Apple should grant TV makers licence to stream
AirPlay video coming to your telly?
Apple wants TV makers to build its AirPlay media-sharing protocol into their sets - if a claim that it's pondering licensing the technology is true.
Apple already allows hi-fi manufacturers - Denon and Altec Lansing offer kit, for example - to incorporate AirPlay to pick up audio streams from iTunes running on Macs and Windows machines, and from iDevices, but according to moles cited by Bloomberg, the company is thinking about making video streaming an option too.
Right now, AirPlay video streaming is supported only by the Apple TV.
Bloomberg's moles say Apple get $4 for every device that ships with AirPlay audio on board. Allowing manufacturers to put it into TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and set-top boxes might well impede future Apple TV sales, but it would make iTunes content accessible to many, many more devices, making it more attractive to consumers as a result.
There's certainly a willingness on the part of consumer electronics companies to load up their products with this kind of technology. Bloomberg's report quotes folk from Pioneer and Philips expressing their interest.
Last week, Sony said it would be incorporating Microsoft's PlayReady DRM technology into its BD players, the better to allow punters to play PC or network storage-hosted paid-for content on its boxes.
DRM may prove a sticking point for Apple, however. AirPlay audio doesn't need to incorporate DRM because iTunes stopped selling DRM-encumbered music years ago, and offered buyers low-cost DRM-free copies of tracks they have bought before that point. But iTunes' video offerings are protected - irritating because it limits the devices they can be played on.
Providing CE vendors access to AirPlay in order to stream iTunes-sold content would necessitate also licensing Apple's FairPlay DRM system. Apple has seemingly never shown willing to offer its content crown jewels before. ®
'It also alows any file type to be played, not just the ones apple tell you you can use.'
You are joking aren't you? DLNA is an absolute minefield of disparate devices with widely varying capabilities each only capable of playing back a very limited variety of file formats.
It's the DLNA servers that do all the hard work by interrogating the device and then transcoding on the fly to an appropriate format.
It's almost guaranteed *not* to work without extensive fiddling, which is quite the opposite of the experience you would get if Apple got involved.
"It also alows any file type to be played, not just the ones apple tell you you can use."
DLNA may work on general principal that any format can be supported, but the actual formats supported are still dictated by the device manufacturer. My DLNA Samsung TV, for example, will not play many HD formats and the issue existed with my previous set top DLNA client.
There is no way to add new codecs to either and so the DLNA functinality became pretty useless within a few months and has been replaced by a jailbroken Apple TV running XBMC.
I do think that DLNA is the way forward, but it isn't just Apple who restrict the formats supported.
Apple should remain tight about this and not give it to anyone
DLNA enabled sets already allow manufacturers to do this. It is a standard that is supported by many devices not made by Apple. It currently allows an easy way to stream video and audio from pretty mych any device wether they are wired or wireless. It also alows any file type to be played, not just the ones apple tell you you can use.
New Samsung TV's already support wireless streaming so trying to get Apple to join in will just ruin pretty much the only time the correct technology has been used from the start.
I'm not quite sure why you're blaming the protocol for this. DLNA's job is a facilitator. It allows player devices to discover media server devices, to connect, to be able to browse the content and to initiate streaming of data from servers.
Of course you can get situations where your TV won't have native support for a format and of course that software based servers might require fiddling to bypass firewalls and so on.
However you CAN buy plug and play media servers which require very little configuration and media players which require very little configuration. For example a Synology NAS box can be set up as a DLNA server with a few clicks and will happily stream content to PS3s, 360s or many other DLNA enabled player boxes.
I doubt it
Apple really aren't a "sharing" kinda company. They've had a bad experience with third party licenses and one of the first act of his steveness was to kill system 7 licensors.