If you are wondering how to watch Apple TV on your TV, or looking for a way to stream from your iPhone or iPad to your TV screen, look no further. In this article we’ll discuss which TVs work with the Apple TV app and AirPlay, as well as other ways to make your TV AirPlay compatible.
The big news is that an Apple TV set-top-box is no longer a requirement for watching movies and shows bought and rented from Apple, viewing Apple TV+ dramas on your TV screen, or even streaming content from your iPhone or iPad to your TV screen.
In this article we will run through all the Samsung, Sony and LG TVs that include the Apple TV app, and those that support AirPlay – Apple’s standard for sharing videos, photos, music and more from an Apple device to the TV screen.
We’ll also discuss how you can now use a Roku or Amazon Fire TV to get the Apple TV+ content. And reports suggest that, when they launch in November, the new game consoles Xbox Series X and Series S will include the Apple TV app.
Apple’s TV+ streaming service is packed with shows from the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, and J.J. Abrams, and the content is available, along with content from other TV subscription packages, via Apple’s TV app. We have a guide to what’s on Apple TV+ here. If you subscribe (£4.99/$4.99 a month) you will be able to watch the new Apple shows on Apple devices or on a TV if you have an Apple TV set-top-box, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or one of the following smart TVs.
There are lots of options that will allow you to stream Apple’s content to your TV screen without buying the Apple hardware. The list of TVs that offer support for Apple TV is ever growing. For example, in August 2020 LG added the Apple’s TV app to more of its models, including TV sets from 2018, which join the 2019 models that already supported the app. LG has also promised to add support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit by October 2020, so there may be more coming in an update to the built-in software.
What TVs work with Apple TV?
Previously, if you wanted to watch content streamed from your iPhone, iPad or Mac, or films and TV shows rented or purchased from Apple’s iTunes Store, on your television you needed an Apple TV set-top-box plugged in.
With the price of an Apple TV starting at £149 that was a high price to pay. Luckily you no longer need to have an Apple TV plugged into your set to be able to watch TV shows and movies from Apple or stream TV+ content.
Apple is allowing the TV app to be offered on certain brands of smart TV and streaming sticks. So far the list includes TVs from the following manufacturers (click on the link to jump to a list of the supported TVs):
The TV app is also available on streaming players from:
It also appears that the TV app will be availble on the new Xbox consols launching this November:
Our collegues over on Techavisor have a handy explainer of the difference between the Series X and Series S.
We’ll run through the various TV sets and streaming sticks that offer the TV app in more detail below.
What TVs are compatible with AirPlay?
In addition to TVs with the Apple TV app installed, there are TVs that work with AirPlay 2 – which will enable you to stream content from your iPhone, iPad or Mac to the TV screen. In that case TVs from the following manufacturers are included:
The arrival of the TV app and AirPlay on these devices suggests that Apple has accepted that the only way it can get its content onto people’s TVs is to partner with TV manufacturers. Most TVs come with Netflix and Amazon Prime installed so Apple’s TV+ subscription service would struggle to compete if it required an extra box.
And with the Apple TV trailing behind the Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast in terms of sales, it seems that Apple concluded that it was better to be on those devices than competing with them.
The Apple TV app arrived on Roku devices in October 2019. The TV app is available to download for free from Roku’s Channel Store. As well as access to Apple’s streaming service, the app also offers access to the iTunes Store and any Channels you might want to subscribe to via the app.
- Roku 4K TV A000X
- Roku TV 7000X, C000X, 8000X
- Roku Smart Soundbar 9101X
- Roku onn Sound Smart Soundbar 9100X
- Roku Express 3900X, 3930X
- Roku Express + 3910X, 3931X
- Roku HD 3932X
- Roku Streaming Stick 3600X, 3800X
- Roku Streaming Stick + 3810X, 3811X
- Roku Premiere 3920X, 4620X
- Roku Premiere + 3921X, 4630X
- Roku Ultra 4640X, 4660X, 4661X, 4670X
- Roku Ultra LT 4662X
- Roku 2 4210X, 4205X
- Roku 3 4200X, 4230X
The app isn’t available on some older Roku models. You can buy a new Roku stick here.
Amazon might be a competitor when it comes to content streaming, but Apple is putting the Apple TV app on Fire TV sticks. That’s probably a good move on Apple’s part.
If you already own a Fire TV, or if you were thinking of buying one, you will find the Apple TV app available as download from the Amazon’s Apps and Games store.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K (2018)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Gen 2 (2016)
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Basic Edition (2017)
- Fire TV Cube (Gen 2)
- Fire TV Cube (Gen 1)
- Fire TV – Gen 3 (2017)
- Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition
- Fire TV Edition – Insignia HD (2018)
- Fire TV Edition – Insignia 4K (2018)
- Fire TV Edition – Toshiba 4K (2018)
- Fire TV Edition – Toshiba HD (2018)
At the beginning of January 2019 Samsung announced that it would start offering “Apple iTunes Movies and TV Shows” on its new TVs and some 2018 Samsung TVs (via a firmware update). In addition, Samsung announced support for AirPlay 2.
