Sunday, June 27, 2010

Air Video

Typical 3g quality with only about 500kbps upstream usable bandwidth:
- This is hands down the best program to stream video from a home server to your iPhone over wifi or 3g.
- It beats the pants off of ORB. I pretty much hate orb and have uninstalled it now since I’ve found much better alternatives.
- Server piece is very light weight, uses very little resources, scans new media very quickly, and supports network shares. I can easily handle 2 transcodes simultaneously on my q6600.
- The use the very robust ffmpeg as the transcoding engine so a huge variety of file formats are supported everything from avi to mpeg to ts to mkv to flv. Unfortunately dvd iso’s aren’t supported.
- You can transcode on the fly or even schedule transcodes from the iphone.
- Quality is highly dependent on your internet upstream bandwidth for your server. It’s watchable over 768 kbps DSL but of course higher is better. Over wifi the quality is perfect. You won’t be able to tell between live transcode vs say transcoding with handbrake.
- I really like how you can set a range of bitrates that the transcode happens everything from 64kbps audio only up to 2048 kbps depending on available bandwidth. I would say 256kbps minimum is required for watchable video over 3g. The biggest bottleneck will still probably be your ISP’s upstream speed at home.
- There are options to crop the video and even boost the audio (handy for those ac3 soundtracks that tend to be a bit quiet when transcoded).
- Server access is protected by a pin and password.
- Only one port needs to be forwarded for access from the internet. I like how there is no middle man so even if air video shuts down the software should still work (unlike simplify media which was bought out by google and shutdown).
- Browsing large lists of video on the iphone is very fast with the thumbnails filling in later.
- It remembers last position on an individual file basis so you can always resume where you left off. Seeking works about as well as can be expected for streaming a live transcode.

Highly recommended! It’s an incredibly robust and powerful video streaming solution that just works! At $3 it is a steal. If you run a htpc that records all your TV this is a must have.

1 comment:

Andytizer said...

I love AirVideo and it has totally changed the way I consume video. I only wish there was some kind of desktop client available as well.