Monday, 28 March 2011

How to Watch your T.V and Movie Collection with Air Video

Alright then!  So you know how to keep your iPad 2 clean and downloaded a few free ‘apps’ from the App Store.  So now what?  What to do with your collection of T.V Shows and Movies?  Chances are that you own some DVD’s or already have downloaded them in digital format.  What you may not have known is that Apple products only play a few specific formats. 

Most Apple users have either given up or those who were a bit more technically savvy started using Videora.  Videora is a great program to convert all your files from other formats into something that your iPad 2 can play, but for those of us who have more then 64GB to convert (I’ve got over 2TB!) even with quad core computing power you can only assume this will be a very long process.  On top of that, the last time I checked the largest hard drive available on an iPad 2 was 64GB.  Just having to transfer files back and forth is time consuming.  Deciding if you want to have only new shows on your iPad 2, or a mix, you can spend hours just trying to decide your line up and then realize you still forgot something! If you are like me and want to have all your Movies and T.V with you at all times, this is just not possible on any tablet!  Most of the time when I sit down to watch something, I’m not aware of what I want to watch or sometimes I’ll watch something that catches my interest because it is there in front of me.  With my vast selection I needed something to solve this conundrum.  Air Video to the rescue! 

Air Video, not to be confused with Air Play, allows you to install a server on to your PC or Mac and then install the app on your iPad 2, and stream everything from your computer on to your iPad 2.  Without having to convert it first! That’s right, instantly watch anything you have on your computer on your iPad 2.  One more time, watch anything on your PC on your iPad 2. (For the effect)  If you are at home and have a wireless network setup, installation is simple.  You go to and to the download section, from there you select your PC or MAC and click download and install the server.  Select which folders you want to use or select all and then go to the App Store on your iPad 2 and download Air Video.  You can choose from the free version which randomly selects a few files on your PC to play at a time, or you can pay $2.99 for the full version of the App that lifts that restriction.  Load the app and it will detect the server on your Wi-Fi network and you can watch your movies and T.V shows instantly. (Did I mention that before?)

Another amazing feature for the iPad 2 3G or with access to another Wi-Fi network and even through tethering is the ability to access your T.V shows and Movies remotely.  Go into the settings menu on the server running on your PC or MAC and click on the remote tab, and click on enable access from internet.  There is a pin that you or anyone you want to allow to access to can enter on the app located on the iPad 2 and with a little bit of tinkering if required, you will gain access to all your T.V Shows and Movies that can be converted live and watched remotely instantly.  If you have any issue visit the forums at and you will find that they have a great admin and community to help with specific issues you may encounter with your router. 
If you also have Air Play, the feature that allows you to connect to stream Movies, Music, and T.V shows from your iPad 2 using Apple T.V to your HDTV then you are able to use Air Video with Air Play.  They also just recently released a patch that allows you to continue to watch your program and continue to use your iPad 2 to do other things.  It works with their beta server only right now, so make sure to download the latest if you want to use this feature.  (Manually from the forums)  I’ve uploaded a short YouTube video to demonstrate how this works.  I love my iPad 2 and will continue to blog about apps and things I find useful.  If there is anything you want me to write about, throw me a line and I’ll try it out! Have fun!

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