At this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) the company announced that Dolby Atmos compatibility will be added to the Apple TV 4K system when the tvOS 12 version of the platform’s software is released.
Compatibility with Control4, Crestron and Savant was also revealed.
The company also gave an update on some new cable TV collaborations as well as some very fancy looking screen savers captured from the International Space Station.
The company says the addition of Dolby Atmos makes Apple TV the first to boast Atmos and Dolby Vision, although this depends on how you define what is in and what is not in its product category.
However, a welcome addition none the less and one that should attract interest from pro installers who look to the product as a price competitive way of getting content around a home via a platform many end users already like.
4K content from the on-line store for Apple TV has hit some decent numbers, so the roll out makes total sense, and is no massive surprise considering the company’s established relationship with Dolby.
Apple has encouraged take up by offering free upgrades to 4K HDR for previously purchased films when Apple TV 4K first launched. It is set to do the same with Dolby Atmos with Apple offering upgrades for free for all content already purchased that now has a Dolby Atmos option.
Apple TV is also getting compatibility via IP with Control4, Crestron and Savant automation platforms.
The reference was scare of detail, but Crestron has released a short statement that said installers would, ‘soon be able to leverage the power of Apple TV, Siri, and HomeKit to enhance their clients’ lifestyles and user experience. First, it will enable IP control of Apple TV, including voice commands via the TSR-310 touchscreen remote control. And second, it allows users to use Siri on their iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or HomePod to control the Crestron devices in their home such as lights, shades and thermostats.’
Watch this space for more as we get it.
The platform has also made progress in deals with cable operators. In the US the platform is now compatible with Charter Communications, one of the country’s biggest, to deliver access to live channels and tens of thousands of on-demand programs via Charter’s Spectrum TV app.
In Europe Apple is already working with CANAL+ in France, and Salt in Switzerland. To cope with the level of subscriptions, a new feature called Zero sign-on has been added which will enable users to be automatically signed into their subscription.
Apple’s work with the International Space Station will also deliver impressive looking 4K HDR screen savers shot in space. A total of 16 sunrises and sunsets per day will be available as well as location information when a user sees a screen saver they like.
A developer preview of tvOS 12 is live on Apple’s developer website, with the full version rolling out to users in the autumn.