CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Christmas Gift Guide
Media Streamers

BBC iPlayer arrives on Apple TV just in time for Christmas

Auntie Beeb's streaming and catch-up service is the first British TV channel to bring an app to Apple's fourth-generation telly box.

This year's "Doctor Who" Christmas special is one of the BBC shows soon to be available to Apple TV owners.

Simon Ridgway/BBC

You'll be able to catch festive treats such as "Sherlock", "Doctor Who" and "Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer's Llamas" via Apple this Christmas as iPlayer comes to the new Apple TV.

Set-top boxes and streaming devices like Apple TV are only as good as the content you can watch through them, which means apps for the popular TV and video services. In the UK they don't come more important than the BBC's iPlayer, which lets you stream and catch up on the TV and radio favourites you've paid for with your licence fee.

The fourth-generation Apple TV, the latest version of Apple's streaming box, was launched in September. The new dedicated App Store for the box opened in October and already has more than 2,600 apps available for download. There are a mix of paid and free apps up for grabs, with games making up more than a third of the apps on offer.

Auntie Beeb has beaten rival channels ITV, Channel 4 and Five to get its app on Apple TV. Sky TV shows, movies and sports are available on the Apple TV box through the Now TV app, but you have to pay subscription fees to watch them. This shortage of British telly puts a huge dent in the device's appeal for UK viewers, but the arrival of iPlayer should be a big step towards making it a more viable prospect for us Brits.

The traditional TV channels had better get their skates on though: They face stiff competition from services already available via Apple TV such as Netflix, which is increasingly winning viewers with its own TV shows and movies such as "Jessica Jones" and "Beasts of No Nation".

Starting at £129 for the 32GB model, Apple TV costs more than similar devices such as the Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. But with a slick user experience, an excellent remote, Siri voice control and now iPlayer, it's starting to look more attractive.