There are a few iPhone or iPad applications that allow you to stream multimedia from your home networking PC to your iOS devices. In this post, I would like to share with you Air Video, one of the first few apps I got for my iPad.

It’s really easy to use: just install the app on your iPad/iPhone, download a free Air Video Server to run on your desktop. specify all the folders that you want your Air Video to access from the server. On your iPad/iPhone, you will be able to see the folders and all the supported video files appearing.

Air Video supports all kinds of video formats, even full 1080p MKV. It will convert the video on the fly so that you can watch it on your iOS devices. Or you can choose to convert offline, and be notified when the conversion is done. The latter is required only if you find that the streaming cannot keep up with the real-time conversion, but you can improve the streaming by reducing the display resolution for the real-time conversion. The video quality might not look as good, but it sure beats being interrupted.

Air Video saves me trouble of converting and uploading iTunes-supported file format into iPad before I can enjoy the video. Air Video works best within your home networking, and can even work over mobile network, though performance is limited by bandwidth.

Try the free version and experience the convenience before you buy.

In summary, what I like:
– stream videos real-time, so I don’t need to convert my video collection into iTunes-compatible format or upload to iPad just to watch it
– ability to adjust the conversion resolution to suit the bandwidth of the home network
– restarts the video from where I left off
For now, Android users are still looking out for the equivalent of Air Video.

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