updated 02:25 pm EST, Wed March 9, 2011
Apple TV update adds MLB.tv games
(Update: NBA too) In a quiet companion update to iOS 4.3, Apple on Wednesday also added MLB.tv 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 MLB.tv subscription worth either $100 a year or $20 per month. An MLB.tv 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 MLB.tv 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.
MLB.tv 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.