Not only Samsung collaborates with Apple.
Apple fans typically have little to look forward to at CES, but Samsung’s announcement that it will bring the iTunes video store to its smart TVs with Bixby support was a pleasant surprise. However, Samsung is not the only TV manufacturer collaborating with Apple; AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support is coming to additional smart TVs.
Apple has updated its AirPlay page with a focus on TV entertainment and a special mention of smart TV support. What’s more, individual TV manufacturers have started to announce support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.
This article was updated on 01/08/2019 to include Sony’s TV announcement.
LG’s announcement of its new Signature OLED R televisions included mention of AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility.
Amazon Alexa, a 2019 addition to LG’s lineup of AI-enabled televisions, and the support of Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit enable users to perform tasks with their voice. AirPlay 2 enables users to easily stream videos, music, and photos from their Apple devices, iTunes, and other video apps to their LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R. With support for Apple HomeKit, customers will be able to control their LG television using the Home app or Siri.
While LG’s press release is limited to its new high-end rollable OLED TV, we shouldn’t expect support to be limited to that model. AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are listed as features of the company’s new Alpha 9 processor, and LG is promoting the features as coming to the majority of its 2019 product lineup.
Vizio has introduced its new SmartCast 3.0 software platform, which includes support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. It will come as a software update to existing TVs that support SmartCast Home, which means that millions of existing Vizio TV users will gain these features in a software update. Vizio says the SmartCast 3.0 update will roll out to registered beta users in the first quarter, and the general public in the second quarter.
New Z9G Series, A9G Series, and X950G Series televisions from Sony will also support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. The press release states that Z9G Series, A9G Series, and X950G Series will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit later this year. Intriguingly, the Z9G and A9G Series TVs are powered by Android TV, so you will be able to control them to a certain extent using both Google Assistant and Siri.
Apple aims to significantly increase its revenue from services over the next few years, and the anticipated launch of a video streaming service (with dozens of its original shows) will be a key component of this strategy.
Apple must expand beyond its own devices for this hypothetical video service to attract more subscribers; there simply aren’t enough Apple TV boxes in the world to make a Netflix-like service a global phenomenon. In the coming months, more devices will likely offer Apple’s services directly (like Samsung) or connect to Apple devices through AirPlay and HomeKit (like Vizio, Sony, and LG).
On Apple’s Home Accessories page, you can find a full list of models that will support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.