Apple TV’s Zero Sign-On Won’t Work With Cord Cutting Services

This week Apple announced a new feature for their Apple TV. This new zero sign-on feature will automatically log you into your favorite network app without ever having to log in. However, the sad news is this new feature won’t work for cord cutting services such as Sling TV, Hulu, and Philo.

Now when we say it won’t work we don’t mean right now. We mean that because of the way Apple set up their Apple TV zero sign-on service that it will only work with cable TV networks where you buy your internet and TV from the same company.

So how does zero sign-on work?

Apple TV’s new zero sign-on works by detecting the IP you are using. If your cable TV provider partners with Apple they can give Apple all the IP ranges that their internet works on. If Apple detects an IP in that record they can do a quick look up to confirm you are paying for a supported TV package and automatically log you into WatchESPN, for example.

The problem for cord cutters is live TV services like Sling TV, Hulu, Philo, and PlayStation Vue have no partner internet service to team up with Apple on. That means for these services they will physically be unable to use Apple’s zero sign-on feature.

There is one exception to this rule and that is DIRECTV NOW. It is possible that with AT&T’s recent efforts to merge DIRECTV NOW and AT&T accounts that AT&T could offer this if you happen to also have AT&T Internet.

Right now this zero sign-on service only works for Spectrum customers. (So far only confirmed for traditional cable TV customers, not their streaming service.) Apple says they hope to expand the program to other cable networks but again only if they can link TV accounts to internet IP addresses.

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