As part of a marketing and retail relationship with Apple, Charter Communications will offer the Apple TV 4K device to its pay TV customers and will back that up with a version of the Spectrum TV app that runs on and is tightly integrated with Apple's TV-connected streaming device.
Charter’s Spectrum TV app for Apple TV will be introduced later this year and offer pay TV subscribers with access to live channels and “tens of thousands” of VOD programs.
Charter’s Spectrum TV app currently supports several other platforms, including iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, Roku TVs and Roku players, Xbox One consoles, Samsung smart TVs (2012 and newer models), and Amazon Kindle Fire and Fire HDX 2 gen tablets
Charter and Apple haven’t detailed the retail relationship involving the new 4K-capable Apple TV device, but Charter has previously worked with Roku on retail-focused promotions that center on Roku players.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Apple and look forward to be bringing the Spectrum TV App to Apple TV later this year," Charter said in a statement.
The new Spectrum TV app for the Apple TV, iPhone and iPad will be integrated with Siri. Charter will also be offering the iPhone and iPad as the MSOs moves ahead with its plans to introduce a mobile service that leans on Charter’s MVNO deal with Verizon Wireless. Charter reportedly plans to launch its mobile service, to be called Spectrum Mobile by the end of the month.
Apple and Charter announced their relationship today during Apple’s WWDC keynote.
Tied in, Apple introduced its newest operating system for the Apple TV, tvOS. The new version of tvOS aims to further simplify the authentication process using a “zero sign-on” feature that detects the user’s broadband network and automatically signs that user in for all supported apps they get through their subscription without having to type in user names and passwords.
Apple said the zero-sign on feature will launch with Charter later this year and expand to other MVPDs over time.
Other MVPDs that have begun to offer their customers Apple TV 4K devices with their services include AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Canal+ in France and Salt in Switzerland, Apple noted.
As part of its preview for tvOS 12, Apple said its 4K-capable TV device will support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. This fall, iTunes will offer what’s being billed as the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies, with those titles including Dolby Atmos audio for no added charge.
The tvOS developer preview is available today for Apple Developer Program members. Apple expects to make the new version of tvOS available this fall as a free software update for Apple TV 4K and the Apple TV 4 generation box.