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Best iPad Video Player (iPhone Too)

One of the really nice features with the iPad is the ability to watch videos.  You can convert various video files into iPad-compatible with 3rd-party best iPad Video Converters. Of course, there are plenty of “video player” apps that support video including Apple’s own iTunes app. In fact, the most recent iOS update now allows you to connect to your home PC/Mac and watch all the video in your iTunes library “on demand” using the “home sharing” feature that was added.

The problem, however, is that Apple / iTunes doesn’t support all the video types that are available.  Especially if you choose to download video (movies, tv, or even home movies) rather than simply watch streamed content.  Which means that you would be totally unable to watch some content with iTunes.

Furthermore, what if you want to watch content remotely?  iTunes Home Sharing works well within your local wi-fi network, but if you want to show some of your videos on your iPad or iPhone remotely, your only choice would be to synchronise (copy) the content and eat up precious storage space.

AirVideo

For me, the best iPad video player solution to this issue can be found in an app called AirVideo (iTunes link).

This is a fantastic app for both iPad and iPhone – but it does also require that you install some software (a media server) on your PC/Mac.  It can be downloaded from here and is pretty low profile (i.e. it won’t negatively impact the performance of your computer).

So – download and install the server application.  Then, download and install the app on your iPad.

Once you have the server installed, you simply need to tell it where to look for your video content.  To do this, go to the server settings screen in AirVideo and add the directory where you keep your video media files in the “Shared Folders” tab.



Once you have done this you need to connect to your new media server by simply opening the iPad/iPhone app and adding your computer to the list.

AirVideo – Connecting Remotely

As mentioned above, one of the nice features of AirVideo is the ability to connect to your video content stored on your PC from anywhere.  In order to do this you will need to make sure that your router is uPnP compatible so that the AirVideo software can configure it – but most are these days.

From the AirVideo server settings dialog, select the “Remote” tab and enable “Access from the Internet.”

See that nine digit number?  That uniquely identifies your server on the internet from the iPad and iPhone apps.  So to connect to your system remotely, open the iPad app and enter the Server PIN details.

The brilliant thing about this is that the streaming quality will adjust automatically depending on your connection speed.

AirVideo and the Apple TV

Another new feature in the new operating system (iOS 4.3) was the ability for third-party apps to play video using Apple’s AirPlay technology.  You no longer need to buy a dedicated media player/server for your home entertainment system – AirVideo now also supports AirPlay.  This means that you can play your videos directly to your Apple TV from your iPad and iPhone – the result, a complete video player / media server solution that works wherever you need it to.

So if you are looking for a media server and have an iPad.; or if you are looking to play video files (some unsupported by Apple) on your iPad or iPhone; or if you would like to have access to your video collection from anywhere in the world – then I whole heartedly recommend you try AirVideo.