The Apple TV hardware may be old, but a steady stream of updates are keeping the box fresh.
Tuesday morning a software update added five new apps to Apple's streaming box: Vevo, the Disney Channel, Disney XD, the Smithsonian Channel, and the Weather Channel. It's a major update for the Apple TV, which has lagged behind the competing Roku 3 in app selection; in fact, Vevo and Smithsonian (the latter of which is co-owned by CBS, the publisher of CNET) are already available on Roku's boxes.
Vevo is a major gain, granting Apple TV viewers access to Vevo's library of 75,000 HD music videos, its exclusive original programming, and live concert performances, as well as to Vevo TV, a broadcast-style 24-7 channel. Vevo is the third most-watched video site in the US, according to ComScore figures from March, with 52 million viewers -- one-third as many as Google/YouTube, and somewhat behind Facebook. Vevo on Apple TV is available in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Both Disney channels are also compelling additions, although cord-cutters should be aware that both the Disney Channel and Disney XD require authentication from a participating cable/satellite provider, so you need a pay-TV subscription to access them. The apps let you watch the live TV channels, as well as on-demand content.