Roku begins AirPlay 2, HomeKit rollout starting with Ultra, Streambar, Streaming Stick Plus

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Roku units, together with 4K Roku TVs, are beginning to get AirPlay assist.

David Katzmaier/PJDM

Roku’s rollout of assist for Apple’s AirPlay 2 and HomeKit is now underway. On Wednesday the streaming big introduced that it has begun issuing the replace, a part of Roku OS 9.4, to a wide range of its units together with its Ultra streaming box, Streambar and Smart Soundbar audio system, in addition to the Streaming Stick Plus and Premiere streaming sticks.

The corporate says that 4K Roku TVs will start getting the replace within the “coming days.” 

First announced in September, the brand new characteristic is a pleasant improve for Roku units and permits for simply taking apps and content material from an iPhone, iPad or Mac and enjoying it in your TV as long as each are on the identical Wi-Fi community. This contains with the ability to stream apps and content material that aren’t accessible on Roku’s platform, resembling HBO Max

HomeKit integration, in the meantime, lets you management the Roku with Siri or immediately from the Dwelling app.

Roku has beforehand mentioned that almost all of its 4K TVs and streaming gamers (other than its oldest fashions) will get the AirPlay and HomeKit upgrades. The one participant that will not is the Roku 4 (participant mannequin 4400X) from 2015. Any 4K Roku TV from the final three years seemingly qualifies for the improve, with the exceptions having mannequin numbers that start with a “6” (so 6XXXX), which generally date from 2016 and earlier.

In case you have an older 4K Roku TV, you may verify the mannequin quantity by going to Settings, System after which About. The model you might have can be listed by “Roku TV.”

Rival TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio started adding AirPlay support to their televisions last year.

In briefly utilizing the brand new characteristic on my 2017 TCL 6-Sequence, AirPlay performs principally as marketed. Activating it was easy after heading into the iPhone’s Management Heart, deciding on “Display screen Mirroring,” selecting the Roku and coming into the four-digit code that appeared on my display screen to substantiate the connection. From there I used to be capable of view my iPhone on my TV, together with enjoying again photographs (in Dolby Imaginative and prescient) and watching HBO Max.

Netflix, nevertheless, would not play and as an alternative gave a message recommending that I take advantage of the Netflix app on the Roku. It’s unclear if HBO Max will proceed to have the ability to be streamed on Rokus via AirPlay or if the characteristic may be blocked.

HomeKit integration, a minimum of in my transient use, did not quantity to far more than having Siri be capable of flip the TV on or off. Siri wasn’t capable of change inputs by voice and even management the quantity, placing it far behind Google’s integration between Roku and its Assistant.

Past the AirPlay and HomeKit assist, the brand new Roku OS can even add new themes that now embody sound results, voice hints and the power to regulate encompass sound ranges with connected speakers.

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Eli Blumenthal