Then, in May 2019 Samsung announced that it had added the TV app to select 2018 and 2019 TVs.
The following Samsung TVs feature the TV app and work with AirPlay 2:
- Samsung QLED 8K Q9, Q8 Series (2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung QLED 4K Q9, Q8, Q7, Qx Series (2018, 2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung UHD 8, 7, 6 Series (2018, 2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung FHD / HD 5.4 Series (2018, 2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung Serif Series (2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung The Frame Series (2018, 2019, 2020) buy one here
- Samsung The Sero Series (2019, 2020) buy one here
And these Samsung TVs offer AirPlay 2:
LG has also confirmed that the Apple TV app will be offered on the following new TVs:
In addition these LG TVs offer AirPlay support:
On Monday 7 January 2019, Sony announced that it would be offering AirPlay 2 on some of its TVs launching later in 2019. When the company made its announcement that January wasn’t clear whether Sony was planning to only add AirPlay 2 support for streaming from Apple devices, rather than offer a shortcut to iTunes.
Apple later indicated at its 25 March 2019 event that the Apple TV app would be available on Sony platforms “Later this year”, and yet, to date no Sony TVs offer the TV App. Sony seems to favour Android TV.
They do however work with AirPlay 2 – so you will be able to stream the content from your iPhone, iPad or Mac to one of these Sony TVs.
- Sony Z8H Series (2020)
- Sony A9S Series (2020)
- Sony A8H Series (2020)
- Sony X95H Series (2020)
- Sony X90H Series (2020)
- Sony X85H Series (2020)
- Sony X80H Series (2020)
- Sony Z9G Series (2019)
- Sony A9G Series (2019)
- Sony X950G Series (2019)
- Sony X850G Series (2019 55 ”, 65”, 75 ”, and 85” models)
- Sony Z9F Series (2018)
- Sony A9F Series (2018)
If your Sony TV has AirPlay 2 support you will be able to stream content from your Apple device to the TV, without requiring an Apple TV.
Sony also announced that its TVs work with HomeKit.
Vizio has also confirmed that they will support AirPlay 2.
The following Vizio TVs will offer support: D-, E-, M-, and P-Series (2017) and Vizioi P-Series Quantum models (2018 and 2019).
- VIZIO OLED (2020)
- VIZIO P-Series Quantum X (2020, 2019)
- VIZIO P-Series Quantum (2020, 2019 and 2018)
- VIZIO P-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- VIZIO M-Series Quantum (2020, 2019)
- VIZIO M-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016)
- VIZIO E-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016 UHD models)
- VIZIO V-Series (2020, 2019)
- VIZIO D-Series (2019, 2018)
If you are wondering whether you can buy a Vizio TV in the UK though, the answer is probably not since they only sell in the US and aren’t designed for our market.
Apple has a webpage detailing the TVs that support Apple’s services.
Our collegues at Tech Advisor have reviews of some of the best smart televisions here.
What can you watch Apple TV+ on?
The TV sets and streaming sticks above join the following Apple products that include the Apple TV app.
You can use the TV app on your iPhone to search for content, see recommendations, and jump straight to your Up Next list. However, when you choose what you want to watch you will usually be sent to the corresponding app to watch it, be it Netflix, Prime, iPlayer and so on. However, some third-party subscription content might be integrated into the Apple TV app so you won’t have to leave the app to watch it.
In addition, if you subscribe to Apple’s TV+ service, you will be able to watch and download all of Apple’s original content onto your iPhone.
The situation with the iPad is identical to the iPhone. You are able to watch all the content available in the Apple TV app, and if you subscribe to the TV+ service you will be able to watch all of Apple’s own content as well.
It always struck us as odd that the TV app wasn’t available on the Mac. Especially since many years ago the Mac specific Front Row software was a precursor to the TV app we know today.
The TV app finally arrived on the Mac with macOS Catalina in October 2019. With Catalina installed, you can watch any content available via the TV app on a Mac, including TV+ shows and movies.
Apple TV set-top-box
As long as your Apple TV box features the App Store (that’s either an Apple TV 4 or Apple TV 4K), you can use the TV app to search for content to watch. As with the iPhone and iPad, you are then kicked out of the TV app to watch content in the relevant On Demand app (which you need to find on the Apple TV App Store).
Once the service launches, Apple TV owners who subscribe to TV+ will be able to watch all the new content on their TV screen.