LG’s 2020 8K TVs Will Support AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, But There’s Still No Sign of the Apple TV App

LG Signature OLED 8K TV Credit: LG
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With the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) about to kick off in Las Vegas next week, we’re no doubt going to see a whole lot of new products and technologies surfacing, but it looks like LG is getting a head-start on the festivities by pre-announcing its 2020 lineup of 8K TVs, and while it’s not a big surprise, it’s good to know that LG remains committed to offering at least basic support for the Apple ecosystem.

It was at CES last year that we first heard that AirPlay 2 would be coming to Smart TVs, with Samsung, LG, and Vizio among the first three manufacturers to make the announcement. Not long after that widened to include others — even Sony’s Android TVs joined the party by the end of 2019 — and with this expected to continue into 2020 and beyond, the day will soon come when Apple support will hopefully become a standard feature on all new smart TVs.

According to LG’s press release, the company plans to release eight new 8K TVs in 2020, including their 88-inch and 77-inch Signature OLED 8K models at the high-end, along with six NanoCell LED TVs in 75-inch and 65-inch sizes. All of them will support the official 8K Ultra HD standard, as well as including 8K upscaling.

AirPlay 2 of course will allow you to stream content directly to the TV from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac without needing to plug in another accessory, although at this point you won’t really be able to take advantage of even close to full 8K resolution over AirPlay 2 — the protocol itself is still limited to 1080p — but it’s not like your iPhone or iPad can output even 4K resolution in the first place.

HomeKit support will let you control your LG TV via the Home app from your iOS or macOS device, which includes things like powering it on or off, switching inputs, and even controlling it with Siri and automation routines — all things that you ironically can’t even do with Apple’s own Apple TV set-top box at this point.

What About Apple TV+?

Sadly, what’s still missing from LG’s Smart TVs is support for Apple’s actual TV app, which would allow users to watch Apple TV+ natively. LG seems to have been dragging it heels on this one, perhaps due to difficulties in porting the app over to the webOS platform that it runs on, but either way this means that if you have an LG TV, or are planning on buying one of the new 2020 models and plan to watch Apple TV+, you’ll likely want to get an Apple TV 4K or Roku 4K set-top box, as that will be the only way to enjoy Apple’s shows in full 4K Ultra HD quality.

Of the Smart TVs that launched with Apple integration last year, only Samsung went the extra mile, incorporating the iTunes Movies and TV Shows apps into their smart TV operating system even before the Apple TV app was an option. At this point, while AirPlay enabled TVs are available from LG, Samsung, Sony, and Vizio, Samsung remains the only smart TV that natively supports the Apple TV app, although it’s also available on both Roku and Amazon Fire TV media sticks.

We’re hoping next week that we may see more announcements at CES regarding the rollout of the TV app, but for now it doesn’t look like it will be coming to LG’s 2020 TV lineup anytime soon.

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