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Software Television Communications IOS Network Networking OS X The Internet Apple Entertainment Hardware

Apple Launches Single Sign-On Service To Make Logging Into TV Apps Less Time-Consuming (macrumors.com) 29

Apple has launched Single Sign-on, a service designed to make logging into TV apps much less annoying. It "allows cable subscribers to sign in once with their cable credentials to gain access to all cable-restricted content in iOS and tvOS apps," writes Juli Clover via MacRumors: Single Sign-on is limited to the United States, and according to a support document, is available for the following providers: CenturyLink Prism, DirecTV, Dish, GVTC, GTA, Hawaiian Telecom, Hotwire, MetroCast, and Sling. While Single Sign-on was introduced and tested in the tvOS 10.1 and iOS 10.2 betas, the feature was remotely released today to all iOS 10 and tvOS 10 devices. Using Single Sign-on does not require one of the betas, and is instead immediately available to all iPhone and Apple TV users running iOS 10 or tvOS 10. With Single Sign-on, customers with a supported provider will use the Settings options in iOS or tvOS to sign in with their cable credentials. From then on, when accessing a supported app that requires a cable subscription, the app will ask to use the saved sign-on credentials. Most cable channels and content providers offer individual apps on the Apple TV and iOS devices, but still require cable authentication before users can access content. Prior to Single Sign-on, customers were required to enter their credentials in each individual app, a frustrating and time-consuming process.
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Apple Launches Single Sign-On Service To Make Logging Into TV Apps Less Time-Consuming

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  • I hate having to resort to Kodi to stream episodes on networks that are in my cable tier but haven't gotten around to including my cable carrier in their sign-on list.

    • by sh00z ( 206503 )
      As soon as they add providers that 95% of us actually use. You know, like Comcast, AT&T, Time-Warner...
      • It will be easier to add carriers to Apple's single signon list than to wait for each dinky cable channel to get around to doing it.

  • AKA SPOF (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Great a single point of failure, hack 1 account, hack them all !

    • This.

    • The vast majority of iPhone users I know use the same password everywhere and don't use 2FA, so that's not really a good argument. Maybe Android has this problem too, but I find iPhone users much more likely to share their passwords with me. Fools!!!

    • Great a single point of failure, hack 1 account, hack them all !

      OTOH, once you have only one login to manage, it gets easier to catter its security. Users can manage one long password, but have trouble to do so for multiple sites.

    • You mean like every corporation in the world that follows standard practices (IT/IS is too lazy).

      PS On the Apple TV it's no different then it was, using a single sign-on to validate other service, now you need only enter it once as compared to previously entering the same login for every channel app.
    • by sh00z ( 206503 )

      Great a single point of failure, hack 1 account, hack them all !

      Except there *is* only one account involved. No matter whose content app you use (ESPN, FX, AMC, TMC, AMC, etc.), it's the SAME credentials: the ones tied to your cable/satellite bill.

  • by sid crimson ( 46823 ) on Tuesday December 06, 2016 @11:16PM (#53437603)

    So many of the "television" apps require that I have a cable subscription to use them. So, while I applaud Apple for making it easier, what I really want is to pay a (reasonably modest) fee to get the "channels" I want without having a cable or satellite subscription.

    Please?

    • by sudon't ( 580652 )

      So many of the "television" apps require that I have a cable subscription to use them. So, while I applaud Apple for making it easier, what I really want is to pay a (reasonably modest) fee to get the "channels" I want without having a cable or satellite subscription.

      Please?

      I've never had a cable subscription, so I was very happy when HBO Go came out. It seems a bit pricey to me at $15 per month, but ok. A few more channels at that price and I'd be paying the cost of cable service. Between HBO Go and Netflix, and filling the gaps by torrenting, I'm satisfied. If they're in no hurry to provide a legit outlet, I can wait, too.

  • Do we have some information about the protocol? Kerberos, SAML, OpenId, proprietary?
  • by justcauseisjustthat ( 1150803 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @12:27AM (#53437897)
    No Comcast/Xfinity option!!
    Whose forum needs spamming? Can I blame Comcast/Xfinity as I assume?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      no major CABLE companies at all.. centuryshit and satellite, and a few tiny companies.. no charter, no comcast, no cox..... guess the big boys dont want to data share the analytics with apple.

      • End result is a very spotty coverage map, availability for maybe a quarter of the population.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a step toward eliminating sharing accounts; an xfinity login from my brother so I can get HBO, a fios login from my sister so I can see BBC. I expect that it will become more restrictive; one provider account per device. I expected this sooner.

  • but apparently also to the smaller providers. No Comcast, Charter, or Time Warner. So the service is useless for the vast majority of Americans. Heck, there's only one or two cable providers listed.

    Though it is interesting that this seems to be more available to middle America than the coasts.

  • Uphill battle (Score:4, Insightful)

    by macwhiz ( 134202 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2016 @10:05AM (#53439457)

    Unfortunately, it will be an uphill battle getting the major cable companies to support this. The whole point of "TV Everywhere," from the cable companies' point of view, is to make it a massive pain in the ass. Every Apple TV that uses TV Everywhere to watch video is one less cable-box rental fee, and one more person who is a step closer to cutting the cord entirely. It's not in their interests to make it easier for you to use TV Everywhere.

    Consider: You need to go through the annoying log-in process even to watch broadcast networks. Anyone can watch the show by using an antenna, but if you want to watch it online, you need a cable subscription. Theoretically, those networks are supported by ads. The live streams and replays in the app have at least as many ads as the terrestrial broadcast—sometimes more. But you still need to pay for a cable subscription to see them online. And that means the cable company has to pay the broadcaster retransmission fees for carriage.

    This is why the "true" Apple TV never happened. The TV networks and cable companies have no interest in working with Apple: Apple wants to make it easy for people to watch TV, and the TV folks want to make it hard for people to watch TV without paying a lot of money and using cable-company equipment that can readily monetize their viewing habits.

    • That was what surprised me about the CBS app... it all comes for free over the air anyhow... I briefly looked into getting an OTA DVR but it seemed a bit much of an expense to get the hardware and then another subscription for the channel listings versus just not watching the shows in question until they're syndicated on Netflix, Amazon, or never.

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