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AirVideo on the iPad & MSS
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Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:47 am ]
Post subject:  AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

I finally had a chance (after solving my hard drive woes) to set up the Air Video application on my MSS for use with my iPad.

For those not in the know, AirVideo is the most popular video conversion service available for use with the iPhone and iPod Touch, offering on the fly conversion of a users entire video library over wi-fi to the mobile device, as well as offering off line conversion so that you can convert a title and take it with you on the road.

AirVideo have just released a version of their application for the iPad for the incredibly low price of $2.99 and now that I have begun to convert my BD collection to MKV format I was very eager to try it out.

Installing the AirVideo App on the MSS was pretty painless, but currently there is no WHS build available (considering the increasing popularity of WHS I hope the AirVideo gurus will consider bringing an add-in to the platform), installation is very quick but does require Java installation. Since there is no add-in you must run the AirVideo installation on the WHS via full RDP.

When you run AirVideo on the WHS (which you will also need to do via RDP) you simply tell it what folders you want to make available, I just pointed it to the d:\shares\video\movies folder on my EX495 and it immediately is ready to go.

Once installed the iPad will immediately see the server via the Bonjour service (which is installed on the HP MSS series servers already). You can set a PIN code for access if you like. You are then ready to browse your entire library of movies, in my case about 25 MKV Blu-ray files.

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Playback starts surprisingly quickly, only buffering up for maybe 30 seconds before playback begins. I was truly surprised with how good the quality was. Video quality is quite acceptable and there is a full screen mode as well as a scrubber bar. There is no chapter support (which is unfortunate).

The sample below is not very good but just a quick screen shot I grabbed of the playback;

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I have to say that I am simply floored with how good this app is. It painlessly turns your iPad into a mobile movie-playing appliance for use anywhere in your home. The playback experience is smooth and stable and, although it pegs the CPU on my WHS to 100% during the on-the-fly conversion it did not seem to impact my other services (my three panasonic surveillance cameras continued to be accessible, file backups continued to work, etc). So, even though the CPU was pegged I did not notice the server becoming unusable.

Now the only thing left to do is to figure out how to make the AirVideo run as a service so that it runs automatically when the service starts. I have some experience doing this with the iCamSource app for mobile viewing of my security feeds so I will hopefully get this up and going later on today.

All in all a solid thumbs up to both the iPad capabilities in this area and how well the WHS handles running the excellent Air Video application!
\:D/ \:D/

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

One thing worth noting is that AirVideo does not have ISO support. Your DVDs or BDs will need to be in a folder structure .mts, .mkv, etc, to work.

It looks like I will need to find a utility to easily convert my DVD ISO rips to .mkv to watch them. Most of my content is already .mkv though.

Author:  yakuza [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Cool, good to see the iPad integrating with the Home Server.

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Okay, got Air Video set up as a service on the WHS and working wonderfully.

I might put up a full article on setting this up on the WHS and iPad.

Author:  dbone1026 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

jmpage2 wrote:
One thing worth noting is that AirVideo does not have ISO support. Your DVDs or BDs will need to be in a folder structure .mts, .mkv, etc, to work.

It looks like I will need to find a utility to easily convert my DVD ISO rips to .mkv to watch them. Most of my content is already .mkv though.


So a Blu Ray or DVD Structure will work (i.e. not just a single file in a folder)?

I think MakeMKV works with ISOs. if not just mount the ISO and it should appear as a DVD with MakeMKV

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

dbone1026 wrote:
jmpage2 wrote:
One thing worth noting is that AirVideo does not have ISO support. Your DVDs or BDs will need to be in a folder structure .mts, .mkv, etc, to work.

It looks like I will need to find a utility to easily convert my DVD ISO rips to .mkv to watch them. Most of my content is already .mkv though.


So a Blu Ray or DVD Structure will work (i.e. not just a single file in a folder)?

I think MakeMKV works with ISOs. if not just mount the ISO and it should appear as a DVD with MakeMKV


I'm not 100% sure to tell you the truth.

From their web page FAQ;

Quote:
All major containers and codecs supported (mp4, m4v, mov, avi, wmv, asf, mpg, mpeg, mkv, 3gp, dmf, divx, flv). DRM protected videos as well as proprietary codecs are NOT supported.


I will probably play around with converting a couple of DVD ISOs to see if it works with just the DVD file structure or if I need to for sure put it into a container that AirVideo can deal with.

The big advantage to me of Air Video is that it can take super high bitrate HD stuff and convert it on the fly to iPad resolutions without choking and killing the MSS.

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

From some forum posts I am reading the video will need to be stored in a container, so DVD folder structure probably will not work.

I will go ahead and convert a couple of DVDs from .iso to mkv and make sure it can play them.

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Just another little update, it appears that the codec being used will have a big impact on performance for HD content. I was having no issues watching an HD movie that was MPEG2 but see some stalling when decoding very high bitrate H.264 video. The CPU in the EX495 just can't keep up, so I might have to consider putting a quad in if I want to convert all the HD goodness on the fly.

Author:  dbone1026 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

jmpage2 wrote:
Just another little update, it appears that the codec being used will have a big impact on performance for HD content. I was having no issues watching an HD movie that was MPEG2 but see some stalling when decoding very high bitrate H.264 video. The CPU in the EX495 just can't keep up, so I might have to consider putting a quad in if I want to convert all the HD goodness on the fly.


Interesting. If you have any VC-1 Blu Rays see how they play. VC-1 seems to have a lot more issues the h.264

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Ya, same problems with VC1.

I probably need a beefier cpu in the EX495 to handle this super high bitrate stuff on the fly.

I will ask the authors of the app where offline conversions are kept as .temp files to make sure I can do offline conversions and not clobber the system partition on the EX495.

Author:  dbone1026 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

jmpage2 wrote:
Ya, same problems with VC1.

I probably need a beefier cpu in the EX495 to handle this super high bitrate stuff on the fly.

I will ask the authors of the app where offline conversions are kept as .temp files to make sure I can do offline conversions and not clobber the system partition on the EX495.


Look forward to hearing what you find out. Do you have a quad core PC that you could test out AirVideo on?

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

dbone1026 wrote:
jmpage2 wrote:
Ya, same problems with VC1.

I probably need a beefier cpu in the EX495 to handle this super high bitrate stuff on the fly.

I will ask the authors of the app where offline conversions are kept as .temp files to make sure I can do offline conversions and not clobber the system partition on the EX495.


Look forward to hearing what you find out. Do you have a quad core PC that you could test out AirVideo on?


Unfortunately I don't. Holding off on buying a quad core Mac until I can get one with a BD ROM in it to make my desktop clutter a little less severe.

Author:  yakuza [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Thank you, jmpage2, for putting together a guide on setting this all up! :mss:

Author:  dbone1026 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Awesome job Jason, I can even look past your faults as an Apple guy :wink: Keep the good stuff coming as we definitely don't have enough of an Apple respresentation

Author:  jmpage2 [ Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: AirVideo on the iPad & MSS

Someone has to be representin for El Jobso around these parts!

Funniest part? I was a MCSE in a previous life and used to harsh on Apple products non stop!

Probably because their old stuff was like this;

Image

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