Television Hardware News can be a relatively sleepy affair; at a certain point, “big” begins to lose much meaning, and smart TVs in the age of Roku often seem redundant at best. And yet at CES this year, Samsung has managed meaningful developments on both fronts.
First, in what will likely prove the biggest surprise of the trade show—admittedly not saying much these days—Samsung announced that iTunes would soon take its place alongside Hulu and Netflix and myriad other streamers on its smart TV platform, Apple’s first concession that it might need more than Apple TV to hold sway in the living room. Not only that, but Samsung HDTVs will support AirPlay 2, Apple’s method of automagically beaming content from one of its devices to a big screen.
In fact, Apple laterclarified that multiple “leading TV manufacturers” would build in AirPlay 2, effectively giving Apple a coherent alternative to Google Chromecast. The iTunes app will remain exclusive to Samsung, at least for the time being. The team-up might seem surprising, if only given the animus between the two companies in recent years.