What Is Apple AirPlay?

With Apple’s AirPlay technology, you can wirelessly stream audio and video from the iTunes software or other enabled apps on your iOS device (such as an iPhone) or from a Mac or PC.

The streams go to AirPlay-compatible devices such as an Apple TV, certain audio-video receivers, and some speakers. And soon you’ll be able to stream anything playing on a Mac.

What do you need to make it work?

AirPlay requires three elements: a wireless network, an AirPlay-sending device (like an iPhone with iOS 5 software) and an AirPlay-receive device. Both sending and receiving devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network.

AirPlay-receiving devices include the $99 Apple TV for audio and video and Apple’s $99 Airport Express for audio. Several other companies have adopted the technology, as well. You’ll find audio-video receivers with AirPlay from companies including Denon and Pioneer, as well as AirPlay speakers from Bowers & Wilkins, Klipsch and others.

How does it work?

An AirPlay icon appears on the screen when you play media through iOS apps such as Music or Video or other AirPlay-enabled apps, such as Netflix, Pandora Radio and PBS for iPad. Just touch the icon to select the device you want to send the stream to.

Once they are connected, you can control playback and volume through either the sending or receiving device. So you could have the computer in another room but still control playback from the TV you are watching, for example.

What is AirPlay Mirroring?

Mirroring takes what appears on the screen of your iOS device and displays it on a television connected to an Apple TV receiver.

AirPlay Mirroring first appeared last year with iOS 5 and gets a boost with the release of the new Mountain Lion operating system for Macs, due by the end of this month.

With an Apple TV connected to an HDTV, you can stream what you see on your Mac’s screen at up to 1080p high-def video quality. So even if you don’t have an Internet-connected “smart TV,” you’ll now be able to watch Web video, such as Netflix, on the big screen.

Not everyone will get AirPlay Mirroring in Mountain Lion, however. Only Macs from 2011 or later have the processing power it takes. You also need a second-generation or newer Apple TV (the small “hockey-puck” version) to receive the stream.

Will AirPlay last?

Thanks to its added features, ease of use and increasing adoption in home theater equipment, AirPlay looks likely to become more important in the next few years.

Expect more receivers and speakers to adopt it — and don’t be surprised to see some HDTVs and computer monitors with it built-in, as well.

Article provided by TechNewsDaily, a sister site to Laptopmag.com.


LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Jomgburyengland22 Says:

    I believe that in the second paragraph of the section titled “what is AirPlay mirroring” the “buy” should be “by”( due by the end of the month rather than due “buy”) thanks!!

  2. Dennis Says:

    I remember the preview of AirPlay.

    They called it BlueTooth back then.

    My old Blackberry 8530 does data streaming from 10 years ago?

    So this new bluetooth like thing does it better, but 10 years of progress better?

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE