Even as much of our viewing habits are being changed because of streaming services, cable television is alive and well. For anyone with a TV subscription, iOS, iPadOS and and Apple TV offer users the ability to link their TV provider to the app and gain instant access to all of the video apps. That means the likes of Showtime, Stars, Epix and Cinemax are all gathered in one place to make finding your next episode even easier. Apple has a lengthy list of available providers for countries around the world, with the U.S. leading the pack with almost all major providers available.
How to Sign in on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
With your iOS devices, once you sign in with your TV provider (AT&T, Spectrum, Cox, etc.), you shouldn’t have to enter your info again. To add your info to your device:
1. Make sure you have the latest version of iOS or iPadOS. This is going to ensure everything works as well as it should, knowing that any of the latest potential sign-in bugs are worked out.
2. Go to Settings, then scroll down until you see an option for “TV Provider.” Scroll through the list until you locate your provider. If your provider is supported, you are now prompted to enter your username and password.
3. It’s important to note that not every TV provider allows for a single sign-on experience. Comcast (Xfinity), for example, does not and, because of that, you will have to sign in to other apps individually. That means anyone who has additional subscriptions as part of their cable bill (Starz, Epix, etc.) will not be automatically signed in. Instead, you will to add each app individually.
4. To change your TV provider, go back to “Settings -> TV Provider -> Sign Out.” Follow the same steps as above to add a new provider. All in all, this process should take less than a minute or two and is great for anyone who moves or switches cable subscriptions.
How to Add TV Providers on Apple TV
Signing in on your Apple TV, the physical unit, is nearly the same as you would do on an iOS device.
1. Confirm that you have the latest version of tvOS. Again, this is to make sure that you have captured any of the latest software hiccups that could prevent you from logging in. While these instances are rare, having the latest software is always recommended.
2. On your Apple TV, go to “Settings,” choose “Users and Accounts,” then “TV Provider.”
3. Select your TV provider on this screen. If you live outside the United States, scroll down and select your country or region. Enter your email and password for your TV provider account. Like iOS, if your TV provider isn’t listed, you can start logging in by selecting “Enter New” and adding your account info (email and password) and then clicking Sign In.
4. If your cable provider offers an app in the App Store with additional features (On Demand, live television, etc.), you may receive a prompt to download and install the app.
5. Last but not least, make sure you don’t lose your Apple TV remote.
While Apple TV is not thought of in the same light as Netflix or Disney+, there is still plenty that it offers. When you add in the ability to have your cable provider plus a variety of subscription/streaming services all in one location, the benefits start to come together. That Apple makes adding your TV provider as easy as it does is a testament to just how seamless they want the TV experience to be for users of any experience level. While you are at it, give Apple TV+ a try and start with Ted Lasso. You can thank me later.