At CES 2019, Apple and big named television set manufacturers announced upcoming support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, but does that mean your TV can turn on your lights or you can ask Siri to play a particular movie without the need of an Apple TV? Before you decide to upgrade your living room entertainment set up, here's everything you need to know about HomeKit on smart TVs.
What's new with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit for smart TVs?
January 6, 2019: Samsung, VIZIO, Sony, and LG announce support for AirPlay 2 on smart TVs
The four biggest television manufacturers have announced upcoming support for AirPlay 2 on new and some current smart TVs. All supported smart TVs will also gain HomeKit support, except for Samsung smart TVs, which will instead get exclusive access to the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app directly.
What features can you use with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on smart TVs?
That's the biggest question, isn't it?
We don't have all the specifics on what, exactly, AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on smart TVs will look like at this time. I'm not going to speculate on the possibilities because I don't want you to make your TV purchases based on potential. Here's everything Apple and confirmed manufacturers have officially stated will be a part of AirPlay 2 and HomeKit for smart TVs.
Apple's AirPlay support page mentions Siri can take charge of your TV.
With AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, you can use Siri on your iPhone to send a video to your TV. Better yet, ask Siri to play a specific show in a specific room.
Apple's Home app support page explains the following:
Siri knows which HomeKit-enabled accessories you have in your home as well as their status. So you can ask Siri to turn an appliance on or off, dim your lights, change the song, set one of your scenes, or play movies and music on your AirPlay 2–enabled TV from your iPhone or iPad.
"Hey Siri, play Game of Thrones in the living room."
VIZIO's announcement goes into more detail with SmartCast 3.0 TVs that will support AirPlay 2 and Homekit.
HomeKit allows customers to easily and securely control smart home products using the Home app or by asking Siri on their Apple devices. VIZIO SmartCast TVs can be added to the Home app and included in scenes or automations like any other HomeKit accessory. Customers can also use iPhone and iPad to turn their SmartCast TV on or off from the Home app, change volume and switch inputs, and ask Siri from iPhone and iPad to play movies, TV shows or music with AirPlay 2.
Regarding AirPlay 2, VIZIO has the following to say:
By selecting the AirPlay icon, users will be able to stream 4K and Dolby Vision HDR movies and TV shows from iTunes and other video apps as well as music, photos and more directly from their iPhone, iPad and Mac to their SmartCast TVs. Users can also mirror content such as web pages and presentations to their VIZIO SmartCast TVs. AirPlay 2 also features multi-room audio capabilities so users can listen to Apple Music, music from their iTunes library, and third-party music services as well as podcasts on their VIZIO SmartCast TV, HomePod, Apple's wireless home music speaker, or other AirPlay 2-compatible speakers at the same time, all in sync.
Support for VIZIO SmartCast 3.0 will roll out to new and existing smart TVs sometime in the second quarter of 2019.
LG made a number of big announcements at CES, one of them being support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit coming to its 2019 lineup of smart TVs.
With AirPlay 2, users can easily play videos directly from their Apple devices, iTunes and other video apps, music or photos to their LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R. With Apple HomeKit support, customers will be able to control their LG TV using the Home app or by asking Siri.
Sony announced some of its 2019 smart TVs will gain support for AirPlay 2.
Sony Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series TVs will be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. AirPlay 2 lets you effortlessly stream content from your iPhone, iPad and Mac right to your Sony TV. Watch movies and TV shows from iTunes and your other video apps, and view photos directly on your Sony TV. Listen to Apple Music, your iTunes music library, podcasts and your other music services on your television and AirPlay 2 speakers throughout the home — all in sync.
Sony also mentioned what HomeKit can do on its smart TVs.
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. For example, users can create a "Movie Night" scene in the Home app to easily turn on their TV and dim the lights, and simply ask Siri to launch the scene.
Sony specified that support will launch in Z9G Series, A9G Series and X950G Series later this year.
I've left Samsung for last for a specific reason. Apple service support is going to be different on new and existing smart TVs from the biggest television manufacturer in the world.
Samsung smart TVs will not support HomeKit even though they will support AirPlay 2.
Though that may get you down a bit, one thing that Samsung TVs can do that no others can, is directly access iTunes movies and TV shows.
With the new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung customers can access their existing iTunes library and browse the iTunes Store to buy or rent from a selection of hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes — including the largest selection of 4K HDR movies. iTunes Movies and TV Shows will work seamlessly with Samsung's Smart TV Services, such as Universal Guide, the New Bixby and Search, to create a consistent experience across Samsung's platform.
Though HomeKit won't come to Samsung smart TVs, AirPlay 2 will allow you to mirror your iPhone and iPad content and ask Siri for help finding and controlling content.
With AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will be able to effortlessly play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs.
Wait. Samsung won't get HomeKit support?
That's correct. We're not sure why Apple and Samsung came to this agreement, but we do know that direct access to iTunes Movies and TV Shows on Samsung TVs really brings a special touch.
It's possible that sometime in the future, Samsung smart TVs will support HomeKit via a firmware update, but there is no official information at this time.
Will the other smart TVs get an iTunes app?
As of this writing, no. The iTunes Movies and TV Shows app is exclusive to Samsung smart TVs.
The app is available as a firmware update for older Samsung smart TVs (from 2018), so it's entirely possible that support will eventually make its way to other smart TV brands.
Will my smart TV act as a Home hub?
Unfortunately no. You'll still need an Apple TV, iPad, or HomePod if you want the Home hub features.
Which models are supporting AirPlay 2 and HomeKit?
LG smart TVs
- LG OLED (2019)Announced
- LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)Announced
- LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)Announced
- LG UHD UM7X series (2019)Announced
Sony Smart TVs
- Sony Z9G Series (2019)Announced
- Sony A9G Series (2019)Announced
- Sony X950G Series (2019)Announced
- Sony X850G Series (2019 85", 75", 65" and 55" models)Announced
VIZIO smart tvs
- Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)Announced
- Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)Announced
- Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)Announced
- Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)Announced
Which Samsung smart TVs support AirPlay 2 and the iTunes Movies and TV Shows app?
- Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
- Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)Announced
When does HomeKit come to smart TVs?
At this time, there is no official information about when AirPlay 2 and HomeKit will make it to new and existing smart TVs, but from what all manufacturers are noting in their announcements, we should see support roll out in spring or summer of 2019.
What do you want to know about HomeKit on smart TVs?
What questions do you have about HomeKit coming to smart TVs? Put your questions in the comments and we'll update with any new information we get.
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