The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Some Roku devices to get Apple AirPlay support

The move could allow streamers to watch services that aren't supported natively on Roku's platform.

The move could allow streamers to watch services that aren't supported natively on Roku's platform.

Roku will bring Apple AirPlay 2 support to some of its 4K-capable devices, a move that could allow streamers to watch services on their TVs using Roku devices even when an app isn’t natively supported on Roku itself.

The protocol is expected to roll out to select Roku devices later this year and will be joined by another Apple protocol called HomeKit, which allows users to control various functions via Apple’s smart assistant Siri.

Once exclusive to its own platforms, Apple in recent years has allowed outside manufacturers to license and integrate AirPlay 2 into their smart devices. The protocol is already available in select smart TV sets made by Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony.

The protocol is similar to Google’s Chromecast in that it allows users to “sling” or “cast” content from an Apple-branded phone, tablet or computer to an AirPlay-capable device like Apple TV or, soon, a Roku device.

Only Roku’s 4K-capable devices will get AirPlay 2 support. Older Roku devices and those limited to 1080p high definition are not supported.

Roku’s support for AirPlay 2 could trigger new interest in the smart TV manufacturer’s line of set-top boxes and streaming sticks, especially when it comes to apps like HBO Max that are offered on iOS but not on Roku, though app developers can decide to block Roku devices from accessing their services via AirPlay 2 if the choose.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).