[POLL] Will Airplay on Smart TVs Kill the Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by JeffPerrin, Jan 8, 2019.


Will Airplay 2 on Smart TVs Kill the Apple TV?

This poll will close on Feb 5, 2019 at 7:28 AM.
  1. Yes - The average consumer won't need the Apple TV

    24 vote(s)
  2. No - Apple TV is here to stay

    97 vote(s)
  3. Maybe - (post your reason below)

    13 vote(s)
  1. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2008
    Maybe... I've been a big proponent of the Apple TV since I got a 1st gen in 2008, but Apple have seriously been draggin their knuckles with this thing. They could have cleaned up the whole living room streaming box thing several times but each time struck out. I still believe the Apple TV is a great option compared to a TV with AirPlay (and even with an iTunes app that will surely come to all sets once the Samsung exclusivity window runs out). However, for the mainstream audience the concenience of having the main streaming services built into their TV will be enough and I expect Apple TV sales to tail off and nosedive. The big thing about Apple TV is apps - and there just aren't any that are mainstream killers. Infuse is the only non-streaming app I used regularly and I'm sure a similar app will be available for most smart TV platforms soon (if Plex or MrMC aren't already available). Look back to the last WWDC keynote where the Future of TvOS on the second most powerful chip (A10X) at the time and we got... very little - Atmos probably should have been there at the same time as 4K but Apple needed to work with Dolby to enable the Atmos meta-data being passed through in a non-standard way. The fuller integration into HomeKit likewise was probably a holdover from a missed deadline the year before and the screensaver information is hardly a headline feature. Apple just flat-out doesn't know what to do with this thing.

    Gaming has been mentioned again and again but Apple needs to invest some serious time and money into this to buy exclusives and encourage big developers to release on TvOS and they don't see this as a priority. Gaming on TvOS has already been nearly killed off by the lack of a 'standard' controller and the now dropped "must be playable on the Siri Remote" clause. It's a shame because a 2019 Apple TV with A12X chip and HDMI 2.1 port could have enabled fluid display (120 Hz UI transitioning to 24 Hz film content without transitioning through a black screen) and the "XBox One S-level graphics" of the A12X could have brought Apple right into the gaming market.
  2. techwarrior macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2009
    I use ATV exclusively on 2 TV, I can't imagine life without them.

    Airplay is only a part of what ATV offers. The UI is better than Roku. And, it just works with Apple devices. I don't think they would discontinue it, but rather suspect they have a few tricks up their sleeves that we will eventually see.

    I have tried Roku, and while it can do most of what ATV can for me, it just didn't cut it for me.

    I think they got out of Airport business because it was unprofitable and largely undistinguished in a crowded market. Carrier routers were certainly part of that, but others seem to be doing well in the market. For Apple, the volume was just not enough to provide margins they need to keep the line.

    Sadly, Apple seems to be floundering in the innovation arena these days. Lets hope they find some more magic dust!
  3. jole26 macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2018
    The elephant in the room here is market share. Apple has been losing market share in the streaming box space for a while now. This move looks like Apple accepting their business model for the ATV isn't working.

    The ATV's big 2 USPs are iTunes and Airplay. Now these selling points are not unique, what effect will that have on market share?

    We don't know what Apple's plans are for their new streaming service, but it's fair to assume from this move that they won't be making it exclusive to the ATV.

    I don't know if Apple will be content to accept the ATV will always be a small niche device and continue to develop it over the coming years, or will decide based on falling market share to cut their losses. Or maybe they have some other strategy to win back market share?
  4. Nodens, Jan 9, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019

    Nodens macrumors newbie


    Jul 17, 2017
    I voted Maybe.
    For me the big game changer here is iTunes support, like Samsung announced. If I get iTunes on my Smart TV with 4K HDR / Dolby Vision / Dolby Atmos support, along with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support, then Apple TV 4K is pretty dead (for me at least).
    I already use my TV for Netflix, YouTube (which Apple TV lacks support for 4K and HDR) and Amazon Prime instead of Apple TV. iTunes Movies is the last reason that I keep using Apple TV.
  5. JeffPerrin thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    I hear you. My concern would be quality of Airplay implementation in TVs. And I certainly wouldn't hold my breath on counting onSamsung/LG/whoever to update their TV firmware/software after a couple years...
  6. Nodens macrumors newbie


    Jul 17, 2017
    That's true. Most, if not all, TV companies abandon their products after a couple of years and shift their support to the newer products. So yes, this would be a problem.
  7. pmau macrumors 65816

    Nov 9, 2010
    I use Apple TV Apps to stream normal TV channels.
    This is because with some Cable Providers, the stream quality is actually lower compared to the encoded stream in the App.
    Meaning, I watch 90% of media on my Apple TV.
  8. lec0rsaire macrumors 65816

    Feb 23, 2017
    If you have a flagship level TV like the 2018 LG OLEDs or the Samsung Q9FN QLED there shouldn’t be any problem with the quality of AirPlay. Both TVs have strong processors. Sony’s X1 Ultimate in the A9F is another great processor but so far Sony isn’t collaborating with Apple.

