Sony announced at CES 2019 on Tuesday that it would introduce AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to some of its upcoming 4K and 8K TVs later this year.
The Japanese manufacturer will join Samsung, Vizio and LG in adding the Apple platform compatibility to various televisions this year — a surprising development kicked off by Samsung’s announcement on Sunday.
What Is AirPlay 2?
- With AirPlay 2 integration, users will be able to push videos, Apple Music, photos and other content from an iOS or macOS device to a compatible Sony TV.
- They’ll also be able to control said content, whether it be TV shows, movies or music with their Apple devices.
- Multi-room audio via AirPlay 2 will also be available.
- HomeKit integration will allow Apple users to control their TVs with Siri voice commands and through the Home app on iOS. That includes requests like turning a TV on and off, playing specific shows or movies, and adding a TV into a specific HomeKit automation.
Compatible devices will include the newly announced Z9G 8K TVs, A9G 4K OLED TVs, and X950G 4K LCD TVs. All models are available in a range of different sizes.
Those TVs will launch in the spring. But Sony noted that AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support would debut “later this year,” presumably in a software update.
Apple’s Original Content Plans
The partnership with third-party TV manufacturers suggests that Apple is softening its “walled garden” stance a bit and is laying the groundwork for its upcoming original TV subscription service.
While that TV subscription service could be free for Apple device owners, Apple is also reportedly mulling the possibility of selling subscriptions to users of third-party platforms. Those plans could even include a combined Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple News subscription.
If that’s the case, then having the Apple TV content available on as many devices as possible at launch is a bit of a no-brainer strategy. The first batch of original TV shows is slated for a launch sometime this year, according to past reports.