AirPlay is great if your video collection is in the right format; otherwise you can only stream Apple-approved videos from your iOS device to your Apple TV. Here's how to circumvent that limitation and how to get the best results.
AirPlay is Apple's great new media streaming technology that lets you stream your music, video, and photos from your iOS device to your Apple TV. Air Video is an iOS app that lets you stream any video from your Mac or PC to your iOS device, converting it on-the-fly if necessary. Wouldn't it be great if you could combine these two things? Then you could stream any video in any format from your computer to your iPad to your Apple TV. Because AirPlay's APIs aren't yet available, Air Video's developer says he can't add this functionality to the application. Fortunately, if you want to jailbreak your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can install a little hack that'll let you stream anything from Air Video directly to your Apple TV.
This is very easy to do. Here are the steps:
- First, you need an iOS device running iOS 4.2 or greater. You'll need to jailbreak your device, and the currently redsn0w is the jailbreak method of choice for iOS 4.2. (Here's how to do it.)
- Once you're jailbroken, you need to jump into Cydia—that's the package manager that should now be installed on your device—and download AidVideoEnabler. You don't need to add any special repositories. You should be able to just search for it, download, and install.
- Reboot your device.
That's all you need to do to make this work. It doesn't work perfectly, however, so let's take a quick look at how you can get the best experience.
First things first, the bit rates don't matter here—the iPad we used could handle the highest setting in Air Video so as long as the computer converting and serving the video can keep up, feel free to tell Air Video it's okay if it wants to stream at the highest possible bit rate. For reference, that's 2560kbps and you can set it in "Global Settings." The only thing you really need to worry about is when you start streaming to your Apple TV. We found that if you don't let Air Video get a pretty decent head start of at least a few minutes, streaming will fail. If you let it convert for a little bit before you get started, it works like a charm.
That's it! Enjoy streaming all your videos!