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back to article Apple should grant TV makers licence to stream

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 …

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Anonymous Coward

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.

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I don't see the problem

It's just competition in the marketplace, and DLNA isn't actually supported by very many devices. Competition is how we run our capitalist societies. I vote: let Apple license their proprietary solution, let the market decide. If, as you seem to imply, it has already decided then there seems to be little damage that Apple can possibly do.

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Not Exactly

"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is no way to add new codecs to either and so the DLNA functinality became pretty useless within a few months and has been replaced by a jailbroken Apple TV running XBMC.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.

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DLNA

'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.

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"Extensive fiddling"

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.

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FAIL

@DrXym - It's all about the profiles

DLNA consists of hundreds of different profiles, each describing the container format and codecs that it supports. For DLNA to work, your broadcaster and receiver must support the same profile, and the file you wish to broadcast must be supported by that profile.

Since there are so many profiles to choose from, a lot of devices (broadcasters and receivers) will only support a small subset. The beefier the device, the more profiles it is likely to support. Eg, a PS 3 is an insanely powerful device, and so supports lots of profiles as a DLNA receiver, where as a Panasonic TV is quite a weak device, and only supports a few specific profiles.

If you don't take my word for it, here is the view of someone who spends their time making DLNA work correctly:

http://gxben.wordpress.com/2008/08/24/why-do-i-hate-dlna-protocol-so-much/

It's an utter fail of a protocol, that really just allows manufacturers to add another tick box on the front of their box. I'm glad you find it useful though.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple get $4 for every device that ships with AirPlay

Strange, I thought the Apple business model would demand 30% of the retail price of every TV sold.

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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.

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Yeah...

Next thing they'll be telling us is that you will be able to buy third-party iPod docks soon...

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