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Wednesday March 23, 2011 6:22 pm

Apple set to open up AirPlay video to electronics manufacturers

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Apple, Home Entertainment

AirPlayApple is reportedly interested in expanding its AirPlay audio-streaming technology to include video, and possibly licensing it to consumer-electronics manufacturers, according to a report.

Bloomberg reported that Apple already licenses the AirPlay technology to Pioneer Corp. and D&M Holdings.

Bloomberg quoted executives from Philips as well as Pioneer; the Philips executive was quoted as being interested in the technology, while the Pioneer executive called AirPlay a "blessing for an industry trying to move the needle forward on sales".

In November 2010, Apple issued iOS 4.2, which added AirPlay connectivity to Apple TV and the iPad. Specifically, the update added enables AirPlay—wireless streaming of video, photos, and music from your iOS device to Apple TV—and AirPrint, the wireless printing solution for the iPad. Currently, CE manufacturers are prohibited from taking advantage of the video capabilities inherent in AirPlay, Bloomberg reported.


You can multitask while streaming video to Apple TV —great if you want to check out IMDB while you're watching a movie to get details about the film. Unfortunately, video does not display and play on the iOS device when you stream to Apple TV—the screen turns into a simple remote control for video playback. This is useful, of course, but it would be nice to stream to Apple TV and, say, take your iPod into the kitchen and still be able to see the video. The reason for the exclusion, while photos do display on both the device and Apple TV, is likely due to the delay between the two devices—it would create an audio echo effect.

Streaming video to the television, of course, is something already offered by Sony's PlayStation 3, Microsoft's Xbox, the Google TV devices, plus standalone media streamers from Boxee, Roku, and others. None of them have the capability to stream from an iPad, of course, but all of them can get video onto the TV.

Apple TV, of course, can do the same, via movie rentals and purchases from its iTunes store. However, licensing this capability to third-party CE companies would expand the Apple ecosystem while leaving Apple's technology at the center, a strategy Apple seems to have approved in the past.

This article, written by Mark Hachman, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.


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