You soon won’t need an Apple TV in order to watch content bought or rented from the iTunes Store - or Apple’s new shows when it launches its anticipated TV subscription service.
At the beginning of January 2019 Samsung announced that it will start offering Apple iTunes Movies and TV Shows content on its new TVs. 2018 Samsung TVs will also gain support in a subsequent firmware update. In addition Samsung announced support for AirPlay 2.
Then on Monday 7 January 2019, Sony announced that it would also be offering AirPlay 2 on some of its TVs launching later this year, while not specifically offering a shortcut to iTunes, this will mean any consumer with an iPhone or iPad or Mac could stream from their device to the TV.
Like Sony, Vizio and LG have also confirmed that they will support AirPlay 2 on their TVs. Which means that all you will need is an iPhone, iPad or Mac and you will be able to stream photos and other content to your TV.
Sony also announced that its TVs will also integrate with HomeKit, so could be controlled via Siri. "Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series, X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit," said the company. "HomeKit lets you easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on your Apple devices. These TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations with other HomeKit accessories".
It is likely that the Samsung, Visio and LG TVs will also integrate with HomeKit.
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 anticipated subscription service - that is expected to launch this Spring - would not be able to compete with the alternatives if it required an extra box.
Apple currently sells the Apple TV for this purpose, but it trails behind the Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast in terms of sales. Read about Apple's plans for the Apple TV here. Roku stock took a bit of a dive following the announcements of Apple's plans.
The image showing the new service as shared by Samsung seems to indicate it will be called iTunes Movies and TV Shows - but this may change when Apple’s new service launches.
Regarding Samsung’s announcement, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue said: “We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home.”
Which TVs support (or will support) AirPlay
- Samsung QLED series: 4-, 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- models (2018 and 2019)
- Vizio D-, E-, M-, and P-Series (2017) and Vizioi P-Series Quantum models (2018 and 2019)
- LG OLED, UHD UM7X, and NanoCell SM8X and SM9X TVs (2019)
- Sony Z9G, A9G, X950G and X850G (2019)