CES 2019: Sony, LG, and Vizio Announce Apple AirPlay and HomeKit Support
Apple could use some good press lately, and this week's CES is delivering. Yesterday, Samsung announced it will support iTunes and AirPlay 2 in its 2018 and 2019 TVs. Following that, Sony, LG, and Vizio came through with their own announcements. This marks a rare change for Apple, building a platform of supported devices from other vendors rather than going it alone.
Sony's announcement got the most surprise, as it will add AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support to its TV lineup, which is based on the Android TV platform. Its Z9G, A9G, and X950G series will gain support sometime this year. AirPlay lets people watch or listen to locally stored iTunes content on their TVs, while HomeKit lets them control their set with voice commands when linked to the Home app.
LG and Vizio have likewise announced AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, Vizio in the upcoming 3.0 version of its SmatCast TV platform and LG in its webOS operating system for 2019 models. Yesterday's Samsung announcement is a little different, and it will offer an iTunes Movies and TV Shows app, but hasn't announced HomeKit support.
“At our core, Vizio is committed to delivering value," says Bill Baxter, Vizio's chief technology officer. "SmartCast 3.0 is one of the ways we’re doing just that. By adding support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, users can play content from their iPhone, iPad, and Mac directly to SmartCast TVs, and enable TV controls through the Home app and Siri.”
While a late entrant to the OTT space, Apple has big plans, taking its free service to over 100 countries shortly after launch.