Apple AirPlay Headed for TV Sets, Says Report

Apple's attempt to dominate the living room could stretch even further with the integration of AirPlay technology in HDTVs, according to a Bloomberg report. With AirPlay built into TV sets, users would be able to wirelessly stream content from an iPad, iPhone or Mac straight to the TV, without the need for a $99 Apple TV.

People familiar with Apple's plans told Bloomberg that Apple is looking to license AirPlay software to electronics manufacturers so that they can build in functionality allowing for direct streaming of video and audio from Apple devices.

Apple licenses AirPlay for streaming audio only, and manufacturers such as Pioneer launched AV receivers able to receive audio signals wirelessly using the technology. According to the report, Apple charges manufacturers $4 for each AirPlay-enabled device sold.

However, video streaming over AiPlay is limited to the $99 Apple TV set top box Apple introduced last year. (More than 1 million devices have been sold so far.) Upgrades in the iOS software for iPhone and iPad now allow users to stream video and audio to their sets via the Apple TV from both Apple software (Safari, videos) and third-party applications (see a list of AirPlay enabled apps).

But by licensing video-enabled AirPlay technology, Apple would eliminate the need of an Apple TV to bridge the media signals from iOS devices to TV sets, as well as expanding the third-party hardware ecosystem around AirPlay-enabled Apple devices. This could include not only AV receivers, but TV sets as well, removing the need for extra cables and clutter.

Would you buy an AirPlay-enabled HDTV? Sound off in the comments.

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