Tag: Video streaming »
AirPlay Mirroring is great – in theory. Beaming an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen to an Apple TV without having to fuss with cables at all? Wonderful! However, apparently beaming HD video across a wireless network is not easy! For those getting blurry video, or latency so slow that it feels like communicating with the moon would be faster, here’s some tips to make AirPlay Mirroring work far better.
Get close to the router
Rule number one of wireless communication: the closer you are to the wireless source, the better the signal. In this case, video will look a lot better. What may help is to set up a second router near your TV as an access point, using a physical ethernet run to the main router. This may be most easily done via powerline ethernet adapters.
Plug the Apple TV into ethernet
Look, the great thing about wifi is that there’s no cables to fuss with. However, because wifi is essentially sound waves traveling through walls and and other waves, as opposed to beams of concentrated light sent on a direct path like with ethernet, a lot of issues can come up because of this. So, if possible, plug the Apple TV in to the router via ethernet. Performance will get better instantaneously as only one the iOS device will have to be wirelessly communicating to the router.
Upgrade that old router
That old Linksys router with the curious blue front and black body may still work fine for many tasks, but even wireless-G is something of a speed and latency dinosaur. Upgrading to a wireless-N router will find video quality and latency much improved. A dual-band router, one that uses both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands, may find improved performance all around.
Upgrade that old Apple TV
The 2nd generation Apple TV, released in 2010, can decode 720p video sent by AirPlay. Just not very quickly. Upgrading to the newer Apple TV, bolstering an A5 processor, can help. But really, there’s one step for getting high-quality, low-latency AirPlay Mirroring:
Get a Mac.
It’s not an officially-supported feature, but there is a third-party app that can do AirPlay Mirroring on the Mac, called Reflection. It’s $15 with a free trial, and it leverages the powerful processor in a Mac (generally more powerful than the ones in Apple TVs) to provide AirPlay Mirroring at probably the lowest latency possible. I was able to get six-digit scores on Punch Quest, and while some latency is definitely noticeable still, it’s the best possible experience. Just get an HDMI cable and plug that bad boy in to the flatscreen!
AirPlay Mirroring will never be perfect because wireless communication is inherently imperfect, but these tips will make the experience far better!
I'm amazed that no one's used the name Fanhattan before as it's an excellent name for a celebrity/movie orientated website or app. This app does exactly what would be expected of it. It enables users to find movies and TV shows from old to new across various video streaming and rental services.
Supporting many different services such as Vudu, iTunes, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Blockbuster, Amazon Video on Demand and the ABC Player, this should be a definitive app for all US based entertainment fans. If the show or movie isn't currently available to stream, Fanhattan will even state where it can be bought for shipping at a later date.
Search options means that not only is it easy to track down something particular but it's easy to browse for new suggestions too. Content is grouped into genres like Newest, Top Rated, Critic's Picks as well as Award Winners such as Emmys or Oscars. That's not forgetting regular genres like action or fantasy.
Combining everything in such a way is a neat idea that no doubt iPad owners will be keen to try out.
It's out now and it's free to download. Don't forget that the services it links to may incur further charges such as Netflix and acquiring items on iTunes. Fortunately, Fanhattan lists pricing in a detailed manner.
Ages ago, when mankind first learned of fire and kept small dinosaurs as pets, I used to work in a very large bookstore. One of those big ones that sold DVDs and wooden toys on top of books and stuff. Stick with me, the bit about the DVDs is important. So, having worked in a store that sells DVDs I've come to learn something about our society: American people go absolutely nuts for British television.
Seriously, so many people would spend upwards of $80 or more on a single season of some show about a woman who marries people and lives in wine country or something. And maybe solves murders. Average citizens solve a lot of murders over there, don't they?
Perhaps it's because they've finally realized that their shows have a massive global appeal, or maybe it's because they finally got the funds together, but BBC Worldwide has created (and is unleashing) their BBC iPlayer: an iPad app that allows a fairly extensive (1500 hours worth on day one) amount of their catalog to be streamed digitally. The managing director of BBC.com (Luke Bradley-Jones) has told guardian.co.uk that the service will feature newer episodes but also grant users access to "... the best from the catalogue stretching back 50 to 60 years."
Some content is available for free (add-supported, of course), but subscriptions are available for €6.99 (roughly $10) a month and €49.99 (about $72) a year. Sure subscription fees are always daunting, but considering the fact that most BBC enthusiasts plunk down more than triple that in a year or less, I think this seems like a great deal. Especially when considering the perks that the US version will include: 3G and Wi-Fi streaming, as well as (this is the big one) downloading videos directly to the iPad for offline viewing. I mean seriously, who wouldn't be willing to pay a little bit each year to be able to load up some Doctor Who, Primeval, Top Gear and more, whenever they'd like? Imagine how awesome those commutes would be.
The BBC iPlayer is due out "Thursday" in 11 Western European countries, but US, Canadian and Australian residents will have to wait until later this year. Bummer.
[img id="media.1.jpg "]This week, historically, is the most important week of the year for the college basketball fan. It all starts with Selection Sunday when the field of 64 (or 65 as it is now) is announced. Then, college basketball fans worldwide struggle for the next 3.5 days to fill out their brackets. And finally, Thursday comes around and the first game tips off. From there it's 4 straight days of basketball nirvana.
Here's a quick round-up of some apps that can help you enjoy this week. Some to fill out your brackets with, and one to even help you catch the games when away from a TV.
CBS Sports NCAA® March Madness on Demand® is back for the second year. This app is on the high end price wise for an app, but it has one really special feature. Along with sports scores, news, and full bracket coverage, this app lets you stream video of every single NCAA Tournament game. That's right every single one of the games, even over 3G and Edge. There's also audio-only coverage if you prefer that. Last year the app worked really well for me. Great if you can't get away from work to watch a game, you can just sneak into the bathroom and watch it there. I'm not too proud admit that I've had to do that once or twice...
There's also a free version minus the streaming.
Hit the jump for more great apps to help you enjoy March Madness.