updated 12:55 pm EDT, Mon August 1, 2011
Apple TV gets Vimeo and purchased videos
Apple slipped out a new Apple TV update on Monday with a pair of major updates. The new upgrade lets users buy and stream TV shows directly from the media hub, even including those they had already bought through iTunes. Apple TV owners previously had to rent TV shows and were limited to just ABC and Fox shows as a result.
The update also brings Vimeo playback. Much like the YouTube component, viewers can look for and play videos as well as check their existing subscriptions or a Watch Later queue. Videos here are organized into categories, and it's possible to view based on likes, not just full subscriptions.
We checked the Vimeo feature and found it navigating very much like the YouTube app, although all the queuing features potentially make it easier to use. It does support HD, and Vimeo is helpful enough to have its own HD showcase category for footage that makes good use of the higher resolution.
Updating from the device is quick and takes just a few minutes with the reboot included.
The iTunes TV purchase streaming may be a hint of similar rights for movies coming soon and Apple addressing one of the most frequent complaints of the Apple TV, its dependence on the local network for purchases. Most competing digital media hubs with purchased movie support will remember a user's catalog and stream directly instead of asking them to have a local copy.