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Apple may license AirPlay video streaming to third-party HDTV makers

post #1 of 91
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Though AirPlay can currently be used to stream audio to compatible third-party devices, Apple may begin licensing the wireless streaming standard for video as well, according to a new report.

Citing two people familiar with the project, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Apple could allow other device makers to use AirPlay for "streaming movies, TV shows and other video content." One person reportedly said that such devices could be made available as soon as this year.

"An expanded AirPlay would let users stream programming wirelessly from an Apple mobile device to a TV that carries the technology," authors Cliff Edwards and Adam Satariano wrote. "That may spur wider use of Apple's services and devices in consumers' living rooms."

The strategy could negate the need for users to purchase Apple's $99 Apple TV set top box, currently the main beneficiary of the AirPlay standard. If HDTV makers were to integrate AirPlay into their products, it could also pour cold water on longstanding speculation that Apple intends to build its own connected high-definition television set in the near future.

If Apple does license video streaming with AirPlay, it would be an unusual step for the company, which typically does not license its software to other companies. However, with last year's announcement of AirPlay, Apple did reveal it was working with third-party device makers to allow integrated streaming audio compatible with the new standard. A handful of those products are already available on the market.

According to Bloomberg, those who sell AirPlay-compatible devices pay Apple $4 for each device sold, as part of the licensing agreement. It was also said that the existing AirPlay technology used by manufacturers allows for video to be streamed, though the licensing prevents it.



The report also said that Apple's chip partner for AirPlay, BridgeCo., has been working with "several TV makers" on future Web-connected HDTVs. However, it was not known whether the talks were to include AirPlay technology.

Apple has been quickly expanding the reach of AirPlay since it was first introduced late last year. The iOS 4.3 update for iPhone and iPad released earlier this month added the ability for third-party applications on the App Store to stream AirPlay video out to the Apple TV.
post #2 of 91
.

Whoa...

This could be Huge!

.
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post #3 of 91
Licensing AirPlay makes vastly more sense than building TVs.
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post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMoan View Post

Right. Instead of partnering with an established company, Apple will start a new standard that has about as much of a chance of being adopted as Ping or pong or whatever it is.

I would have thought that Apple is a pretty established company, at this point, and that television manufacturers might be happy to partner with them.

As far as low chances of adoption, tens of millions of AirPlay enabled devices say otherwise.
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post #5 of 91
This is in-a-way similar to them licensing Apple TV technology to be built into TV's. I suggested such a move as a good idea about 18 months ago and was scoffed at on these forums. What's new.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Licensing AirPlay makes vastly more sense than building TVs.

That day will come. You'll see.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is in-a-way similar to them licensing Apple TV technology to be built into TV's. I suggested such a move as a good idea about 18 months ago and was scoffed at on these forums. What's new.

I though you were holding out for Apple branded TVs?
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post #8 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMoan View Post

Right. Instead of partnering with an established company, Apple will start a new standard that has about as much of a chance of being adopted as Ping or pong or whatever it is.


Have you used AirPlay?


What do you think it would mean to a student, an artist, a coach, a teacher, a performer or a business man...

If he could carry his essay, portfolio, press, lessons, work product etc. with him, everywhere, on an iPad -- and wherever he goes, there is a large screen TV (or TVs) that he can use to "strut his stuff"

Oh, and while I have you here... let me show you the latest home movies of the kids...

.
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post #9 of 91
What established company are you talking about? Who else has established a working wireless protocol for media streaming between devices?

Quote:
Originally Posted by iMoan View Post

Right. Instead of partnering with an established company, Apple will start a new standard that has about as much of a chance of being adopted as Ping or pong or whatever it is.
post #10 of 91
I agree. This is a prime opportunity for someone to make a box cheaper than AppleTV explicitly to receive Airplay signals for televisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Licensing AirPlay makes vastly more sense than building TVs.
post #11 of 91
I don't see where it makes much sense for Apple to get into televisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That day will come. You'll see.
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I agree. This is a prime opportunity for someone to make a box cheaper than AppleTV explicitly to receive Airplay signals for televisions.

Given the size and cost of Apple TV, I would think someone could make an AirPlay dongle that wasn't much bigger and doesn't cost much more than an adapter. Certainly for less than Best Buy charges for a 6' HDMI cable. An easy add-on sale for any AirPlay enabled Apple devices.
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post #13 of 91
I do remember in on of those random Steve Jobs emails. He hinted that Airplay was eventually going to be open to everyone. That they were working on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Though AirPlay can currently be used to stream audio to compatible third-party devices, Apple may begin licensing the wireless streaming standard for video as well, according to a new report.
post #14 of 91
.

