As it continues to expand content sources on its set-top box, Apple today added three new channel to the Apple TV. Cable subscribers will now be able to download apps for A&E, The History Channel and Lifetime on their set-top boxes, courtesy of A&E Networks. However Apple TV users will require a cable subscription to access these content sources. Supported cable providers include DirecTV, Cablevision Optimum and Verizon FiOS. The network has said that it will add support for other major as well as local providers, but doesn’t say exactly what it will do that.

Over the past few months Apple has greatly expanded the content offering on its set-top box to better compete against rivals like Roku. Support for ABC and Bloomberg was added only recently, apart from the release of HBO Go for Apple TV.

The increasing number of content apps might serve Apple’s purpose of keeping the set-top box afloat, but they do much when it comes to increasing sales. For that a new Apple TV is required, which the company reportedly plans on launching later this year. Apparently it will come with a standalone App Store as well as the ability to play games. It will also have the current crop of content applications. The new Apple TV will come with better internal hardware and presumably design changes as well.

Filed in Apple >Gadgets. Read more about Apple TV.

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