By Nancy C. Muir

The AirPlay streaming technology is built into the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, as well as into the iTunes app on Macs and PCs. Streaming technology allows you to send media files from one device to play on another. You can send, say, a movie you’ve purchased on your iPad or a slide show of your photos to be played on your TV — and control the TV playback from your iPad. You can also send music to play over speakers.

You can take advantage of AirPlay in a few ways: Purchase Apple TV and stream video, photos, and music to the TV, or purchase AirPort Express and attach your speakers to it to play music. Finally, if you buy AirPort-enabled wireless speakers, you can stream audio directly to them.

Because this combination of equipment varies, some advice — if you’re interested in using AirPlay — is to visit your nearest Apple Store or certified Apple Reseller and find out which hardware combination will work best for you.

iOS 9 supports peer-to-peer AirPlay support, which means that if you can make a direct connection to another device, you can share content such as music and photos without being on the same network.

If you get a bit antsy watching a long movie, one of the beauties of AirPlay is that you can still use your iPad to check email, browse photos or the Internet, or check your calendar while the media file is playing on the other device.