Bloomberg reports Apple may be seeking to expand the compatibility of its AirPlay technology with external devices by licensing video streaming to makers of television sets. Currently, Apple is only licensing audio streaming through AirPlay to brands like Pioneer; video streaming compatible with iOS devices embedded directly into televisions sold to consumers could dramatically increase the popularity and market share of AirPlay as a standard.
Under the plan, Apple would license its AirPlay software to consumer-electronics makers that could use it in devices for streaming movies, TV shows and other video content, said the people, who asked
An expanded AirPlay would let users stream programming wirelessly from an Apple mobile device to a TV that carries the technology. That may spur wider use of Apple’s services and devices in consumers’ living rooms.
According to the report, Apple takes $4 off every AirPlay-enabled audio device sold thanks to the licensing deals with manufacturers. Building AirPlay support into TV sets and other monitors (AirPlay is a collaboration of Apple and BridgeCo, a company that’s been talking to TV makers for years to make web-connected devices) could easily help Apple expand to living rooms without releasing new devices. Apple sells the $99 Apple TV that is the only AirPlay videor receiver for now, but the plan makes sense: build AirPlay into actual televisions so content from the iTunes Store and other Apple partners (example: Netflix) can be streamed without buying additional gear (that is, if you already have an iPhone, iPad or Mac).
In the past, Apple was also rumored to be considering a streaming technology for iOS games that would allow users to beam a game played from a mobile device directly to the television. With the iPad 2, this is possible thanks to HDMI support. AirPlay for games (video-out) with a chip embedded in new television sets would be an interesting scenario for Apple.