    LG has added new features in the past that are bigger selling points like Game Mode and HDR game mode on 2016 OLEDs. To me this is a bigger deal than adding yet another VOD store. They already have Vudu, Google Movies and Amazon.

    The question here is if iTunes and HomeKit are bundled. We’re less likely to get HomeKit but more likely to just get the iTunes Store. IoT stuff like Google Assistant/Alexa are selling points that older TVs usually don’t get.
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    The 2019 Sonys will indeed get both AirPlay 2 and HomeKit support:
    Source: Sony Press Release
  10. schlotz macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2012
    I see conflicts regarding the AppleTV (btw I have a 3 & 4).

    First: They are proprietary and getting full sound support has been lacking since ver 1. Latest version is getting better but the issue is it should pass thru all sound regardless of type and it doesn't.

    Second: other competing depts within Apple (itunes) eliminated the USB option early on thus hindering home movie collections in favor of them maintaining a revenue stream. There are now third party solutions but all require either ethernet or wifi and those can bring on additional complications.

    Third: Apples support for the atv seems a bit reluctant, most likely spurred on by the issues above. Now add the AirPlay2 capability to TV mfg'ers and it further degrades the atv's relevance. IMO Apple could turn the tables by opening up pass thru, and supporting attached external media. This would make the ATV a one stop shop for many consumers espeically when combined with view support it currently has (with more coming).

    Forth: Gaming - it's a big segment that comes with a fair amount of requirements. Competing here puts one squarely up against XBox and PlayStations etc... In order for the ATV to even be in that arena a MAJOR re-think would be required. IMO, the ATV should avoid the gaming market.

  11. JeffPerrin, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019

    JeffPerrin thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Given TVs will eventually support Airplay, iTunes, HomeKit (and Dolby passthrough, btw!), a major ATV re-think is all but required, IMO.
  12. Alx9876 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    Airplay has been around since 2009. I have probably used it 5 times or so since it came out. Little to no impact on Apple tv itself.
  13. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    There we have it... Samsung reveals Airplay coming to smart TV's, Apple people get fearful...

    Not that bad.. Apple TV will live long and prosper.

  14. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    One thing that has not been addressed here, is that these features are only on 2019 upper end TVs.
    99% of the entire world will not be buying these TV models this year or in 2020. It won't have any effect on Apple TV 4K sales.
  15. MarkNY macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2010
    I find using apps on my smart TVs to be a horrible experience compared to TVOS. Interface quality and CPU quality matter.

    This is obviously all about Apple's attempt to compete with Netflix.

    Those who worry that this kills the Apple TV should also be worrying that the iPhone and Mac are dead, too. This is no different from adding iTunes to Windows.
  16. Michelasso, Jan 11, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    Michelasso macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2012
    Treviso, Italy
    That processor has nothing to do with Airplay (or Google cast). It's the display processor, the one for upscaling, HDR/Dolby Vision colours and amenities like those.

    Still, as reported by Priitv8, Sony Bravia's 2019 models will support Airplay 2. That's because they have a much more powerful SoC (CPU+GPU) and I believe twice the RAM will help as well. Although it 's true that there are apps for Android TV/Fire OS (like Airreceiver) air playing content from iOS even to my - very slow- Fire TV Stick 2nd gen, doing a decent enough job. Maybe Airplay 2 needs more power, though.
  17. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
  18. trifid, Jan 12, 2019 at 2:36 AM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 2:46 AM

    trifid macrumors 68000


    May 10, 2011
    Guys come on, Airplay 2 support doesn't change anything with respect to Apple TV 4, assuming you use it for streaming apps like Netflix, Plex etc which I do:

    1. Whatever device you stream from, iPhone, iPad, needs to be in the room while you stream. If you leave the house with your phone for example, your entire family no longer gets video, someone needs to scramble another iOS device to stream. It's tedious, it's inconvenient, it's not a long term solution.

    2. Whatever device you stream from, you'll need to have it plugged in to the wall because you'll keep running out of battery fast especially if you binge on several episodes/movies, neither iPad nor iPhone are convenient having it chained to a wall all day next to your couch.

    3. If you get a notification, text message, phone call etc, they will disrupt your TV, and/or you'll need to turn off Airplay and take the call.

    4. Some people may like to use an iPad or iPhone while they watch TV, but guess what if you have an iOS device streaming Airplay, you can't use it while it streams.

    5. On Apple TV 4 there is a curated interface with easy to navigate icons, and a touch remote that is a breeze to use. So for example you have a consistent interface with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Plex icons. It's easy to use and convenient, and at the top you have recently viewed. If you use iOS device, the interface is not as "appliance-like" as Apple TV, even the "TV" app is not the same.

