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CineXPlayer HD: Turn Your iPad Into a Portable Cinema

The iPad may work wonders as a mobile and personal small-screen cinema, but it’s rather hamstrung by the limited number of video file formats the iPad supports. Indeed, unless you convert all your videos to MP4 format or stream them via an app like Air Video (not an option when you’re offline), you’re sorta outta luck. Enter CineXPlayer HD, as it is without a doubt the most powerful video player available for the iPad.  It was one of the first apps to provide AVI and Xvid support to iDevice owners, and now, CineXPlayer HD features a universal streaming system and the ability to process another video format.  It’s fast and easy, and features a lots of versatile features.

Interface

The CineXPlayer HD v4.0 got a complete revamp. This revamp brought with it a new, colourful interface along with several tweaks that go a long way in making the app easier to use and easier on the eye. The app also connects to IMDB and downloads metadata for the videos that you have added to the app. This means that TV shows and films that you have added to the app will have a synopsis, cast listings and cover art attached to them.

cinexplayerhd_interface

TV Directory

The most important new feature of the new 4.x series is the in-built TV station directory. It’s in no way as extensive as that of, say, wwitv.com (or some local stream link directories) but, if it already does contain your favorite station(s), you may well want to use CineXPlayer for playback instead of adding them one-by-one to other generic media players like GoodPlayer.

For example, this is the German section, listing most major national TV streams:

cinexplayerhd_tvdirectory

Video Playback

Videos can be transferred over Wi-Fi from another computer, via an iTunes file transfer or from Dropbox. You can’t, of course, play files with DRM. The app supports AirPlay if you have an Apple TV, or you can output HDMI or VGA with the proper cable.

CineXPlayer HD has several defining features that separate it from the rest of the pack. One of these features is the SuperSharp feature that is presented to users when they start playback of their video. Basically, this feature sharpens your video on the go — and in some cases makes the video more legible. The SuperSharp feature aims to make your SD movies look like HD movies. It doesn’t. Instead, it just makes them look like you over-sharpened a photo in an image editor — crispy.
cinexplayerhd_supersharp

CineXPlayer HD is one of the few apps on the App Store to support Dolby Digital Plus for the audio of your video files. What this means is that Dolby’s trademark technology processes the audio of your video files and manages to make the audio more realistic and improves the clarity of it.

Screen Split

I especially liked a new feature, which is the ability to split the screen in portrait mode with a video running at the top and a web browser on the bottom once you turn your device into portrait.  From here, you can surf the web to your heart’s content — all whilst having your video playing back above you. This has without a doubt increased the enjoyability of watching a film on the iPad tenfold, as you tend to get annoyed having to switch between Safari and my video app constantly.

A quick look at CineXPlayer HD Features:
• MKV, XVid, MP4, H264, AC3, E-AC3, AVI, MOV, M4A,MP3, M4V
• Downloader included
• Dolby Digital Plus (Enhanced AC-3) with support of 5.1 channels
• Dolby Mobile Enabled(Awesome 5.1 Surround on Headphones)
• DLNA Streaming Support MP4,XVID, M4V (MKV streaming coming shortly)
• SuperSharp – SD->HD enhances all your standard movies to near HD
• Integrated with Facebook?Twitter to let users share thoughts and info on what they’re watching with friends and family easily.
• Webbrowser for direct download/playback/shortcut to WEB/NAS drive movies
• Music Player with Surround Sound – Plays your iTunes Library with Dolby Digital Plus
• Live TV Channels (for Free to Air Channels World Wide)
• Easy Management utilities to manage movie collections (perfect for cataloging the different episodes of TV series).
• Intuitive, simple, and highly responsive User Interface.
• Easy to use security option (requires additional in-app purchase)
• Extra options are available for on-demand purchase/upgrade.
• Playlist, easy Navigation and search, Quick forward and backward controls
• Subtitle Support (.srt) – with in-app download for .zip files
• Gesture Control e.g. Swipe +/- 60 Seconds During the Movie
• Moveable Subtitle (Touch’n’Drag) /Sizable by Pinch
• DropBox Support

Conclusion

Looking at things overall, the combination of  subtitle support, live TV and allowing me to browse the web alongside the playback of my video makes this app a sure winner for anybody hoping to make their iPad the perfect portable cinema! CineXPlayer HD is compatible with iPad running iOS 4.3 or later, and available in the App Store for $4.49.