Tim Bajarin: Apple TV just got wildly better, but is still missing one crucial element

“If you look closely at [Steve] Jobs’ comments and things Apple has said about Apple TV, it is hard to miss an underlying theme: Replacing your cable box,” Tim Bajarin writes for TIME Magazine. “More importantly to users would be the delivery of unbundled services that would also give them hundreds of new choices in channels well beyond what the cable companies can offer today, along with thousands of TV-based apps.”

“But the real power in making Apple TV a cable box buster will only be evident when Apple is able to deliver live and local television,” Bajarin writes. “Thanks to a partnership with Sling TV, Apple is a step closer to making this a reality. Sling TV is now on the latest Apple TV, providing live over-the-top channels like ESPN, CNN, and The Disney Channel for $20/month and up.”

“The move makes Apple TV one of the most powerful over-the-top external options for those wishing to get rid of cable,” Bajarin writes. “However, I don’t expect Apple to stop trying to get live local channels added to its lineup. That would make it an absolute game-changer.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We imagine that users with Sling TV would have no problem putting their Apple TV on Input 1.

Apple TV entices with surprise new features – June 13, 2016
Apple TV’s new single sign-on may not work with your pay TV provider – June 13, 2016
Sling TV launches on Apple TV – June 13, 2016
Powerful new Siri capabilities and single sign-on coming to Apple TV – June 13, 2016


    1. My cable provider does not have ESPN CNN or Disney in their basic package. I don’t know for sure but I bet there is more my cable provider does not have as well in the basic package.

    2. If it was just $20. I don’t think you can get any TV package for less than $50. Add to that renting a box and/or DVR. I just cut the cable TV since my cable provider, Cox, is forcing everyone to rent mini-boxes for every TV in the house. Dropped over a $100 off my bill.

    3. The problem is where do you get true high-speed internet–usually it is your cable provider.
      I either have Comcast internet or nothing. AT&T offers dog-slow DSL but that’s the only other option.
      So I can pay $50 – $70 for just high speed internet (depending on the “special” of the month) or I can get high speed internet plus cable TV for $90 – $100 per month. Not much of a choice.

      But supposedly Google fiber is coming to our town which could change everything.

      1. You’re lucky the add on for TV is only an extra $20/30. My bundle was $70 for internet and another $100+ for TV. Total bill was around $186. At least for the past couple of months. Cox ups the prices a couple of dollars every two to three months. And now they’re trying to get an additional mini-box rental for each TV in the house. Monopolies- gotta love ’em

    1. Playstation Vue channel selection is superior. But for home use with IOS you’ll need an Amazon Fire or Roku device.

      Way to go Apple! Your’e really on top of things.

  1. A La Carte damn it all.

    I do not want a bundle that subsidizes stuff I do not watch. I currently get a couple of hundred channels from Comcast and only actually watch 3 or 4 and not that much. They bundle things so that you have to subsidize their shit channels to get what you want. AND in 2016 they are still charging consumers an HD Technology Fee.

    As to local channels. I do not give a rip about local content.

  2. With SlingTV and a Tablo you have the best of all worlds. I successfully cut the cord and won’t ever go back. Tablo, and their new AppleTV app, delivers HD Over The Air channels for free. Add a 6TB external HD and essentially have limitless recordings. While we may subscribe to SlingTV at some point, the Tablo is what truly pushes the AppleTV to a cable / satellite destroyer. Great job!

  3. Never going to be able to replace my Satellite package with an Apple TV. We have 4 TV’s in the house, they’re all capable of watching HD broadcasts over the air, try streaming 1080p content over our internet connection and it struggles on one let alone all four! Until internet connection speeds are massively increased I won’t even get my hopes up for live content. I’m not going to move house just to be able to watch TV either.

  4. If you literally only watch a couple of “channels” then cutting the cord could be cheaper, but if you paid for all the services that offer online content such as Netflix, Seeso, Amazon, etc and then whatever traditional broadcast offerings you’re soon getting to the point where the cost is as high as cable options ever where.

  5. I don’t like paying $200 a month. I have no use for ESPN, Fox, “Reality TV,” 95% of content. Unfortunately, it’s a pacjage deal- TV, internet, phone. Can’t get a decent cellular signal in home. Need local, although it’s painful to watch.

  6. I have no Cable bill and no Satellite bill. I have Apple TV + Netflix + MLB At Bat. any thing beyond that I buy by the show or by the season (or rent in the case of movies) at iTunes.

    I do not understand why anyone would pay more than $60/month for TV.

    1. How do you get your high speed internet. That needs to be part of the cost to give an accurate price. Usually you need to pay your cable or phone company to get high speed internet.

  7. We cut the cord about 2 years ago. We watch the news apps like ABC and CBS (free and without commercials!), Netflix and HBO (subscribing to HBO only while Game of Thrones is in season) and every now and then rent a movie on iTunes. Also, we have the benefit of streaming from our phones and macs to the TV, which is fun for show family movies, holiday shots, etc. We are never going back to cable.

  8. The real problem is “input 1”. Apple needs to release its own TV so the Apple remote can turn it on with Siri, and Siri can control the other inputs. Although Apple might forgo inputs altogether on its TV set.

  9. Why not just add an ATSC (over the air) tuner? That would give free live TV to 3/4 of Americans. To me that is the biggest missing feature of Apple TV. Though DVR features would be awfully nice!

  10. Still have a cable box but all other TVs in the house have an Apple TV and I stream TV to the Apple TV with an iPad app frim the cable company. So less cables and boxes than before. Still almost no live TV from ATV apps.

  11. So Apple finally gets Sling (something that has been on Roku for many months) and the Apple TV is suddenly “one of the most powerful over-the-top external options for those wishing to get rid of cable.”

    There is bad news: Apple TV still doesn’t have UHD-TV as the Roku box does. Apple used to lead; now they follow. In phones, computers and TV devices, Apple is behind. What else does Apple have? …tablets.

  12. The game changer has happening already in my eyes with PlayStation Vue. I finally get local channels and sports. With DVR and multiple devices/TVs at no additional charge. Finally cancel Comcast cable with no shortcomings. Wondering why Apple could not work this deal with comcast and others? I really hope Vue comes to Apple TV like Amazon Fire but something tells me Apple will not allow it. 🙁

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.