Airplay 2 may come to Roku devices, leaving the Apple TV high and dry

Apple makes some much-loved technology, but the notoriously proprietary company doesn’t normally like to share with others. For 2019, Apple has apparently made a serious philosophical shift on that front when it comes to AirPlay 2, its wireless video and audio streaming protocol. After landing in a variety of 2019 TVs, including those from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, Apple is now reportedly in talks to send the technology to Roku and its expansive family of streaming devices, according to Mac Rumors.

According to the report, Airplay 2 support would come in the form of a software update, rather than requiring those who own Roku hardware to buy new devices. The update would more than likely allow those who have Roku-enabled smart TVs, such as those from TCL, access to Airplay 2, and would only serve to grow the number of supported TVs on the market.

Airplay 2 would allow iPhone, iPad, and MacOS users to stream video, audio, photos, and more directly to the screen of their Roku-connected TV, providing an instant upgrade that would likely have many ditching the dongles they previously used to connect to their TV screen.

There are many reasons why the often-reclusive technology company might want to share the Airplay 2 protocol with Roku and others, but perhaps the biggest is that Apple is looking to launch its own on-demand video-streaming service this year. Roku is a major player in the world of streaming devices, and cozying up to the company could be a great way to make sure that more viewers have easy access to its streaming service when it launches. Roku OS currently supports apps from virtually all major video streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and Plex.

The move will also likely bring increased attention to Apple’s Homekit, which allows users of MacOS, iPhone, and iPad devices to control volume, playback, and more on the growing list of Homekit-enabled smart TVs.

AirPlay support is one of the biggest reasons many iPhone and iPad users choose Apple’s pricey Apple TV streaming box over much cheaper streaming devices from Roku and Amazon. With Roku devices supporting AirPlay 2 available at a fraction of the cost, Apple’s move to share its streaming technology may be a bad sign for the future of its fancy black streaming box.

There is no word on when the official rollout of Airplay 2 may happen on Roku devices, with the companies reportedly still meeting about the integration, but the news does leave a lot for Apple users to look forward to. After all, who doesn’t want better integration between their Apple devices and the other tech in their home?

Home Theater

MGM joins the streaming mega-race with launch of Epix Now service

In a widely anticipated move, MGM has launched Epix Now, a streaming platform that combines all four of its live TV channels, and a huge catalog of thousands of on-demand movies and TV shows.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

What is YouTube TV? Here’s everything you need to know the streaming service

YouTube TV is becoming an increasingly major competitor to other streaming services. Not sure if the service might be right for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got a guide detailing everything you could want to know about the service.
Smart Home

Have Siri control your home with the best devices that work with Apple HomeKit

Though they've been slow to trickle out, the list of HomeKit smart home products continues to grow and will only continue to do so now that the HomePod is available. Here's a list of the best Apple HomeKit-compatible devices.
Outdoors

These wireless earbuds use an A.I. to get you moving faster

The new Soul Blade wireless earbuds provide the ability to track your heart rate during a workout while an A.I.-powered coach gives advice and info on how to improve form and efficiency while exercising.
Deals

Walmart drops prices on Samsung 4K TVs during Presidents’ Day sale

With 8K TVs on the horizon, the cost of owning a 4K Ultra HD television has dropped pretty significantly in recent years, and this Walmart Presidents' Day sale is offering some great prices.
Product Review

Focal’s ultra-clear Sphear Wireless bring sexy back to banded Bluetooth buds

Focal’s Sphear Wireless are a sleek and simple pair of banded Bluetooth earbuds with exceptional sound and an affordable price, making them some of the only non-true wireless earbuds we’d consider buying right now.
Home Theater

Apple will reportedly launch its new video-streaming service at March 25 event

The rumors about what Apple will announce at a March 25 event continue to swirl. A new report suggests that it will debut its much-anticipated video-streaming service, which will compete with Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video.
Home Theater

Bose’s technology patents could save an earbud’s battery life

Possibly taking a cue from Apple's popular AirPods, Bose filed a patent application for earbud IR technology that could save battery life, improve sound quality, and possibly help people locate lost earbuds.
Home Theater

ATSC 3.0: The next-gen TV update explained

ATSC 3.0 is the next major update to the broadcast standard we use today. Will this be the second coming of free, over-the-air TV? We're here to explain everything about the new standard.
Home Theater

Samsung accidentally leaks its new Galaxy Buds ahead of launch

It's been all but certain that Samsung would launch a successor to its Gear IconX wireless earbuds soon, but a newly leaked photo and recent FCC certification document seems to indicate that the debut is very close.
Home Theater

Hi-res streaming audio service Qobuz arrives in U.S., threatens Tidal’s monopoly

For several years, Tidal enjoyed a monopoly on hi-res music streaming in the U.S. Now, French company Qobuz is here to offer some competition with a variety of monthly plans starting at $10 a month.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny, muffled TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.