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I have a Samsung TV from 2018 with built in Airplay. I can stream to it from iOS 16 on an iPhone 8, from iOS 12 on an iPhone 6, but not from iOS 10 on an iPhone 5. The TV is simply not showing up in iOS 10.

Ironically iOS 10 does show my Kodi instance and my neighbor's Apple TV as available; just not my own official Airplay receiver in my TV.

I've never been a heavy user of Airplay but I always assumed that it's supposed to "just work" if it actually says "AirPlay" on the box, and that I wouldn't have to do research on every permutation of version numbers between my devices. Apparently that's the wrong assumption, because iOS 10 can't even stream audio to it from the looks of it.

How do I determine which AirPlay devices are actually compatible with each other?

I couldn't find this information (e.g. a table of compatible iOS and AirPlay versions) and without it it's quite difficult to even answer the question of whether this should work. It would feel very cheap if modern receivers can't be bothered with compatibility code though.


  • The AirPlay version as stated on the TV is 17.24.6. Whose (Apple or Samsung) version numbering scheme that is I can't tell.
  • All iOS devices are on the same network.
  • All iOS devices see the same AirPlay receivers, with the exception of iOS 10 not seeing the TV.

Update

I found system requirements for airplay, which isn't exactly what I was looking for, but they state "iOS 11" as a requirement. This confuses things more, since it's decidedly nonsense — airplay is part of iOS 10 and has been around since long before it.

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From iPhone 5 - Technical Specifications

  • TV and Video - AirPlay mirroring and video out to Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)

I would hazard a guess that there’s a more recent AirPlay implementation in the Samsung and that is the reason for the iPhone 5’s inability to connect.

Edited to add: if the Samsung system firmware was updated at some point after the screen was manufactured, AirPlay might have been updated as well.

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  • That is one of my guesses as well, but then how do you actually know this as a potential airplay user/buyer? If there's no such information available then something doesn't add up.
    – Andreas
    Dec 9, 2023 at 13:18
  • Is the Samsung second-hand, or have you owned it since 2018? You'll have to scour the Samsung site to find out the specs on the model you have. We've purchased quite a few Samsung screens over the years at work, and info on the older devices sometimes gets harder to find. What you need is some info on which AirPlay version was shipped with the original device and compare it with the current version (17.24.6). As you indicated, it is hard to determine if that is Samsung's version number, or Apple's.
    – IconDaemon
    Dec 9, 2023 at 13:49
  • Interesting. What would that version number comparison tell me, other than whether it has been updated? You could call it second hand — I picked it up, repaired the backlight, and did a firmware upgrade as part of early troubleshooting. Can't imagine that taking functionality away would go down well with the original consumer either though... Exploring official Airplay devices is so far not looking very flattering. How can Apple not mandate basic backwards compatibility as part of licensing if they want people to think of Airplay as a hassle-free experience? I'm intrigued.
    – Andreas
    Dec 9, 2023 at 17:18

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