Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Apple may license AirPlay to television set manufacturers

According to a post on Bloomberg.com this afternoon, Apple is "weighing" a possible move to license AirPlay to television set manufacturers, allowing users of iOS devices to stream their video content directly to new television sets, rather than going through an Apple TV. No doubt the revenue from licensing fees would be greater than that derived from Apple TV sales, a product the company still calls a "hobby".
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Currently Apple only licenses AirPlay for audio streaming, and this seems to be going along swimmingly as several manufacturers including Pioneer, Philips and JBL have announced new speakers or receivers that will accomodate AirPlay streaming.

The problem, of course, will be getting the TV makers on board. Apple has gone nowhere with their FaceTime software, which when introduced, was to be open source and available for other companies to take advantage of. Heard of anybody building FaceTime into their devices or systems?

Although several movie and television related media apps have released updates to make their apps AirPlay-enabled, only two magazines (that I know of) have incorporated the system -- that one is a music magazine (SPIN Play), the other the print magazine of a cable TV channel (ESPN the Magazine), and both publishers are working with the same developer, Bottle Rocket.

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