SOT

Does anyone here know if the ATT iP4 tether to the iPad is better/worse, more/less expensive than the iPad data service?

I am particularly interested if the tethering service is month-to-month, as opposed to a contract.

I get lost visiting the ATT site -- its kinda' like the MSFT sites -- where they assume that all you do every day is read and follow what they post to the site.

.
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post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I though you were holding out for Apple branded TVs?

Yes, I did also say Apple would make their own TV. I still believe that. It would suit them as a company. They'd make an awesome TV and people would buy it. And if you couldn't afford the Apple Branded TV you could always go for the second best option of getting an Airplay enabled TV from many-another manufacturer.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I agree. This is a prime opportunity for someone to make a box cheaper than AppleTV explicitly to receive Airplay signals for televisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I don't see where it makes much sense for Apple to get into televisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Given the size and cost of Apple TV, I would think someone could make an AirPlay dongle that wasn't much bigger and doesn't cost much more than an adapter. Certainly for less than Best Buy charges for a 6' HDMI cable. An easy add-on sale for any AirPlay enabled Apple devices.

AFICT, presently, it takes a CPU, some RAM (buffers), power -- maybe a GPU and a codec chip to receive AirPlay streams.

The interface is kind of odd, in that the AirPlay sender starts the process, but once connected the AirPlay receiver takes over and sucks the content from the AirPlay Senderi

That said, Apple has lots of experience and expertise to develop an ASIC or SOC/POP to do this.

It would be a lot cleaner and less expensive if the dongle (whatever) could get its power from the TV.

.
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post #17 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I don't see where it makes much sense for Apple to get into televisions.

I bet you didn't see the iPod coming from Apple either. It makes a lot of sense.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Given the size and cost of Apple TV, I would think someone could make an AirPlay dongle that wasn't much bigger and doesn't cost much more than an adapter. Certainly for less than Best Buy charges for a 6' HDMI cable. An easy add-on sale for any AirPlay enabled Apple devices.

People just love dongles.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #19 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

People just love dongles.

They like it better than having to replace their TV.
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post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I don't see where it makes much sense for Apple to get into televisions.

I agree. Especially if they can get the TV manufacturers to include their standard for wireless video streaming! IMHO, what they (Apple) really want is for iDevices to be that much more useable/attractive. If they had to introduce their own line of TVs they would end up only with the boutique market--maybe just barely better than nothing. If they can get manufacturers to support this, it could be big.
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post #21 of 91
Yes at this point it should just require an SOC that can decode the media and display the UI. That doesn't even require a general purpose SOC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

AFICT, presently, it takes a CPU, some RAM (buffers), power -- maybe a GPU and a codec chip to receive AirPlay streams.
post #22 of 91
mp3 player was an entirely new market. Not a completely saturated commodity market like televisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I bet you didn't see the iPod coming from Apple either. It makes a lot of sense.
post #23 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yes, I did also say Apple would make their own TV. I still believe that. It would suit them as a company. They'd make an awesome TV and people would buy it. And if you couldn't afford the Apple Branded TV you could always go for the second best option of getting an Airplay enabled TV from many-another manufacturer.

If Apple asked me to choose between a strategy of using on Apple branded TVs or AirPlay enabled TVs from a variety of manufacturers, I would suggest they persue the latter. However, if you think they could get both going, well, I guess that would be fine! But I believe the former has a better chance of having a big impact.
Progress is a comfortable disease
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Progress is a comfortable disease
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post #24 of 91
err, lots of TVs are getting RJ-45 adaptors and USB ports with dongles for WiFi. Adding AirPlay to them will be a snap. If the total price is less than $75 more than an non-IP enabled TV, this is the 'iPad enabled' TV (vs ATV... which while nice, really is a interim product to integrate 'dumb' TVs and stereos.

AirPlay basically competes with DLNA. And Google TV. And there are more AirPlay enabled servers (every iPad and iPhone) in the living room today.... For the average consumer, the first AirPlay enabled TV under $500 will be "Game Over, Man!" for DLNA and GTV. (almost all of these deployments are high end $$$ now... and require setting up servers or make the TV a computer, and it's not a 'just works' solution like Apple has set up).

