Samsung Just Made The Apple TV Obsolete

Samsung Just Made The Apple TV Obsolete
Image: Apple

It’s official: Samsung’s 2019 smart TV range will provide inbuilt access to iTunes movies and TV shows as well as Apple AirPlay 2 support. This means there’s no longer any need for an Apple TV peripheral. Hurrah!

For the first time ever, iTunes fans will be able to access movies and shows directly through their TV using a new “open platform” app. The only catch is that you’ll need to fork out for a Samsung model (for now).

The app, which is launching in more than 100 countries, will be available on new Samsung TVs in the first half of 2019. Last year’s TV models will also be granted access via a firmware update.

The app will allow users to access hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including 4K HDR content – either by using their existing iTunes library or by purchasing new content through the app. The inclusion of AirPlay 2 support means you’ll be able to beam content to your TV directly from Apple devices too.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services said that the move will provide existing iPhone, iPad and Mac users with a new way to access content on the biggest screen in their home. But you’ll also be able to use the app even if you own no Apple devices.

“We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TV,” Cue said.

If you’re an iTunes user on the lookout for a new TV, this is an exciting proposition – especially if you have lots of gizmos hooked up to your television. No Apple TV means one extra HDMI port for your PVR, Blu-ray player and/or video game console.

The timing of Apple’s new iTunes app coincides with the impending launch of a new Netflix-style streaming service that has reportedly cost the company over $1 billion to develop. We’re sure this is no coincidence – if Apple doesn’t provide access to this service on third-party TVs soon, we’ll eat our hats.

There’s no word on whether Apple will be partnering with other TV manufacturers. LG is rumoured to be announcing AirPlay 2 support at CES this week – but the iTunes app appears to be a Samsung exclusive for the time being.

With any luck, we’ll be seeing a bunch of smart TVs with inbuilt iTunes apps in the near future.

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  • Have you used the Tizen “app store” on a Samsung TV? There’s sweet FA decent apps on there beside the big names streaming services. I’d say Samsung paid a pretty penny to have this on their platform before WebOS/Android TV to finally add something newish for the first time in years.

  • I’m afraid this one is click bait. There will still be a place for Apple TV as it offers more functionality than just iTunes/AirPlay (and no, I’m not a fan boy; far from it…).
    By way of comparison, the Chromecast hasn’t disappeared because Google Movies and screen sharing is available on some televisions.

  • the upside of apple tv isn’t itunes store it’s the slick interface.

    Anyone who has used apps on a smart TV (even on my OLED LG with a ‘pointer’ remote) knows how painful it is. From the garbage interface to tedious keyboard inputs the entire thing is a chore.

    Apple TV finally makes it easy and quick to use, so quick i use it more than the PC plugged into my TV. I could watch NBA League pass, youitube and amazon prime through my PC but it’s just easier, cleaner and quicker doing it on the apple TV.

    And I haven’t even mentioned the TV App which aggregates all the streaming content into one single interface. Something sorely needed and hugely useful.

    ITunes and Screen sharing are my two least used features of Apple TV, I really don’t think this makes Apple TV obsolete at all.

  • Don’t say it’s an apple TV killer until you see the implementation… Apple stuff is killer because it works well. I’ve never used a smart TV that worked well. That being said, Apple TV is still too expensive for most people…

    • But surely a “Premium” Samsung TV with this capability has a premium cost more that the $209 that it costs for an Apple TV. If you’re in the market for a Samsung TV, the Apple TV is not too expensive for “most people”.

      I actually love the way you can turn any “dumb” TV into a entertainment wonder by just adding the Apple TV.

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