Dolby Digital 5.1 Netflix, MLB and NBA Arrive on Apple TV

Apple released iOS 4.3 today and riding on its coattails was the 4.2 update for Apple TV, bringing with it a variety of changes, including some exciting updates for Netflix and sports fans. The 4.2 update adds access to two new subscription services, and NBA League Pass Broadband, that provide fans with a broad selection of live and archived games. Netflix on Apple TV also received an upgrade to improve audio with Dolby Digital 5.1 support. Hopefully this is the beginning of a trend. Steadily adding new services would go a long way toward making the Apple TV 2 a more compelling streamer for those of us who do not live in the iTunes ecosystem.

Access to both MLB and NBA subscription services is enabled by the iOS for Apple TV 4.2 update, which Apple released alongside iOS 4.3. The update adds and NBA Game Time options under the Internet menu, where access to Netflix and YouTube is also found. Apple told Ars that both services will work similarly to Netflix—sign in with your account and password, and you can access whatever content your subscription allows.


  • beat me to it! I’m impressed

    beat me to it! I’m impressed by this announcement, but still i think im disappointed every update i see without a true app store integration for the 10′. But these are big steps just considering how tiny that box is.

  • I noticed a few shows have

    I noticed a few shows have problems with 5.1 audio. That 70’s show season 1 lacked the center channel audio so it was hard to hear anything at all.  This was on my PS3 that’s had 5.1 for awhile now.

  • @Mike Garcen – Totally agree

    @Mike Garcen – Totally agree on the app store integration.  There are just so many opportunities that arise with app development for the Apple TV.  Of course I also wish that the Apple TV 2 supported 1080p.  I know its not a huge issue, but still…

    @autoboy – That’s disappointing to hear, no pun intended. One of the concerns I’ve had with Netflix is that it is my understanding that they do not generally do their own encoding, but are instead dependent upon the content providers for the video. This is part of the reason that many of the Starz titles have such poor video quality.  Hopefully the kind of audio issues you have experienced are not related.

  • I’ve found that most titles

    I’ve found that most titles have excelent video quality at 720p.  It’s comparable to my cable connection.  1080p titles look fantanstic and the 5.1 audio is normally very good.  Starz titles are a completely different story though.  I won’t watch them for that reason.