The iOS 'universal' interconnecter (half server, half remote) on the iPad, iPhone, and ATV is the final shim to make ITMS/Netflix upbiquitous.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Licensing AirPlay makes vastly more sense than building TVs.

Ditto.

Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Given the size and cost of Apple TV, I would think someone could make an AirPlay dongle that wasn't much bigger and doesn't cost much more than an adapter. Certainly for less than Best Buy charges for a 6' HDMI cable. An easy add-on sale for any AirPlay enabled Apple devices.

One update I am hoping for is the use of an iDevice directly to an AppleTV via an a-hoc network that bypasses the need for intermediary WiFi router. This would serve a purpose in corporate and educational settings. First we need AirPlay for iWork apps so I am not holding my breath.

This setup could work for HDTVs, too, especially if Apple designs a SoC that they sell with the cost of the licensing included.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Yes, I did also say Apple would make their own TV. I still believe that. It would suit them as a company. They'd make an awesome TV and people would buy it. And if you couldn't afford the Apple Branded TV you could always go for the second best option of getting an Airplay enabled TV from many-another manufacturer.

You seem make some wild claim of what will be and then later when something less monumental but more elegant comes along you claim that is what you meant.

You have yet to show any research as to the number of TV types and sizes that are sold, how much R&D it takes to get that going, what Apple’s profit would be, how these large TVs that take up vast areas of warehouse stores would work in an Apple Store, or why it’s a better move than leveraging their position to sell more Macs and iDevices by teaming up with HDTV vendors.

PS: Who are these people that scoffed at the idea of Apple working with vendors? I only recall your claims that Apple will soon be making HDTVs. It’s been a long 18 months.
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post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Yes at this point it should just require an SOC that can decode the media and display the UI. That doesn't even require a general purpose SOC.

I think an SoC that was dedicated to an “ AirPlay” input source on the HDTV would be sufficient. This could have HDMI, USB and/or WiFi and be able to work seamlessly with AirPlay. At least, that is how I’d proceed at this point with the given information.
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post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

AFICT, presently, it takes a CPU, some RAM (buffers), power -- maybe a GPU and a codec chip to receive AirPlay streams.
....
It would be a lot cleaner and less expensive if the dongle (whatever) could get its power from the TV.

You do realize that any HDTV worth it's salt has RAM (to buffer) , a codec (for analog signals), and a basic CPU/ASIC to handle the firmware to convert signals (digital audio and video, as well as command signals), upconvert, etc.

The real addition is a network interface (11N and Gigabit wired ethernet), IP, DHCP, and an AirPlay component (session negotiation and content capture). Every TV manufacturer has thought about the networking stuff (can't do Google TV without it)... The Airplay stuff would make their TVs compatible with about 20Million US households for their 'next' TV (especially in the 'small' HDTV category... 20-40"... The Home theatre monster is too expensive to replace at this time... but the 'kids' TV will just play "Barney" over AirPlay just fine.
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

err, lots of TVs are getting RJ-45 adaptors and USB ports with dongles for WiFi. Adding AirPlay to them will be a snap. If the total price is less than $75 more than an non-IP enabled TV, this is the 'iPad enabled' TV (vs ATV... which while nice, really is a interim product to integrate 'dumb' TVs and stereos.

AirPlay basically competes with DLNA. And Google TV. And there are more AirPlay enabled servers (every iPad and iPhone) in the living room today.... For the average consumer, the first AirPlay enabled TV under $500 will be "Game Over, Man!" for DLNA and GTV. (almost all of these deployments are high end $$$ now... and require setting up servers or make the TV a computer, and it's not a 'just works' solution like Apple has set up).

The iOS 'universal' interconnecter (half server, half remote) on the iPad, iPhone, and ATV is the final shim to make ITMS/Netflix upbiquitous.

AirPlay's big advantage over DLNA is ease of use and ease of access. I don't know anyone that actually uses DLNA functionality, probably because it's barely been marketed and most people don't know it exists, and you actually have to take steps to set it up. Those steps are likely to lead you into the fetid swamp of the average TV UI, which is terrible beyond all knowing.

AirPlay on Apple's iDevices are a one tap deal, and Apple is marketing that so iPad and iPhone and iPod Touch users are aware that it's there.

I would say the current state of DLNA is much like the MP3 player or smartphone markets when Apple entered them-- the functionality is there, but horribly implemented. A certain number of geeks will complain that Apple is doing nothing new, reinventing the wheel, that they already enjoy the benefits of streamed content and Apple is just going to "market" what's already there. As usual, such geeks are incapable of seeing the point.
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post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is in-a-way similar to them licensing Apple TV technology to be built into TV's. I suggested such a move as a good idea about 18 months ago and was scoffed at on these forums. What's new.