    6. Apple TV 4 lets you connect it to your network via Ethernet which gives you more stability and bandwidth.

    7. Apple TV 4 remote is great, you don't have to take your eyes off the TV, very easy and convenient to skip forward/rewind, play/pause all via gestures, no need to constantly look at the remote. But lets say you use iPhone, any play/pause, rewind/forward action, you'll constantly need to wake your iPhone, see the annoying bright screen, unlock it, find the play/pause button, touch it, find the rewind button, then touch it, get the picture? It's not an appliance like the remote is.

    Yes you can workaround and hack your way into using Airplay 2 if you don't have an Apple TV 4, but it'll be painful and horrible user experience.
  19. JBaby macrumors regular


    Jun 14, 2015
    1. Partially true. If you leave the house AirPlay no longer works. But your phone doesn’t have to be in the same room.

    2. I AirPlay 4hrs of TV 5 days a week all without being plugged in. I have an iPhone X.

    3. and 4. Haven’t been true for awhile now. This used to be so annoying to me.

    5. I think all of the apps you’ve mentioned are doing their own things. Of the apps you’ve listed very few have stuck with ’s design.

    7. You can rewind/fast forward using the remote. You can also ask Siri to do it for you.

    Have you used AirPlay recently?
  20. JD2015 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2014
    Apple TV is here to stay, particularly given the launch of a streaming service of sorts. This is about expanding it in as many devices as possible. Apple TV will just give users a more seamless experience for those that want it which is portable and not have to always stream from their device. Apple have planned this for past few years as part of their bigger strategy.
  21. Trajan81 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2013
    Kingston, Ontario
    This is not quite true. Airplay 2 and HomeKit is on 2019 models only for LG and Sony I believe. Samsung is adding support to 2018 and 2019. Vizio is adding Airplay 2 and HomeKit to all SmartCast model TV’s in their lineup which go back to 2016.
  22. JeffPerrin, Jan 12, 2019 at 7:59 AM
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 8:05 AM

    JeffPerrin thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2014
    Fact of the matter is, Apple rarely keeps a low-selling product around. If licensing iTunes & Airplay to 3rd parties cause ATV sales to fall below a certain point, then you can count on Apple dropping the ATV and telling people to use third party printers wi-fi routers display monitors TV apps.

    Which is why I argue that the Apple TV needs a re-boot as a serious gaming console contender if it is to garner large-scale interest by home consumers.
  23. Michelasso macrumors 6502


    Feb 20, 2012
    Treviso, Italy
    Talking about Airplay I'd say Airplay is similar to Google cast (the protocol, not the Chromecast device). It always requires a mobile device and from there it sends the URL to stream to the receiving device (thus no, the phone battery life isn't really an issue. It isn't a mirroring). Personally I ended up buying a Fire TV stick to watch Amazon Prime Video in my kitchen's 23" TV. I already had a Chromecast connected to it, but as we know Prime Video doesn't allow to cast.

    Now the Chromecast is collecting dust (finally! But I couldn't buy the Fire TV Stick at that time because.. Amazon didn't sell it in Italy at that time. Now we have got that 2nd gen piece of junk). I sure don't pick up my iPhone anymore to stream Netflix or else. I use the Fire TV Stick with its very convenient remote control. As a plus I don't have the audio glitching as it usually happens at least once per hour using the Chromecast with any app (although I suppose Airplay is much more robust! :D). As I have never used the Google cast implemented in my Bravia TV, apart from testing few things (no need to. I had the Android TV apps I needed already).

    In any case the problem with the Apple TV is the usual with Apple products: it's too bloody expensive. I can't even dream to tell some people to buy one. €199 for the 4K model is luxury for them. As €159 for the ATV 4 isn't much better. Actually it's ridiculous for a 1080p device, I didn't even dream to buy a new ATV 4 instead of a slow, but very cheap (€29.99 during Black Friday) device, it wasn't worth it for my needs.
  24. priitv8, Jan 13, 2019 at 2:37 AM
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 4:57 AM

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    I don’t think this is true. AFAIK AirPlay really beams the actual media stream over the network.
    AirTunes was slightly different - audio was converted to ALAC before sending out.
    But I do not believe that reference to media source is handed over to renderer.
    If that were the case, you should be able to switch off your sending iPhone and continue watching on aTV.
  25. richman555 macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2010
    Collegeville, PA
    The only reason to do this is to promote adoption of Apple services.

    I don't think TV integration is the only way to go either.

    Perhaps a much cheaper Apple TV stick for streaming would help.

    Honestly, the Apple TV device itself has so much more potential.

    Why not add Safari to it. How about Maps? How about email? How about a non broken Siri implementation.

    Kinda like a real iOS for your TV.

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