Apple Is The Star Of CES 2019 and They’re Not Even Here

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The folks behind the latest round of Samsung Smart TVs seem to have reached an agreement with Apple to bring a whole lot of content to their sets this Spring. Specifically, Samsung noted that iTunes support will also be available on its lineup of 2018 smart TVs via a forthcoming firmware update.

With AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will be able to effortlessly play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs, including QLED 4K and 8K TVs, The Frame and Serif lifestyle TVs, as well as other Samsung UHD and HD models.

"We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform", said Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President, Service Business of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics. Users in over 100 countries will see their TV's upgraded to allow AirPlay 2 functionality as well. This means there's no longer any need for an Apple TV peripheral.

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Vizio today announced that select models of its Smart TV sets will soon pick up support for Apple's HomeKit platform for the connected home and the AirPlay 2 media-streaming protocol. So far, iTunes has really only been available through the Apple TV, and bringing it exclusively to Samsung's Smart TVs is kind of a surprising move from Cupertino. Apple has been snatching up original content and is expected to launch its service later this year.

Controlling the volume of a TV via AirPlay 2 would be new, and perhaps there's something coming related to Apple's reference to "built-in apps, ' but playback controls on the Lock screen and in Control Center already exist". Because the new feature works in tandem with HomeKit, if you have multiple AirPlay 2 TVs, you'll be able to specify the room in which you want the video to play.

This announcement raises more questions than answers, so tonight's Samsung TV press briefing should be very interesting. This is possible through Airplay 2 and HomeKit.