Apple is rolling out AirPlay support for TVs in hotel rooms

Apple is rolling out AirPlay support for TVs in hotel rooms

Serving tech enthusiasts for over 25 years.

TechSpot means tech analysis and advice you can trust.

Something to look forward to: If you’ve found yourself sitting bored in your hotel room, thumbing through 80 channels of nothing to watch, you might be happy to know that you can cast content from your iPad or iPhone to your hotel’s TV starting today. So far, the list of properties is pretty sparse, but I found some hotels near places I visit, and Apple promised to expand support going forward.

Apple’s AirPlay is finally available in some hotels starting today. At last year’s WWDC, the company announced it was working with LG to bring the feature to hotel TVs by the end of 2023. It initially said the capability would arrive with the launch of iOS 17 last September. However, that got pushed back to the iOS 17.3 update in January. The rest of the delay was likely due to logistical and organizational issues between Apple and its partners.

For now, AirPlay is only available in 60 hotels in the US, Canada, and Mexico under the InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) umbrella. These brands include Holiday Inn, Regent, and Candlewood Suites, to name a few. Sixty hotels is a paltry offering for the entire North American continent. However, Apple promised that IHG was only the beginning.

“AirPlay will also work with supported televisions in hotels, allowing users to easily enjoy their favorite content on the TV when traveling,” the company’s 2023 WWDC press release stated. “Built with a foundation of privacy and security, this capability will be available before the end of the year in select hotels, starting with brands from IHG Hotels & Resorts.”

Apple was vague in today’s announcement, saying that more hotels would be added “in the coming months.” While the number of hotels is not specified, it’s a promising sign for travelers. Those planning a trip can check the list of supporting destinations on IHG’s website.

Some may wonder why AirPlay is unavailable on hotel TVs when it is supported on most newer televisions. The main reason is the technical setup of the property’s TVs and networks. Some hotels have their sets wired to a cable or satellite service rather than WiFi. AirPlay requires both devices to be on the same WiFi network. So, if the TV isn’t connected to WiFi, it won’t detect the AirPlay signal request.

Furthermore, hotel WiFi is typically set up as a guest network. Most people have encountered these types of hotspots. They usually require a password or some other authentication method to ensure you are an authorized user (paying guest). AirPlay does not (or did not) have a way of handling this connection method. So, even if the property’s television was connected to the network and had AirPlay support, the feature’s request token could not get past the network’s firewall.

Frequent travelers like myself will welcome the ability to cast YouTube, games, and other content to their hotel room televisions. Last weekend, I happily discovered that a property I frequent added a native Netflix app to their TVs. Unfortunately, I was right in the middle of season one of Fallout on Amazon Prime, so I still had to watch on my iPad, but I’m not complaining. I will certainly take advantage of AirPlay when I find it available while traveling.

Read More






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *