AirPlay — it’s no longer just for the Apple TV streaming box and select audio products. If we learned anything at this year’s CES, it’s that Apple has decided 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 iTunes content as well.
While AirPlay 2 brought with it 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 when it rolls out into the wild later this year:
|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 (2019 and 2018)||Vizio V-Series (2019)|
|Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 201||Vizio D-series (2018)|
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 at present, which leaves a lot of buyers of 2018 and 2017 models wondering why they have been so cruelly overlooked for this upgrade, especially since these TVs are already Miracast-enabled. One answer: It could be the fees — Apple usually charges a license for its technology, and LG might be unwilling to pay for it on TVs that have already been sold at prices that didn’t account for this fee.
Still, it’s early days for this announcement, and we not only expect this list of supported AirPlay 2 TVs to grow over the coming months, but we also think it’s likely to extend to other devices. If Apple is now willing to let TV makers get in on the AirPlay action, who knows which other categories will be next for Apple’s wireless expansion? Perhaps we’ll see Android devices using AirPlay 2 to cast content to Android TV boxes like Nvidia’s Shield TV.
AirPlay 2 might be a video and audio transport mechanism for now, but it could also be the Trojan horse that lets Apple add HomeKit support to millions of devices that might have otherwise stayed outside of Apple’s growing home automation ecosystem.
We’ll be updating this post as more devices are added, so be sure to bookmark it and check back regularly.
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