Amazon has added a new single sign-on feature to all Fire TVs, Fire TV Sticks, and Fire TV Edition televisions through the latest software update, which began rolling out last week. The new feature allows customers to login once with their pay TV provider and be automatically logged into all network apps that support single sign-on. This eliminates the need to tediously activate each app individually.
Hints of Amazon working on a single sign-on feature first surfaced in May of last year. When Amazon announced the new 3rd generation Fire TV later that year they acknowledged that single sign-on capabilities would be coming soon and now they’re here.
The Fire TV’s new single sign-on feature works with most pay TV providers that support single sign-on through Adobe’s TV Everywhere Experience Cloud platform. Some TV providers, such as Comcast, have chosen not to support single sign-on, but an Amazon representative says that “the number of supported TV providers for SSO on Fire TV is on par with or better than the rest of the industry.” Without actually counting every provider on the list, I estimate that there are around 500 participating TV providers.
The network apps that already support single sign-on on Fire TV devices include A&E, AMC, BBC, Bravo, CNN, Cooking Channel, DIY, E!, Food Network, Freeform, Hallmark, HGTV, History, Lifetime, Syfy, Telemundo, Travel Channel, TCM, and USA. Additional networks, such as TBS and TNT, will be adding support soon.
The first time any of the participating apps are launched, you will be asked for your pay TV provider information, even if the app has previously been activated. The interface resembles the Fire TV’s captive portal interface that is used to log into hotel WiFi networks. You’ll be shown your TV provider’s website and use the Fire TV remote to log in. The option to use a cursor is available for any provider websites that don’t work well with just the remote’s directional buttons.
When you log into your pay TV provider once, you’ll automatically be enrolled in the new single sign-on feature. A notification message will appear in the lower right that will take you to a list of additional apps supported by your TV provider. Launching any other participating app after that point will not require any kind of activation, whether you’ve ever used the app before or not. Logging out off any participating app will sign you out of all single sign-on apps.