Monday, January 7, 2019

iTunes Video and AirPlay on Samsung TVs

Eric Slivka:

Samsung today announced that it has worked with Apple to integrate iTunes movies and TV shows, as well as AirPlay 2 support, into its latest smart TVs. The features will roll out to 2018 models via a firmware update this spring and will be included on new 2019 models. iTunes movie and TV show access will come via a new dedicated app for Samsung’s TV platform, available in over 100 countries.

Eric Slivka:

- Apple says “leading TV manufacturers” will be including AirPlay 2 support in their TVs, indicating that this initiative will not be a Samsung exclusive. Apple has not, however, announced additional TV partners or a timeline for when AirPlay 2 will come to these other brands. Samsung’s support is rolling out in a firmware update for 2018 TVs and built into 2019 models “beginning this spring.”

- AirPlay 2-enabled TVs will act just like any other AirPlay 2 speaker, meaning you can send many different types of audio from an iOS device or your Mac to your TV. Music being sent to your TV via AirPlay 2 can also be synced with other AirPlay 2 speakers.

Great news. I’d been hoping they’d do this for a long time. It makes my purchased content seem more secure, given that I’ve had problems with the old Apple TV hardware and don’t want to buy a new Apple TV. Less reason to make the big jump to Amazon and fragment my library.

Benjamin Mayo:

In other words, Samsung TVs will be able to watch 4K iTunes content before Macs can.

Ryan Jones:

Hm, so are cross-platform Services the entry drug to Apple or the ecosystem around iPhone? I’m not sure.

But it is hard to imagine Music and TV competing well against Spotify, Netflix, YouTube TV without a native advantage.

Ryan Jones:

They just aren’t built for any of this. Really really feels like spreadsheet growth-hunting.

Josh Centers:

Everyone says I’m wrong here, but Samsung won’t be the last smart TV platform to get iTunes. And once it’s as universal as Amazon Video, you’d be crazy to drop $180 on an Apple TV.

Mitchel Broussard (in 2016):

HTC announced its new smartphone, the HTC 10, revealing that the Android device will have the ability to wirelessly play audio through devices and speakers that support streaming via Apple’s AirPlay feature (via SlashGear).

Previously: Cultural Insularity and Apple TV, Movies Anywhere, Amazon Offering Apple Products.

Update (2019-01-08): Colin Cornaby:

Still don’t understand why Apple doesn’t offer a built in option for a Mac to become an AirPlay 2 target.

Nilay Patel:

Apple tells me that no smart TV content tracking is allowed on AirPlay 2 streams on Vizio and LG TVs, in addition to preventing Samsung from tracking the iTunes app. Sounds like they pushed this policy with the industry, good for them

The wacky part is Apple can’t prevent TV makers from content tracking on HDMI inputs, so a smart TV can track what you watch on an Apple TV!

Joe Rossignol:

A few days ago, Apple announced that AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs are coming soon from leading manufacturers, and we’ve since seen a series of announcements from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio at CES 2019.

Update (2019-01-09): Benjamin Mayo:

This is great for everyone.


If Apple had licensed AirPlay video more liberally from the get-go, every TV screen and projector would have it built in already. No need to buy a $100+ peripheral. No need to switch to the Apple TV input. No setup needed.

I am so pleased that Apple has changed their stance here. These partnerships bind Apple customers more closely to the iPhones, iPads and Macs they already own, and improve customer satisfaction and loyalty rates. It will take time for the number of AirPlay 2-enabled TVs sold to be meaningful, but in the course of time, it will be commonplace.

Rene Ritchie:

I’m keeping my Apple TV until Eddy Cue pries it from my Hulk hands.

tvOS interface is much better for me than any of the smartTV stuff, and I trust it to have better updates faster, be more secure and private, and I dream of apps taking off one day. So help me. LOL.

Kirk McElhearn:

Hell is freezing over for Apple because the company has finally accepted that it cannot make enough money from its video offerings just with Apple devices (ie, the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV). This also suggests that the Apple TV has seen its last iteration. If Apple can put the same apps on any smart TV – which is, of course, not complicated – why have a separate device?

Lee Bennett:

Coz Apple TV provides an app experience not available anywhere else! Long Live Apple TV!

Nick Heer:

But I am not sure that necessarily leads to the end of the Apple TV. I don’t see the company abandoning dedicated hardware just because it has a services business, even for a presently lower-priority product like the Apple TV. It seems to me that it’s more likely that Apple’s TV product may morph to become a full television that they have complete control over. Why not? Most televisions look awfully cheap and are privacy nightmares.

Update (2019-01-11): Josh Centers:

The HomeKit story is a bit more interesting: supported TVs will become HomeKit devices, and as such, you’ll be able to turn them on and off or change their inputs with Siri or Apple’s Home app. You’ll also be able to create HomeKit scenes with actions to control these TVs.


What’s curious is how only Samsung gets iTunes Movies and TV Shows, but Samsung is the only vendor not providing HomeKit support. Despite that confusion, these announcements may be great news for Apple users who own or plan to buy a supported TV set, but what does it mean for the rest of us, and for Apple’s TV plans going forward?

Update (2020-02-04): Sam Byford:

LG has made the Apple TV app available on a variety of its 2019 smart TVs as promised, according to a press release from the company. The app will be on TVs in more than 80 countries and gives users access to Apple’s new Apple TV+ video subscription service as well as the ability to rent or buy movies from iTunes.

6 Comments RSS · Twitter

"Everyone says I’m wrong here, but Samsung won’t be the last smart TV platform to get iTunes. And once it’s as universal as Amazon Video, you’d be crazy to drop $180 on an Apple TV."

If you buy the Apple TV you don't have to put your TV on the net. If you don't put your TV on the net, the TV can't monetize you by sending data about you back to the manufacturer or their data partners.

Also announced on Sony and LG.

I like my appleTV, so I'm not excited to hear this. I liked the SE, also, so I'm bracing myself for the appleTV to be discontinued Sept of 2019 or 2020.

Now, I like my appleTV, because I trust it. It gets security patches, but my TV does not. If I trusted Samsung or Vizio to begin with, I never would have bought one.

I understand why Apple is doing this. I can count the DRM protected itunes purchases I've ever made on one hand. But for me, it does a flawless job of streaming Netflix, Amazon, and a third party service, while also letting me show off photos of my kids.

Best wishes to you, Mike.

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