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How to Stream Videos on iPad with Air Video

If you are like me, then you will have lots of videos (HD and SD) stored on your computer, and most of these will be in a format that Apple iPad  will not be able to play.

This was a big problem for me, as when I am away from my main computer (both inside my house and out around town), I still want to have access to these videos, especially on my iPad 2 – as they’re always with me!

Well, enter Air Video.  It allows you to stream a multitude of video formats from your PC or MAC to any iDevice, including your iPad!  You can convert the videos to the iPad supported format on the fly or queue them up for permanent conversion on the remote computer.

To get started, follow these steps:

1. Download Air Video server

Before you begin with Air Video you have to Download the Air Video server from the Air Video web site. Install the Air Video server onto your Mac or PC. Most people do not need to change the default configuration.

2. Choose the folders to share

Once installed, you choose the folders that you want to be able to access via the app. For me this was just my external hard drive containing all of my videos.

3. Install Air Video app on your iPad

Download Air Video app for iPad from iTunes. There are two versions: the paid and the free version. The free version only allows you to view three random videos in any directory. Install the application on your iPad.

4. Add your video server

Before you can start watching the videos you need to add your server. This is easy when you are connecting over a local connection, if you have Apple’s Bonjour service running on your PC it should find the server automatically. If this doesn’t work, or you don’t have Bonjour installed, you can manually add the server by typing the servers local IP address.

5. Select a video and start watching movies!

Once the server is added and you want to watch a video you have two choices to do this.

Firstly you can do it by converting the video to an iPad compatible format on your computer with the 3rd-party iPad video converters, and then streaming it to your iPad.

Secondly you can watch it with ‘live’ conversion, this means it has a very impressive on-the-fly conversion process that seamlessly converts video from virtually any format as you’re watching it!  Just press “Play with live conversion”, sit back, and enjoy the show.

Conclusion

One thing that this application impressed me is that you don’t really need to do a full conversion like that to watch the movie. You can have it convert on the fly or convert it in batch. Batch conversion is better for longer videos but you have to wait for it to finish. It is, however, a great solution for getting access to all of your video content where, and whenever, you want it.