Report: Apple mulling video license for AirPlay

Company is said to be considering licensing the video component of its AirPlay wireless streaming technology to third-party device makers.

Josh Lowensohn Former Senior Writer
Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.
Josh Lowensohn
AirPlay in action with an iPad and a TV with an Apple TV unit.
AirPlay in action with an iPad and a TV with an Apple TV unit. Apple

Apple's AirPlay video streaming technology could be making the leap from the Apple TV set-top box to non-Apple living room hardware.

A report by Bloomberg, which cites anonymous sources, says Apple is weighing a licensing program for the video component of its AirPlay technology that would let gadget makers incorporate the wireless streaming into televisions and set-top boxes.

Apple introduced AirPlay late last year as the successor to its AirTunes wireless audio streaming technology. The renaming was also meant to explain to consumers that, with the incorporation of video streaming, the technology was no longer just for audio. With AirPlay, users of iOS devices like the iPhone, the iPad, and the iPod Touch can wirelessly send videos to Apple TV for watching on the big screen.

Since AirPlay's launch, Apple has licensed the technology's audio portion to device makers, for what one of Bloomberg's sources said is $4 per device. What's been missing is the video component, thus requiring users to buy an Apple TV device in order to stream, leaving third-party video device makers out of the market.

As far as timing on any licensing goes, Bloomberg says it could be here as early as this year. That time frame could coincide with Apple's annual music and iPod event, which usually takes place in September.