Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Custom Commercial Home Video Streaming

A colleague of mine came to me and asked me "How can I stream my home videos or any digital video I have to the big screen in a way that doesn't require me to be an expert on computers."  So I wanted to share with a simple setup outline that I have tried as well who have tested this and worked for them.

Here is what you need at the minimum:
- HDTV (Any will do)
- Apple TV 2 (IOS 4.3 or above)
- iPod or iPAD or iPhone (IOS v4.3 and up). 
- PC / MAC with at least 200GB of storage with decent processor (a good comparison is 2011 Mac Book Pro which has enough computing power)

- Air Video Server
- Air Video Mobile (For the iPod/iPAD/iPhone)

With these components you can stream pretty much any video to the big screen.

Here is the basic setup:

Assumption: You need a home wifi that is supporting 802.11n (5Ghz) .  You will need dual band wifi (802.11g/n) if your iPod or iPhone only supports 802.11g

1. Setup your AppleTV hooked up to your home Wifi on 802.11n and AirPlay turned on.
2. Next you will need a PC/MAC where you store your video.  You download AirVideo server (http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/download.html).  You install, run the software and point to the directory where you store you video.
3. You download Air Video Mobile on your iPod. (You can download this http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/index.html)
NOTE: Your iPOD will use the 2Ghz frequency for wireless hookup. Why?

From this point on you can view the video on the iPod through Air Video App.  When you want to view this on your HDTV then you use Airplay to point the stream to the Apple TV (You can view use or Airplay here http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4437).   

A couple of things you need to keep in mind:
- You can also control forwarding, skip, rewind through your iPod which essentially services as your remote control for streaming your video.
- Transcoding is done at the PC/MAC that contains the AirVideo server

This is it in a nutshell. I haven't seen any of my other collegues really have issues with this setup. In most cast they already had the hardware, but only needed the Air Video software.

I hope this little outline helps

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