AirPlay Is Apple’s Play For Streaming Lock-in

A video sharing app called Showyou has been released, and blogger Robert Scoble took the moment to beat the drum for Apple AirPlay. AirPlay is a proprietary protocol owned by Apple that enables streaming of audio, video, and pictures from iPhones and iPads to Apple TV and third party products that license the protocol. While Scoble is all excited about the what AirPlay provides, history has shown that open protocols are much better than proprietary protocols like AirPlay. For an example, look no further than WiFi.

Streaming media protocols like AirPlay enable “in real life” social media. For example, imagine you visit your parents and want to show them the pictures of their grandchild that you have on your phone. Sharing those pictures by streaming them to your parent’s television will be much more enjoyable than crowding around a smartphone to see the pictures on a small screen.

I agree with Scoble that device to device streaming is something to be excited about, however, I am more excited by the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) certification that will enable a broader range of devices to stream content with each other. If you are satisfied to only use Apple products, then AirPlay is a good solution, however I like the idea of DLNA-certified Android and Windows phones from multiple vendors being able to stream video with DLNA-certified televisions from multiple vendors.

Many products from more than 250 companies are already on the market. Certified products have the DLNA certified logo, which means the product has been proven to work with other DLNA certified products.