Smart TVs are now integrating Apple's AirPlay 2 technology. That was one of the big stories of CES 2019, where many TV manufacturers simultaneously announced AirPlay was coming to their TVs. Some are even updating existing TVs with AirPlay.
What Is AirPlay 2?
Apple's AirPlay 2 lets you use Apple devices to control media playback, stream audio, mirror your screen, or do other similar things. It's built into Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Think of it a bit like Apple's version of Chromecast.
Previously, you could use AirPlay with your TV — but only if you purchased an Apple TV and connected it to your TV. There are unofficial AirPlay receiver software programs you can run on a PC or Mac connected to your TV, but nothing official. Now, AirPlay will be integrated into many smart TVs from many manufacturers.
This is not a replacement for Google's Chromecast. We saw TVs that had both Chromecast and AirPlay integrated. You can use whichever your devices work best with. Choice is great!
AirPlay is officially supported on Windows, but VideoLAN has announced plans to integrate AirPlay into a future version of the popular VLC Media Player. VLC already has built-in support for Chromecasting, too.
What Can I Use It For?
Here are some things you can do with AirPlay:
- service on your iPhone and send it to your TV, using your iPhone to control playback. The TV will stream the content from the cloud
- Show photos and videos from your iPhone on the TV, controlling the presentation on your phone
- Play music (or any other audio) on your TV and synchronize it to multiple AirPlay 2 compatible speakers are available in your home
- Mirror your iPhone, iPad or Mac screen to your TV
RELATED: How to Use Apple's New Multi-Room Audio Features in AirPlay 2
How Can I Use AirPlay on a TV?
We saw AirPlay on smart TVs in action at CES 201
When you have a TV that supports AirPlay integration, that TV will appear as an AirPlay device on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can select your smart TV just like you select an Apple TV, HomePod, or other AirPlay enabled devices.
In other words, it's just like using AirPlay with an Apple TV today, but you don't need any additional hardware
We also saw TVs that integrated information about AirPlay right into their home screen. You can select the "AirPlay" option on your TV's home screen to see instructions describing how to use AirPlay with your TV.
What About HomeKit and iTunes?
Some TVs are also integrating HomeKit support, which will let you use Any other smart home device can control your TV. Other TVs are integrating and built-in iTunes Movies & TV shows so you can watch iTunes videos on your TV without any Apple devices.
Some TVs have AirPlay and HomeKit but now built-in iTunes, while other TVs have AirPlay and iTunes with no built-in HomeKit.
Specifically, we know that Samsung TVs will get AirPlay 2 and iTunes, but not HomeKit. LG and Vizio TVs will get AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, but not iTunes. However, you can always stream video content from iTunes to your TV using AirPlay 2.
What TVs Will Support AirPlay?
Upcoming TVs from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio will come with AirPlay 2 built in. Here are the full list of TVs from Apple's website:
- LG OLED (2019)
- LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)
- LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)
- LG UHD UM7X series (2019)  Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)
- Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)
- Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)
- Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)
- Samsung 5 Series ( 2019 and 2018)
- Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)
- Sony Z9G Series (2019)
- Sony A9G Series (2019)
- Sony X950G Series (2019)
- Sony X850G Series (2019 85 ″, 75 65, 65 55 and 55 ″ models)
- Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
- Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
- Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
Vizio has also announced plans to update 2016 4K UHD SmartCast TVs with AirPlay 2 , not on Apple's website:  Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have confirmed that all 2016 4K UHD SmartCast Displays will support the Apple integration. -A
– VIZIO Support (@VIZIOsupport) January 8, 2019
Vizio customs us that there will be a beta program in the US and Canada, where registered testers can receive this software update in Q1 2019. Following that, in Q2 2019, will be made available to everyone. If you have Vizio TV that supports it, you just turn on your TV one day and see a message saying it now supports AirPlay.
Image Credit: Apple