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Roku Gets TCL's Backing in Smart TV Battle with Apple

While Roku might have powerful new competitor in its quest to festoon the global smart TV market with its OTT ecosystem, it did get a powerful voice of support from Chinese smart TV manufacturer TCL.

Asked by enthusiasts blog Mac Rumors whether it will begin supporting Apple’s AirPlay 2 standard, as other major tube makers have, TCL responded, “we are committed to Apple.”

Earlier this week, just before the start of the CES confab in Las Vegas, Apple announced that it will offer AirPlay 2 support to Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony. Owners of TVs made by these companies will now be able to natively watch movies and TV shows purchased in Apple’s iTunes Store on their sets, without having to hook up an Apple TV device.

These users will also be able to do things like port over music from their iPhone to their TV, just as they would a smart speaker. Various integrations with Siri voice commands will also be enabled.

The intrusion of Apple into the smart TV market is notable for Roku, which was the first major operator of an OTT ecosystem to identify the potential of the market several years ago.

Earlier this week, Roku announced that 27 million users are regularly tapping into its ecosystem, a metric driven to a large extent by owners of smart TVs that enter the Roku UX every time they turn on their set.