AirPlay 2 hitting LG’s 2019 smart TVs on July 25

Apple Airplay
Nate Barrett/Digital Trends

Since it was announced that Samsung would be the first manufacturer to add Apple’s AirPlay 2, Apple TV, and HomeKit technologies to its TVs, we’ve been waiting to hear when the other three confirmed companies — LG, Sony, and Vizio — would be updating their TVs. We now know, via an LG press release, that some of LG’s 2019 TV models (see chart below) will get HomeKit and AirPlay 2 features turned on starting July 25, with updates continuing to roll out to these TVs over the following weeks.

Apple device owners will need to have the iOS 12.4 update to take advantage of the new automation and content sharing that these technologies enable. What hasn’t been confirmed is whether this update will contain Apple’s Apple TV service as well. Samsung had previously announced AirPlay 2 support for its smart TVs, but LG is now the first global manufacturer — according to its own claim — to support HomeKit too.

LG’s announcement is the latest move in Apple’s new strategy to open up what was once its exclusive domain and bring AirPlay 2 to a wide selection of smart TVs. In the case of Samsung’s smart TVs, Apple’s sudden warm embrace of TV manufacturers (even ones that compete heavily with it in other categories) extends to the company’s revamped Apple TV App viewing experience, which was launched on the same day as Samsung’s update, with iOS 12.3.

While AirPlay 2 brought support for multiroom audio via the Apple Home app, iOS and MacOS users will also get the benefit of being able to throw their favorite videos, photos, and music to compatible TVs, as well as the ability to mirror their Apple phones and tablets. To use Apple’s parlance, it will just work. Thanks to an open API, we’ll also start to see more third-party apps supporting the wireless audio and video standard — the popular VLC video player app is even slated to get AirPlay 2 functionality later this year.

Here are all of the TVs confirmed by Apple to be getting AirPlay 2 as it continues to roll out this year:

LG Samsung  Sony  Vizio
LG OLED (2019) Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018) Sony Z9G Series (2019) Vizio P-Series Quantum X (2019)
LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019) Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018) Sony A9G Series (2019) Vizio P-Series and P-Series Quantum (2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016)
LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019) Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018) Sony X950G Series (2019) Vizio M-Series and new M-Series Quantum (2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016)
LG UHD UM7X series (2019) Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018) Sony X850G Series (2019 85-inch, 75-inch, 65-inch, and 55-inch models) Vizio E-Series (2018, 2017, and 2016 UHD models)
Samsung 5 Series (2018) Vizio V-Series (2019)
Samsung 4 Series (2018) Vizio D-series  (2018)
Samsung The Frame Series (2018 & 2019)
Samsung The Serif Series (2019)

Keen observers will note the absence of TCL, Sharp, Hisense, and others from this list. We’re also somewhat surprised that only the newest LG TVs are slated to get AirPlay 2 — something that hasn’t changed with LG’s July 22 announcement — which leaves a lot of buyers of the 2018 and 2017 models wondering why they have been so cruelly overlooked for this upgrade, especially since these TVs are already Miracast-enabled.

These TVs are not the only way to enjoy AirPlay 2 — or Apple TV — without an actual Apple TV set-top box. Roku devices are getting both of these services, and Amazon’s Fire TV devices will be getting Apple TV (and possibly AirPlay 2, though this has not been confirmed yet).

As Apple starts to expand the AirPlay 2 universe of devices, it might evolve beyond its current life as a video and audio transport mechanism to become the Trojan horse that lets Apple add HomeKit support to millions of new devices.

We’ll be updating this post as more devices are added, so be sure to bookmark it and check back regularly.

Updated on July 24, 2019: Added the announcement of AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on LG TVs and a link to LG’s press release.

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