Apple previews tvOS 12; Charter deal

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Apple has previewed tvOS 12, the new operating system designed for enjoying entertainment on the big screen, which it says “takes the cinematic experience of Apple TV 4K to the next level with support for Dolby Atmos audio, convenient new features to easily access the shows and movies you love, and breathtaking aerials shot from space. ”

This autumn, iTunes will be home to the largest collection of Dolby Atmos-supported movies anywhere, and these titles will also include Dolby Atmos audio for free. With tvOS 12, Apple TV 4K will be the only streaming player both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos certified, delivering the highest quality cinematic experience of 4K HDR visuals and immersive sound that flows all around in three-dimensional space.

Apple has also announced that Charter Communications, the second-largest cable operator in the US, will begin offering Apple TV 4K to their customers. Later this year, customers in nearly 50 million households will have access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programmes via an all-new Spectrum TV app on their Apple TV 4K, iPhone and iPad, seamlessly integrated with Siri and the Apple TV App. In addition, as part of this collaboration, Charter will be offering iPhone and iPad to customers as they grow their mobile presence. Charter joins AT&T’s DirecTV Now in the US, Canal+ in France and Salt in Switzerland, which have begun offering their customers Apple TV 4K with their services.

Aerial screensavers are a favourite of Apple TV users and reach new heights with tvOS 12. Apple, in collaboration with the International Space Station National Lab and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, unveiled brand new aerials shot from space by NASA astronauts, so Apple TV customers can enjoy even more stunning scenes filmed in 4K HDR. Aerial screensavers will also be more interactive, allowing viewers to see the location information and swipe between dozens of beautiful aerials.

Additional tvOS 12 features for Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation:

  • With iOS 12, users can securely AutoFill passwords from iPhone and iPad to Apple TV to easily sign in to Apple TV apps.
  • The Apple TV Remote will be automatically added to Control Centre on iPhone or iPad for Apple TV users, giving users quick access to Apple TV controls.
  • Home control systems such as Control4, Crestron and Savant can be used to control Apple TV, including using Siri for voice search and control.

The tvOS 12 update will be available as a free download this autumn.

“The announcements may feel underwhelming, but the support for Dolby Atmos is pretty big,” noted Paolo Pescatore, VP, Multiplay and Media, CCS Insight. “Long overdue, it positions Apple TV as a platform of choice for users and partners. Apple TV can now finally boast the latest technology such as 4K, HDR and Dolby Atoms, supported by a vast catalogue of content. And let’s not forget that Apple TV is the only streaming set-top box to support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.”

“Significantly, Apple is following Netflix’s lead in seeking telco partnerships. This will represent a key channel for Apple as telcos do not want to invest in and subsidise costly hardware such as set top boxes. It’s a win, win for both parties.”

“At a time when it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate on hardware we are starting to see a wave of innovation on software. This was clearly underlined at Apple’s event. One key battling ground is in AR. And Apple made some big moves in this area. This comes at a time where VR appears to have stalled, but there is strong and growing interest in mixed reality and augmented reality. Again, it is still early days for these technologies and they will need significant investment, but they offer scope for content owners to be very creative. Naturally, a lot of focus will be on games given its popularity among users and will open up new opportunities for multiplayer.”

Commenting on the news, Paolo Pescatore, VP Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight, offered the following insight: “The announcements may feel underwhelming, but the support for Dolby Atmos is pretty big. Long overdue, it positions Apple TV as a platform of choice for users and partners. Apple TV can now finally boast the latest technology such as 4K, HDR and Dolby Atoms, supported by a vast catalogue of content. And let’s not forget that Apple TV is the only streaming set top box to support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.”

“Significantly, Apple is following Netflix’s lead in seeking telco partnerships. This will represent a key channel for Apple as telcos do not want to invest in and subsidise costly hardware such as set top boxes. It’s a win, win for both parties.”

“At a time when it is becoming increasingly hard to differentiate on hardware we are starting to see a wave of innovation on software. This was clearly underlined at Apple’s event. One key battling ground is in AR. And Apple made some big moves in this area. This comes at a time where VR appears to have stalled, but there is strong and growing interest in mixed reality and augmented reality. Again, it is still early days for these technologies and they will need significant investment, but they offer scope for content owners to be very creative. Naturally, a lot of focus will be on games given its popularity among users and will open up new opportunities for multiplayer.”


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