Will Apple license AirPlay to HDTV manufacturers for iPad, iPhone video streaming?

Here's a way for Apple to have its TV and eat it, too. Bloomberg is reporting that the computing giant may have a simpler plan to make its products dominate the living room than building its own HDTVs.

Here's a way for Apple to have its TV and eat it, too. Bloomberg is reporting that the computing giant may have a simpler plan to make its products dominate the living room than building its own HDTVs. Instead, it's apparently mulling over whether to license its AirPlay technology to television manufacturers to build into their sets, allowing video streaming from all of those iPads and iPhones Apple is selling.

Currently, you can stream audio using third-party devices that have licensed AirPlay, but only Apple TV provides access to AirPlay's video streaming capabilities. Other home theater devices that would have AirPlay built in may come to market by the end of 2011, according to Bloomberg.

If Apple is serious about these rumored plans, it would seem to be almost an anti-Google TV strategy. Instead of bringing everything about the PC into the TV, you would just stream what you want to the set from your handheld device, which, in the case of the iPad, will already let you surf the Web much better than any TV-based browser could. It also doesn't hurt that the purported license fee for AirPlay is currently $4 (though that price could rise for video streaming features), and doesn't require any of the technical heavy lifting that's marred the introduction of more Google TV devices.

Would you buy a television or other video device with built-in AirPlay? Is this a better approach to merging the PC and TV than the one Google is taking? Let us know in the Comments section.