AirPlay for Apple TV: not quite what it seems
The Apple TV software received a discrete update last week, with one new feature that I was particularly keen to try over the weekend. The feature list for the Apple TV 5.1 update states that you’re able to “send audio content from Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs)”, which I assumed would allow you to play back movie audio through a decent set of speakers, instead of the iffy integrated set in my television. Turns out I was wrong.
In fact, you can only beam sound to a set of AirPlay speakers from pure audio applications, such as Podcasts or Music, and not from video, which is a little odd considering the primary application of the Apple TV is — obviously — video. It’s even more odd when you consider that you can beam video soundtracks to AirPlay speakers from an iPad, and that beta testers of the Apple TV software reported that they had the ability to beam video soundtracks, too.
So what’s going on here? A problem with keeping 1080p video and AirPlay audio synchronised? Some daft DRM restriction? I’ll wait for a written apology from Tim Cook.