AirPlay 2 and HomeKit Available on 2020 Toshiba and Insignia Fire TVs
Apple's AirPlay 2 and HomeKit features have been rolling out to a number of smart TVs, and as of today, the functionality is available on 2020 Toshiba and Insignia 4K UHD Smart Fire TVs.
AirPlay 2 is designed to allow iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to stream content to an AirPlay-compatible device, and with built-in support in Toshiba and Insignia TVs, an Apple TV is not required to use AirPlay 2.
AirPlay 2 also works across multiple devices for a whole home audio experience, and can be used for streaming TV shows, music, photos, and more to the television set.
With HomeKit, smart TV owners can control their television through Siri voice commands or through the Home app on iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Siri and the Home app can be used to turn the TV on or off, adjust the volume, and switch the TV input to another device.
To use HomeKit, the TV needs to be added as a HomeKit accessory, which can be done by going to the Settings menu on the TV, selecting Display and Sounds, and choosing the AirPlay and HomeKit option. From there, instructions are available on the setup process.
AirPlay and HomeKit are available on the Toshiba 4K UHD Smart Fire TV with Dolby Vision (2020 model) and the Insignia 4K UHD Smart Fire TV (2020 model).
Top Rated Comments
As an experiment I tried using apps like Prime on my LG and the whole experience was just awful compared to sticking with aTV all the time.
The HomeKit is mildly useful insofar as you can hook it up (at least I do) to auto power down the TV when I leave home, then restart it when I return; but even that can be done just as well using a SmartPlug, which was what I used to do before the LG.
My experience with AirPlaying to the aTV is
- it's not something I have done often
- only with video, never had a reason to do it for music
- the "technical" side has always been fine. Video has been at the quality level I expected, no dropouts I consider unreasonable.
- at the "protocol" level AirPlay sucks. Specifically it won't hold onto a connection for a long time. The way I watch content is very sporadic -- while I am eating, while I am doing chores like ironing, while I am exercising. This means I watch 5 minutes, pause, and start watching again a day later. This is a horror story for AirPlay, which forgets the connection after, I don't know, 15 minutes? And the sorts of sites where you are forced to use AirPlay because theyd on't offer a decent app are the same sites that lose your place when that AirPlay connection ends.
So, FOR MY USE CASES, AirPlay is something I only resort to under the most dire situations.
If YOUR use is something more like "start the movie, watch for 90 minutes till it is finished, end the movie; maybe with one 2 minute pee break" it might be fine.
Overall I am REALLY happy with aTV. I bought my first one as an experiment a few years ago, and somewhat expected I might be returning it to the Apple store (remember you get two weeks return, no questions asked). But it was an experiment that turned out really well!
But I neither game nor use AirPlay. For me, I use it as the UI for my TV, the way to watch
- Prime and aTV+ (TV+ free for now based on recent Apple purchases :-))
- Hoopla and Kanopy (free video services from my library)
- Tubi (IMHO the best by far of the free ad-supported streaming services)
- Peacock (free version)
- Channels DVR (Live TV if you care, and Live TV recording which is what I use, to my mac mini)
- Infuse (local content stored on the mac mini)
Point is, I can get all the content I want (local, live, streaming) via a single UI that I've found far more satisfactory than alternatives. But if you are happy with alternative UI's (built into your TV? Roku box?) aTV may not offer anything much beyond that? I can say that the aTV UI is ridiculously fluid and performant, whereas the alternatives I've tried seem slow and occasionally stuttery, and that's part of the package of "this just feels nicer" than I'm happy to pay for.