Local Sharing/Streaming to iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by mdk92, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. mdk92
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    mdk92 iPF Noob

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    Hi!New member,long time lurker.Glad to finally be a part of the community!:)

    Since my internet speed doesn't allow me to do real time streaming ( 3 mb/s [380 kb/s] ) from the WEB and the iPad doesn't have enough space to put all my music and ripped movies on it,I decided that it is time to turn my PC in to a "server" so I can access all my files VIA Local WiFi. (5-6 mb/s)

    So I got this app yesterday called Plex,which allows you to stream/share (Local) content from your PC/MAC to iPad which is great.The only downside is that it doesn't have Aspect Ratio settings like the AVplayerHD does.You know,the one that allows you to fit the video to the iPad screen (removing black bars) without cropping the video.

    Then I tried looking for another app that does Local WiFi streaming/sharing and not one of them satisfies all my needs.

    Oplayer HD was nice but recently it doesn't have support for various audio codecs (AC3 etc.)

    So now that I got Plex,I am going to use it for music because of the nice interface and another app for movies.

    So what I am looking for is an app that does:

    -Local WiFi Streaming/Sharing
    -Have the Aspect Ratio Selection
    -Support MKV,AC3 etc.
    -Make the PC act like a NAS or External HDD.

    Is there any app out there that can do all this? (for iPad 3 WiFi NON-JailBreak)

    Also I don't know how to configure Windows Media Sharing And Streaming (AKA Samba,SMB) to work with the iPad apps (like FileBrowser,Oplayer HD etc).Everytime I try to access shared files I get an error saying "NETWORK ERROR".I don't know what to do and Google hasn't been a friend :(.I have Windows 7 Ultimate and my router is TP-LINK TL WR740N.

    Feel free to make any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance!:)
  2. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried VLC Streamer? You need VLC Streamer Helper on your PC. All content will stream to the iPad using these free apps.

    The free version of VLC Streamer has minimal advertising; the paid version is ad free.
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  3. mdk92
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    mdk92 iPF Noob

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    Thanks KevinJS!

    I tried the Free version 10 minutes ago and it is nice but is there any way to do this without the conversion?
  4. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't know. I only downloaded it to try it out for questions like yours. I suspect the best way of doing it is to use Handbrake to convert your video files to a native iOS type on your PC, then stream those files.

    Sent from my stock iPad 2
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  5. mdk92
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    mdk92 iPF Noob

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    I was afraid you might say that.The conversion process for all the files will take to long to complete.Probably days. :(

    I think I am just going to use Plex and watch movies in 16:9 with black bars since I have no other options.The thing is that with Plex I just put one MKV movie in the Plex Share Folder and in 2-3 minutes I can watch it on the iPad,without conversion.Direct play.

    I just wanted to do the same thing but without the black bars (16:9) like VLC Streamer Free or AVplayer HD does (4:3 or fill the screen).

    Anyway,thank you for your help KevinJS!:)
  6. KevinJS
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    KevinJS Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No problem. That's what we're here for. I'll do some experimenting and see what I can turn up for video streaming. I have access now to Windows and OS X, so hopefully I can come up with something useful.
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  7. seapep
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    seapep iPF Novice

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    Not sure if this will help but ArkMC has been working well for me.
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  8. mdk92
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    mdk92 iPF Noob

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    I found out what the problem is.My current PC is to slow for Transcoding and if I don't upgrade the CPU,I won't be able to do real time streaming of MKV files unless I use Plex with Direct Play enabled.Using this feature,I can still stream MKV files smoothly but without the Fill The Screen option like VLC Streamer has.My other option is,as KevinJS suggested,to convert the files to a format that iOS natively supports and stream without transcoding/converting; using VLC Streamer or a similar streaming app.

    Thank you guys for all the help!:)
  9. mdk92
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    mdk92 iPF Noob

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    I'm posting this because I know how frustrating it is to surf the web for answers or lurk the forums for solutions and only find UNSOLVED and incomplete threads.

    So,for anyone who is having a similar problem and don't want to waste time (hours) re-encoding an MKV file to work with an iDevice,I think I can help you.

    Yesterday I almost gave up finding a solution,when I came a cross a thread about PS3 streaming/converting where I found out,what some of you might already know,that MKV is just a multimedia container and you are able to re-pack those file inside the MKV (h264,ac3,srt),into an container that iOS can natively play (e.g. MP4).

    There are a lot of FREE programs on the NET that you can download and use to re-pack the h264 from the MKV to an MP4 container to make it work with most of the iDevices.(e.g. GOTSent,Mkv2Mp4,Rebox.NET)

    So now you probably ask yourself : Why would I use this instead of HandBrake?

    The reason is simple. TIME

    You see,when using HandBrake you re-encode the whole file into an different container and this process might take hours,even for a 720P movie,depending on the processor your computer might have.For me it will take 8-9 hours for a 4.7 GB file to be re-encoded.

    Here is the awesome part.Using GOTSent or any other similar program,the process only takes 10-12 minutes for the same 4.7 GB file.That's because the file is not re-encoded,just re-packed.

    Another amazing thing is that if you have a media player APP that doesn't support AC3 audio format anymore,like most of them now don't,you can convert the audio track to AAC and have audio on movies again.It only takes like 5 minutes or so.


    Now for streaming...

    You have 2 options to stream your video files to the iDevice.

    The easy and free one :

    Using iTunes home sharing.Now that you re-packed your files to a container that Apple products natively supports,you can sync/copy them to iTunes Movies or TV Shows and start iTunes Home Sharing.(Use Google if you don't know how)

    The hard and free one :

    Starting a DLNA server on your computer and access/stream files to the iDevice using a certified DLNA Media Client like 8Player Lite (FREE) or GoodPlayer (PAID) etc.

    The problem with this one is that this kind of Apps have WEAK codecs,both S/W or H/W based,and MOST files play laggy/choppy/teared etc.Once you switch to QuickTime plugin the video plays like it should,perfect.The downside is that using QuickTime plugin instead of the App player,you won't be able to select Aspect Ratio or any Fill The Screen options.You will be using the APP exactly like the standard VIDEOS APP that is implemented in iOS.(Black Bars)

    So if you have a slow computer that is not capable of on the fly conversion or you are just a newb like myself and don't know how to stream media to your portable device,feel free to try any of the variants I suggested and decide for yourself which one works better based on your needs.

    Just my 2 cents.Good Luck!:)
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013

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