Apple TV Gets Dolby Atmos Sound and 'Zero Sign-in' Feature

Brenda Watkins
June 5, 2018

The company did not confirm whether similar support will come to older Apple TV devices.

Atmos, if you haven't heard of it before, provides a more immersive audio experience by creating a sound bubble of 360-degree sound by bouncing sound off the ceiling, making it more lifelike than traditional surround sound systems. You will need an Atmos-enabled soundbar, however. According to Apple, the Apple TV 4K is the first streaming platform that supports both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. This fall, 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. Much like it did with 4K and HDR content previous year, supported content will be upgraded for free if you already own it. Roku has already done this with apps from Comcast and Spectrum that let you stream your cable TV provider through your Roku as a replacement for a set-top box.

Speaking of Charter Spectrum, Folds explained that Apple TV would embrace cable companies - like Spectrum - that want to broadcast live TV through an Apple TV rather than a traditional cable box.

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The Apple TV App on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV is the single destination to find and watch TV shows and movies from more than 100 participating video apps in 10 countries.

The new zero sign-in feature will eliminate even the single inputs of credentials. "If you're on your TV provider's broadband network, we'll securely and automatically unlock all the supported apps with the TV app", Apple TV lead designer Jen Folse said on the WWDC stage. Zero sign-on begins with Charter later this year and will expand to other providers over time. Aerial screensavers will also be more interactive, allowing viewers to see the location information and swipe between dozens of attractive aerials. Apple took a moment to thank NASA for providing them with the footage for the new aerial screensaver.

Dolby Atmos support is coming to Apple TV 4K later this year with the release of tvOS 12.

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