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AirPlay could soon be coming to your cheap-as-chips Roku stick

AirPlay 2, Apple’s sound and video streaming format, will soon be coming to Roku OS, according to a source speaking to MacRumors.

For those that don’t know, AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless feature that allows Macs, iPhones and iPads to send content to other supporting devices. Until recently, “other supporting devices” meant Apple products: you could broadcast your Mac’s screen to Apple TV, say, or stream music to your HomePod.

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But Apple has been opening things up with AirPlay 2 – first with a bunch of speakers, but also with televisions.

Old rivals Samsung were first out of the door when it came to promising AirPlay 2 and iTunes support in its 2019 TV sets, but it looks like Roku could beat the South Koreans to the punch, and with far wider compatibility too.

After all, you can stick a Roku in any TV with an HDMI port, which certainly beats a handful of brand new Samsung sets.

Of course, we don’t know which Roku devices will be supported. An OS update, as suggested, could mean universal compatibility, but it’s possible that technical issues or good old-fashioned upselling might make AirPlay 2 a top-end Roku feature.

Roku sticks start at around £30, but the most recent 4K capable Roku Streaming Stick Plus comes in at £79.99.

The source apparently told MacRumors that support would likely extend to TVs with Roku OS pre-installed, which includes sets from brands like Sharp, TCL and Hisense. But perhaps more intriguingly from a British perspective is that Roku manufactures Now TV boxes for Sky in the UK. Could that mean AirPlay 2 support for Now TV?

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I wouldn’t necessarily hold my breath on that front. In many respects, Now TV hardware is deliberately cut down: you can’t get Amazon’s Prime Video on Now TV, while you can on Roku. That means there’s no guarantee there, even if it ends up on literally every other Roku product out there.

That’s a big if, of course, especially when we only have one unnamed source to go on for now. But if you have a Mac or iPhone, this is certainly something worth keeping an eye on over the next few months.

Would you use AirPlay 2 on Roku given the chance? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.

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