On 1 November 2019 Apple will start streaming its own original TV series and films. Apple's TV+ streaming service will be packed with shows from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams, and the content will be available, along with content from other TV subscription packages, via an updated and improved TV app. If you subscribe (£4.99 a month), and have an iPhone, iPad, or Mac you will be able to watch the new Apple shows on those devices, or, with an Apple TV set-top-box you'll be able to watch the new shows on any TV. But the new content won't be limited to those devices.
An Apple TV set-top-box is no longer a requirement for watching shows bought and rented on iTunes or content streamed from Apple devices on a TV set. In this article we will run through the Samsung, Sony and LG TVs that work (or will work with) Apple's TV+ app or AirPlay 2. We will also discuss how you can use a Roku or Amazon Fire TV to get the Apple TV+ content.
Apple has made its TV app available on some streaming sticks from Amazon and Roku, and on various TVs. Read on to find out which TVs will work with Apple TV+.
How to stream Apple TV+ on a television
Previously, if you wanted to watch content streamed from your iPhone, iPad or Mac, or films and TV shows rented or purchased from Apple's iTunes Store, on your television you needed an Apple TV set-top-box plugged in.
With the price of an Apple TV starting at £149 that's a high price to pay. Luckily you no longer need to have an Apple TV plugged into your set to be able to watch TV shows and movies from Apple.
Apple is allowing the TV app to be offered on certain brands of smart TV and streaming sticks. So far the list includes:
- Samsung has already added the TV app to some of its 2018 and 2019 TVs, we have more information about that below!
- Roku now has the Apple TV app on it's devices.
- Amazon Fire also offers the Apple TV app.
The extension of the TV app to these other devices comes just in time, as Apple TV+ subscription service launches on 1 November 2019.
It seems some other TV sets will offer support for AirPlay 2 rather than the TV app. Support for AirPlay 2 will mean you will be able to stream from your iPhone or iPad to watch the Apple content on your TV screen.
This suggests that Apple is prepared to accept that the only way it can get its content onto people’s TVs is to partner with TV manufacturers. On the basis that most TVs come with Netflix and Amazon Prime, Apple’s new Apple TV Plus subscription service would not be able to compete with the alternatives if it required an extra box.
With the Apple TV trailing behind the Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast in terms of sales, it seems that Apple concluded that it was better to be on those devices than competing with them.
What can you watch Apple TV+ on?
Here is our complete guide to the devices you can watch Apple's TV+ streaming service on.
You can use the TV app on your iPhone to search for content, see recommendations, and jump straight to your Up Next list. However, when you choose what you want to watch you will usually be sent to the corresponding app to watch it, be it Netflix, Prime, iPlayer and so on. However, some third-party subscription content will be integrated into the Apple TV app and you won’t have to leave the app to watch it.
In addition, if you subscribe to Apple’s TV+ service, you will be able to watch and download all of Apple’s original content onto your iPhone.
The situation with the iPad is identical to the iPhone. You will be able to watch all the content available in the Apple TV app, and if you subscribe to the TV+ service you will be able to watch all of Apple’s own content as well.
It always struck us as odd that the TV app wasn’t available on the Mac. Especially since many years ago the Mac specific Front Row software was a precursor to the TV app we know today.
The TV app finally arrived on the Mac with macOS Catalina in October 2019. With Catalina installed, you will be able to watch any content available via the TV app on a Mac, including TV+ shows and movies.
As long as your Apple TV features the App Store (that's either an Apple TV 4 or Apple TV 4K), you can use the TV app to search for content to watch. As with the iPhone and iPad, you are then kicked out of the TV app to watch content in the relevant On Demand app (which you need to find on the Apple TV App Store).
Once the service launches, Apple TV owners who subscribe to TV+ will be able to watch all the new content on their TV screen.
Which TVs work with Apple TV+ app?
Early in 2019 Apple announced that the Apple TV app would be available on new Samsung smart TVs, on the Amazon Fire TV stick, Roku devices. The company also revealed that AirPlay 2 support would be coming to LG, Sony and VIZIO platforms "Later this year".
The Apple TV app arrived on Roku devices in October 2019. The TV app is available to download for free from Roku’s Channel Store. As well as access to Apple's new streaming service, the app will offer access to the iTunes Store and any Channels you might want to subscribe to via the app.
The app isn't available on some older Roku models. You can buy a new Roku stick here.
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon might be a competitor when it comes to content streaming, but Apple is putting the Apple TV app on Fire TV sticks. That's probably a good move on Apple's part.
If you already own a Fire TV, or if you were thinking of buying one, you will be able to get the Apple TV app on that device (it's currently supported on the Fire TV Stick 4K, the Fire TV Stick (2nd Gen), and the Fire TV Basic Edition, but support will be coming to more Fire devices soon). The app is available as download from the Amazon’s Apps and Games store.
At the beginning of January 2019 Samsung announced that it would start offering “Apple iTunes Movies and TV Shows” on its new TVs and some 2018 Samsung TVs (via a firmware update). In addition, Samsung announced support for AirPlay 2.
Then, in May 2019 Samsung announced that it had added the TV app to select 2018 and 2019 TVs.
The following Samsung TVs will (or already) feature the TV app and will work with AirPlay 2:
- Samsung FHD/HD 4, 5 Series (2018)
- Samsung QLED 4K Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9 Series (2018 & 2019)
- Samsung QLED 8K Q9 Series (2019)
- Samsung The Frame Series (2018 & 2019)
- Samsung The Serif Series (2019)
- Samsung UHD 6, 7, 8 Series (2018 & 2019)
On Monday 7 January 2019, Sony announced that it would be offering AirPlay 2 on some of its TVs launching later in 2019. When the company made its announcement in January wasn’t clear whether Sony was planning to only add AirPlay 2 support for streaming from Apple devices, rather than offer a shortcut to iTunes.
However, it now seems that the TV app will appear on select Sony TVs later this year. Apple indicated in the 25 March event that the Apple TV app will be available on Sony platforms “Later this year”.
If your Sony TV has AirPlay 2 support you will be able to stream content from your Apple device to the TV, without requiring an Apple TV.
Sony also announced that its TVs will also integrate with HomeKit
The following Sony TVs will offer AirPlay 2: Sony Z9G, A9G, X950G and X850G (2019).
- Sony Z9G Series (2019)
- Sony A9G Series (2019)
- Sony X950G Series (2019)
- Sony X850G Series (2019 85", 75", 65" and 55" models)
LG has also confirmed that it will support AirPlay 2 on their new TVs.
The following LG TVs will offer support:
- LG OLED (2019)
- LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)
- LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)
- LG UHD UM7X series (2019)
Vizio has also confirmed that they will support AirPlay 2.
The following Vizio TVs will offer support: D-, E-, M-, and P-Series (2017) and Vizioi P-Series Quantum models (2018 and 2019).
- VIZIO P-Series Quantum X (2019)
- VIZIO P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
- VIZIO P-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- VIZIO M-Series Quantum (2019)
- VIZIO M-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- VIZIO E-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016 UHD models)
- VIZIO V-Series (2019)
- VIZIO D-Series (2018)
If you are wondering whether you can buy a Vizio TV in the UK though, the answer is probably not since they only sell in the US and aren’t designed for our market.