How AirPlay 2 and the Apple TV App Work on a Samsung TV

When iOS 12.3 and tvOS 12.3 launched earlier this week with the updated TV app that Apple first teased at its March event, Samsung also rolled out support for both AirPlay 2 and the new TV app, making it the first third-party company to launch these features.

We have a Samsung TV set (the 2018 Q6F) that's compatible with the new Apple offerings, so we thought we'd check them out to give MacRumors readers a look at how Apple features work on third-party television sets.

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After installing a firmware update, Apple-compatible Samsung TV sets will have an Apple TV app, which is going to be unique to Samsung TVs for the foreseeable future. Other TV sets are gaining Apple features like ‌AirPlay‌ 2, but it's only Samsung that has a TV app option for now.

The TV app on a Samsung TV looks almost identical to the TV app on the ‌Apple TV‌, offering up a "Watch Now" feature that keeps track of the movies and the TV shows you're watching, plus content recommendations ranging from suggestions based on what you've watched to new content to trending content.

The "Channels" feature that's new to the TV app is available on Samsung TVs, allowing users to subscribe to services like HBO, Starz, Showtime, and more right within the TV app. Channels content can be watched right within the TV app without the need to open up another app.

There are dedicated sections for "Watch Now," Movies, TV Shows, Kids, Library, Search, and Settings, and the app offers up access to all of the iTunes content that you've previously purchased. You can also purchase or rent new movies within the app.

Apple content on the Samsung TV works with other Samsung Smart TV services, including the Universal Guide, Bixby, and Search.

Compatible Samsung TVs also now work with ‌AirPlay‌ 2, which means you can ‌AirPlay‌ content to them much like you would to a TV connected to an ‌Apple TV‌ set-top box.

You can ‌AirPlay‌ music to the TV, ‌AirPlay‌ content from apps like YouTube, or ‌AirPlay‌ TV shows and movies. ‌AirPlay‌ functionality works from within apps or through the Control Center where ‌AirPlay‌ options are located.

In our testing, the ‌Apple TV‌ and ‌AirPlay‌ 2 features on the Samsung TV set worked flawlessly, and were much like using an ‌Apple TV‌ set-top box. The experience was similar enough that it's easy to forget you're interacting with a Samsung Smart TV rather than an ‌Apple TV‌ box.

There are quite a few Samsung TVs from 2018 and 2019 that are compatible with ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and the TV app, with a list available below:
  • Samsung FHD/HD 4, 5 Series (2018)
  • Samsung QLED 4K Q6, Q7, Q8, Q9 Series (2018 & 2019)
  • Samsung QLED 8K Q9 Series (2019)
  • Samsung The Frame Series (2018 & 2019)
  • Samsung The Serif Series (2019)
  • Samsung UHD 6, 7, 8 Series (2018 & 2019)

These TV sets can access ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and the TV app right now, with a firmware update required on 2018 TV models.

Other TV manufacturers like Vizio, Sony, and LG are also implementing similar features and will begin supporting ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and HomeKit later this year. Vizio is already beta testing ‌AirPlay‌ 2 and ‌HomeKit‌ features, as demonstrated in the video below.


While Vizio, Sony, and LG all plan to support ‌HomeKit‌, which will let you use Siri voice commands and the Home app to control your TV, Samsung is not implementing this feature and Samsung TVs won't be an available option in the Home app.

Samsung has instead added the TV app, which Vizio, Sony, and LG have not announced support for.

Top Rated Comments

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7 months ago

never got myself an apple tv as i never saw enough reasons to, and i'm kind of glad they are phasing it out.


They aren't phasing it out.
Rating: 26 Votes
7 months ago

i think they slowly are. i mean who's going to want to pay money for something that takes up room, when your tv has all of the same functions?


Because for those who do not have a proper TV will need the apple TV.

Also, the thing is a size of a hockey puck. If your room can't fit an extra hockey puck, you got no business buying a new TV.
Rating: 13 Votes
7 months ago
I wish there was a way to filter out all of the stuff that I can't watch without paying. It's annoying to still see so much "pay-required" content integrated in with stuff that is either free to watch, owned, or a part of an existing subscription. Is there "cord cutter" type term for people who heave their streaming device through a window?
Rating: 7 Votes
7 months ago
Smart TVs don’t get connected to my network so hopefully Apple keeps releasing Apple TVs
Rating: 6 Votes
7 months ago

Because for those who do not have a proper TV will need the apple TV.

Also, the thing is a size of a hockey puck. If your room can't fit an extra hockey puck, you got no business buying a new TV.


I'm in the minority, but I never even bothered connecting my Samsung Smart TV to our home wi-fi. We have the ATV 4K and it works perfectly for us.

Plus, I have the ATV placed behind the TV, so with that and the soundbar, I don't even see the actual hardware unless I'm cleaning.
Rating: 6 Votes
7 months ago
No update available yet for the 2018 UHD 6 Series for me
Rating: 6 Votes
7 months ago

i think they slowly are. i mean who's going to want to pay money for something that takes up room, when your tv has all of the same functions?


The SoC in a Samsung isn’t gonna be close to the A10. Sorry bud, there’s too many games, and other functions that Apple goes into the Apple TV that they aren’t gonna hand over to any 3rd parties.
Rating: 6 Votes
7 months ago

i think they slowly are. i mean who's going to want to pay money for something that takes up room, when your tv has all of the same functions?


I don't think they can. They will always need a fall back but more importantly, to retain a strong negotiation position of strength, they can't leave themselves at the mercy of the TV makers for getting Apple content on screen. Samsung and others can now sell their TV's with the incentive of "save money on an Apple TV by getting it built in". No ATV and there's no sweetener in the sale anymore.
Apple did well to persuade so many to include it in their TVs.

Remember that an ATV box only needs to be sold at cost price by Apple. The money is made in services and consumables. It's like the ink jet printers which were sold dirt cheap only for us to be price gouged for the ink refills. So it doesn't matter if they don't make a profit on ATV, we know they do from their services business.
Rating: 3 Votes
7 months ago
So Beancounter Tim's plan is to commoditize Apple's ecosystem to the point that you can be an "Apple fan" while buying hardware from Apple's single largest competitor. This definitely isn't what SJ meant when he said they'd cracked the television problem.
Rating: 3 Votes
7 months ago

i think they slowly are. i mean who's going to want to pay money for something that takes up room, when your tv has all of the same functions?


I use mine with Fulgaz, an indoor cycling trainer app, the apple tv can control my smart trainer, altering resistence, inclide etc - best way of doing it and dont see how the TV will replace it.
Rating: 2 Votes

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