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Apple TV Debuts Disney Channels for Authenticated Viewers

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The Apple TV set-top box took on some welcome additions yesterday with the arrival of channels for Watch Disney and Watch Disney XD. Apple TV owners need to update their software to see the new offerings. Rather than strictly video-on-demand channels, both offer access to live feeds as well as on-demand content. They require authentication, however, and only work for customers of Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Charter, Midcontinent, AT&T U-verse, and Verizon FiOS. That leaves out customers of Time Warner or the two satellite providers.

Sometime in the future, Apple TV should get access to Watch Disney Junior, as well, although Disney hasn't revealed the date that it will be available.

Besides the Disney channels, Apple TV has also been updated with the Smithsonian Channel, Vevo, and the Weather Channel. The Smithsonian channel offers on-demand video, while the Vevo streams music videos. The Weather Channel offering provides access to on-demand content, but will stream live video in the event of a weather emergency. This is the first time the Apple TV has offered weather information, which should make the box much more useful.

Apple TV gained channels for ESPN and HBO in June of this year.

Apple has not yet opened the Apple TV API so that anyone can create a channel.

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