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New Apple TV nabs BBC iPlayer and TVPlayer before Christmas

Owners of the new Apple TV can now stream BBC content alongside Discovery, Cartoon Network, TLC and other UK pay TV channels. 

BBC iPlayer has been a long time coming on the new Apple TV, but it doesn’t look like Siri searches are supported at present

Nor can you currently access any content you’ve bought through the BBC Store through the Apple TV iPlayer app, as you can with the native online version of the player. 

This means older seasons of Doctor Who, this Bill Hicks documentary and un-PC mid-seventies comedy It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. Somebody at the BBC must have answered our prayers

BBC iPlayer arrives on Apple TV in time for a raft of Christmas specials, including Star Wars at the BBC, where Peter Serafinowicz, perhaps better known as the voice of Darth Maul, takes us on a tour of the BBC’s archive to find Star Wars actors appearing on shows like Blue Peter, Pebble Mill and Ask Aspel back in the day. 

Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC iPlayer, said: “With the launch of iPlayer on new Apple TV, I’m delighted we’ve been able to give people another way of accessing the full breadth and range of BBC programmes. 

“And, the updates to our mobile and tablet apps mean we can now deliver more personalised recommendations of BBC programmes to viewers, as well as the ability to stream BBC Store purchases directly from the iPlayer app.”

In addition to BBC iPlayer, Simplestream’s TVPlayer is also now available to download on the new Apple TV. This lets you tap into live streams of many of the channels that are available on Freeview, including Really, Dave, Yesterday, Quest, TruTV as well as all of the BBC channels. 

That said, while you can get ITV, Channel 4 and 4Music, you cannot, however, get additional channels like ITV2 and More4. 

With a TVPlayer Plus subscription (£5/month) you can also get 25 pay TV channels including TLC, Cartoon Network, Discovery, Gold. 

Lewis Arthur, Operations Director of TVPlayer said, “The 4th generation Apple TV is something we and our viewers have been eagerly anticipating. TVPlayer is all about convenience: being able to watch the TV channels you love whenever you want, at home or on the go. We see the new Apple TV as a great new way for viewers to watch all of our channels. For iPhone and iPad users, TVPlayer’s free app is also available for viewing out of home.”

TVPlayer launched on iOS in early 2014 and TVPlayer Plus subscriptions launched this summer.  

Update: This article has been amended to correct a reference to being able to accessing to BBC Store purchases. This currently is only possible through the native desktop version of iPlayer. 

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