Apple finally gets it shot at reinventing TV

Apple has been angling to take over the TV experience since Steve Jobs claimed to have “cracked it” back in 2011. With the Charter integration with Apple TV, the company finally gets its shot.

Charter to support, promote Apple TV

At its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose on Tuesday, Apple announced that Charter Communications Spectrum TV subscribers would soon be able to replace the cablers set-top box with an Apple TV. Charter and Apple will work to tightly integrate the Spectrum TV app for Apple TV 4K with Apple’s tvOS. Customers will be able to use Siri voice commands and search for TV shows and on-demand content through the remote.

Charter will offer the Apple TV 4K to its customers in special promotions. Also, Charter will offer Apple phones and tablets to customers when it launches Spectrum Mobile, a wireless service set to debut June 30th.

Zero-sign-in for dual-play Spectrum customers

Spectrum customers that get TV and broadband services from Charter will not need to login to use the Spectrum TV app. Neither will they need to login to use any TV Everywhere app from programming partners. The Apple TV can detect a Spectrum broadband network and automatically authenticate the viewer to use the Spectrum TV app, and apps like HBO Go and Watch HGTV, provided the viewer has the right to view these channels.

Roku provides a similar feature, called single sign-on. However, the pay TV subscriber must enter their operator login credentials once for the first TV Everywhere app they use. After the first login is successful, the subscriber can use any other TV Everywhere app without having to log in again.

A big deal for Apple

Apple has been angling for a way to become part of the TV infrastructure for years. For example, in 2014 it was rumored to be in discussions with Time Warner Cable (purchased by Charter in 2016) to bring the cablers content onto its new Apple TV (second edition.) Nothing came of these discussions. As well, the company has been talking about reinventing the television experience since Steve Jobs claimed to have “cracked it” back in 2011.

The Charter integration finally allows Apple to take control of the television experience. Spectrum TV customers will be able to use the device to watch TV, listen to music, and access any SVOD service, including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. As long as they don’t want to watch a DVD, they need no other device beneath the television.

At $169.99, the 4K Apple TV box is the most expensive streaming media player of the top four steaming media player market share Q1 2018 brands. The Roku Streaming Stick+ offers 4K support for $100 less. Apple TV is also trailing far behind market leaders Roku and Amazon Fire TV. According to data from Parks, Roku’s market share is 37%, Amazon Fire TV’s is 26%, and Apple TV’s is 16%.

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