But it doesn't do Flash.

Not only can they license the technology but also provide the A4/A5 chips.

TV makers can't ignore the 200 million iOS devices that will exist by year end 2011.

It would be interesting to know how many US households own IOS devices.

Due to the long replacement cycles for TVs, this really wouldn't be a big direct revenue generator. However, it could incrementaly add to iOS device and Apps demand. Estimated 2012 US TV market about 45 million units according to an isuppli document I found.
post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

If Apple asked me to choose between a strategy of using on Apple branded TVs or AirPlay enabled TVs from a variety of manufacturers, I would suggest they persue the latter. However, if you think they could get both going, well, I guess that would be fine! But I believe the former has a better chance of having a big impact.

I think the options would be obvious for a person wanting Airplay.

Either buy a new HDTV spending ~$500-2000
This option would make sense if you already need a new tv or just love new tech.

Or you can purchase an ATV for $99
This option makes sense to hold you over until you need/afford a new tv or if you want to move it around your house from time to time.


To me this is a winning strategy for Apple. The thing I wonder the most would be how much, if anything, would Apple charge the third party vendors. My guess is around $50.
post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Have you used AirPlay?


What do you think it would mean to a student, an artist, a coach, a teacher, a performer or a business man...

If he could carry his essay, portfolio, press, lessons, work product etc. with him, everywhere, on an iPad -- and wherever he goes, there is a large screen TV (or TVs) that he can use to "strut his stuff"

Oh, and while I have you here... let me show you the latest home movies of the kids...

.

+1 As a business person I just ordered the HDMI out cable for iPad to do exactly this. I'd LOVE it if even 25% of the locations I visited had an AirPlay-enabled large screen TV. Get it into 50% of the locations I present and I'm likely start to acting like a politician and start kissing babies and shaking hands
post #32 of 91
These devices would also have to work with the millions of televisions that don't have any networking capability built in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

You do realize that any HDTV worth it's salt has RAM (to buffer) , a codec (for analog signals), and a basic CPU/ASIC to handle the firmware to convert signals (digital audio and video, as well as command signals), upconvert, etc.
post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

These devices would also have to work with the millions of televisions that don't have any networking capability built in.

Theres an App[leTV] for that.
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post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMoan View Post

Right. Instead of partnering with an established company, Apple will start a new standard that has about as much of a chance of being adopted as Ping or pong or whatever it is.

While Apple rarely licenses technology, they actually *do* almost always try to "partner with established companies" for their initiatives. they have a long history of trying to do this actually.

The "blame" if any, goes to the companies that fail to support Apple not the other way around. For many years (and possibly still), Apple was viewed by other media, consumer, and computer companies as a sort of upstart with no market share and they were screwed around a lot as a result.

The difference now is that Apple has a bit more respect because of their sales.
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

They like it better than having to replace their TV.

Having to replace your TV isn't a choice, just a matter of time.
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post #36 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

mp3 player was an entirely new market. Not a completely saturated commodity market like televisions.

Or phones, yeah.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #37 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by iMoan View Post

Right. Instead of partnering with an established company, Apple will start a new standard that has about as much of a chance of being adopted as Ping or pong or whatever it is.


Ping is probably taking off faster that we think, in an under-the-radar way. I know its anecdotal, but my teenager just asked join because many in the social circle are on it. I noticed, for instance, that a band such as Metallica already has hundreds of thousands of followers.
post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post

If Apple asked me to choose between a strategy of using on Apple branded TVs or AirPlay enabled TVs from a variety of manufacturers, I would suggest they persue the latter. However, if you think they could get both going, well, I guess that would be fine! But I believe the former has a better chance of having a big impact.

Sure, probably does. But I believe they will do both.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You seem make some wild claim of what will be and then later when something less monumental but more elegant comes along you claim that is what you meant.

Bullshit.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I think an SoC that was dedicated to an  AirPlay input source on the HDTV would be sufficient. This could have HDMI, USB and/or WiFi and be able to work seamlessly with AirPlay. At least, that is how Id proceed at this point with the given information.

Except if I was Apple I would convince the manufacturers that putting the whole Apple TV inside their set (only marginally bigger), was a better idea.

If every new TV just came with Apple TV inside, even from a single manufacturer, it would take off like a rocket.
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