that this latest channel-app-turd isn't what we are expected to look forward to in the future.

I don't yet have an Apple TV, but if the cable and satellite companies weren't so tyrannical with their content, maybe I'd be more willing to buy an Apple TV. I don't want to buy a cable or satellite subscription just to watch some shows, while most of the stuff they offer is stuff I care nothing about. I just want a few shows. Why must I be punished and made to wait to watch a show months after it airs, and then have to pay +\- $50 to buy the season just cause I don't want cable? Netflix and Hulu Plus have it right, and the cable and satellite companies need to get with the times and change their business model. When that happens, maybe I'd be more interested in having an Apple TV.

I'd rather pay $8 a month for s*** on Hulu+ than pay DirecTV $50-$75 a month for the same exact piece of s***. On Hulu, I only put up with 6-9 ads depending on the program. With Cable/Satellite I was paying more for MORE ADS!!! In total, after telling DirecTV to F*** off, our home entertainment bills went from $121/month to about $21-$28/month (Netflix/Hulu+/Crunchyroll) plus the $50 Amazon prime fee. With the Free Digital/Ultraviolet copies I have access to and the Vudu/M-GO promo codes I find on e-Bay, We REALLY don't need cable.

I also don't need cable to use HBO GO and A&E. I simply use a friends credentials and carry on. What I don't get is, why complain about Hulu+ if most of the content on Hulu+ can also be found on Cable??

Please update the article to mention that it currently only supports:
Verizon FIOS

No Comcast nor TimeWarner so most of the country is shut out.

I have been playing with this today. First of all, you do not need to be a cable or satellite user. You only need to have a cable or satellite account to watch LIVE TV. Tons of content is available without logging on. As an example, I watched the Vikings show that aired live on April 18. The show had a few commercials but it was smooth and in high def. Basically just like watching a network channel over the air. The same was true for AE and Lifetime. A few shows were locked though...Like Duck Dynasty. If other channels follow their lead ,this would be great and truly make cutting the cord possible.

So I guess AT&T U-Verse customers are out in the cold. This blows. I'm going to hide these damn apps from my home screen if I can't have the full use of them. I'm sick and tired of content providers being assholes about giving PAYING CUSTOMERS access to content.

When are you going to get Comcast added to your list of providers on Apple TV for History channel and the others you added????? This is just bogus that you added these new channels but didn't add all providers for them!