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Definition: AirPlay

A protocol from Apple that lets iPhones, iPads and iPods, as well as computers running iTunes, stream audio, video and photos to home entertainment systems. Third-party apps for Android also support AirPlay. Streaming playback devices can be an Apple TV box, Apple AirPort Express router or a third-party, AirPlay-enabled receiver. AirPlay 2, introduced in 2018, supports stereo speakers and multi-room audio.

In 2010, AirPlay superseded the AirTunes protocol, which came out in 2004. The name "airplay" is a broadcasting term that means the number of times a song is played "over the air." See AirPort, Apple TV, AirDrop, screen mirroring, HomePod and iTunes.

From iPad to Apple TV
Built into Apple iDevices, AirPlay streams content to any AirPlay-enabled receiver such as an Apple TV box, A/V receiver or self-powered speakers.