Here’s how AirPlay 2, HomeKit & Siri voice control integrations will work on Smart TVs

Following official confirmations from Samsung, LG and Vizio that their Smart TV sets will soon integrate support for AirPlay 2, Apple has now confirmed that other leading television manufacturers will bring support for both AirPlay and HomeKit technologies to their products.

As the refreshed AirPlay 2 page indicates, AirPlay 2, Apple’s proprietary media-streaming technology, is coming soon to “popular smart TVs,” without mentioning specific brands.

AirPlay 2 support

Apple says you will be able to beam the following items to AirPlay 2–enabled smart TVs:

  • Photos: Your vacation images, photographs you have favorited, albums and more can be sent to a compatible Smart TV from the stock Photos app with just a few taps.
  • Videos: Movies and shows purchased or rented from iTunes can be streamed from iOS/macOS to a Smart TV in 4K HDR. Your home clips, YouTube videos and streaming videos in third-party apps such as Netflix, can be also AirPlayed to a Smart TV.
  • Music: Any music on Apple Music or in iTunes can be sent to a Smart TV, too, including gameplay audio and songs from third-party apps such as Spotify and Pandora.

You’ll be able to share these items to your Smart TV with a tap of the AirPlay icon on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Mac. AirPlay 2 requires iOS 11.4 or later, a Mac or Windows PC with iTunes 12.8 or later, an Apple TV with tvOS 11.4 or later or HomePod with iOS 11.4 or later.

AirPlay 2 is coming to Vizio Smart TV sets later this year

Best of all, these Smart TVs will support AirPlay mirroring so you can send anything displayed on your Apple device to a bigger screen, wirelessly, bypassing your Apple TV completely.

Multi-room video streaming is currently unsupported by AirPlay 2, but you can do thing like send a video to one AirPlay device and then spread the audio across multiple AirPlay speaker.

HomeKit integration

AirPlay 2 requires HomeKit, meaning that all AirPlay-compatible Smart TV sets also gain support for Apple’s platform for the connected home. As a result, Airplay-powered Smart TVs include advanced multi-room audio capabilities afforded by AirPlay 2.

Apple explains:

Leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TVs, so now you can effortlessly share or mirror almost anything from your iOS device or Mac directly to your AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV. You can even play music on the TV and sync it with other AirPlay 2–compatible speakers anywhere in your home.

An AirPlay-compatible Smart TV connected to the same wireless network as your Apple device automatically appears in the stock Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, basically acting as an AirPlay 2 speaker that supports multi-room audio.

Using the convenient AirPlay controls in apps, on the Lock screen and in Control Center on your iPhone, you will be able to play, pause, fast-forward, rewind and adjust the volume of your TV.

But wait, there’s more! HomeKit integration happens to enable limited support for Siri voice commands which are related to multi-room and media control. This will mostly work for requesting a specific show or movie to be played on your Smart TV through AirPlay.

ROUNDUP: Siri voice commands for multi-room AirPlay 2 audio control

For example, a voice command issued through your iOS device or Mac—such as “Hey Siri, play Game of Thrones on my living room TV”—will wake up an Airplay-compatible Smart TV that’s in your living room and automatically start streaming to it.

Siri can also play music on Smart TVs. In fact, you’ll be able to send audio to any combination of AirPlay 2 devices at once—i.e. a Smart TV in the living room, another one in kids’ room, your wife’s HomePod in the living room and those monster AirPlay 2-compatible speakers that you hid in your man cave—and AirPlay 2 will take care that all of them play audio in perfect sync.

Are you glad that AirPlay 2 is coming to Smart TVs?

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