Latest Apple TV 6.1 update enables AirPlay device discovery over Bluetooth

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According to a recent report, Apples latest Apple TV software update enables devices running iOS 7.1 to conduct AirPlay sessions via a Bluetooth connection, doing away with the need for a Bonjour setup.

The new functionality, reported by Derick Okihara writing for Apple IT website, allows Apple TVs running the latest Apple TV 6.1 software to scan for AirPlay-compatible sources over Bluetooth. Prior to the change, Apple TV relied on Bonjour to find and connect to AirPlay devices.

It appears that users must also be using the latest iOS 7.1 update to take advantage of the Bluetooth-based identification. As noted in the report, an iPad running iOS 7.1 was able to connect with an Apple TV running 6.1 when connected to the same subnet address, despite the VLAN not being having Bonjour enabled.

Okihara found that a Mac running OS X 10.9.2 could not "see" the Apple TV as a viable source, though he suspects the capability may be included in a future update.

The new functionality, which further streamlines the "no setup required" AirPlay protocol, is likely a boon for corporate and education system administrators.

The latest Apple TV software was released on Monday alongside iOS 7.1. At the time, Apple TV 6.1's headline feature was an easier method of hiding unwanted channels from the set-top streamer's user interface.