Originally Posted by jester3
If you got an iPad2 or iPad3, checkout InstaTV Pro. It streams live tv directly from HDHomeRun (all model include Prime with copy-freely channels)
No server software installation is required (plex or airvideo or instatv server)
I have been using InstaTV Pro for a few months since the beta release and I am very satisfied.
There still are a few bugs and occasionally it crashes for no reason but usually restart the app would work fine again. Highly recommended to anyone using hdhomerun.
Here is a demo(it's silent so nothing is wrong with your speaker
Anyone else using InstaTV? I ponied up for the InstaTV Pro version. My experience is that it seems to hold a lot of promise but feels buggy right now. I have a Windows 7 Media Center computer with the HDHomeRun Prime w/cablecard and a Comcast subscription. Tuning in the copy-protected channels is important to me right now (though I keep thinking about dropping my cable subscription all the way down to just tuning in the major networks), so I can't make use of the InstaTV server component. The server component would do on-the-fly transcoding of video to an MP4 format, but only works with ClearQAM stations. Since I can't/haven't tried the server component out, I can't speak to that. Without that, what I can do is still tune into every channel I subscribe to.
Because there's no server component doing the heavy lifting, you have to rely on your iPhone/iPad's CPU to display the MPEG2 HD streams, which I honestly didn't think it would be up to, but it *seems* to be up to the task. I say "seems" because I will get occasional (sometimes frequent) pixelization/macroblocking/freezes. But I suspect that this is more of a bug with the program that can be worked out and not indicative that my iPhone 5's CPU can't handle the decoding task, as it will other times play the video perfectly fine for an extended period of time.
The other, more minor, bug is that scrolling through the channel listing is slow/choppy when you are scrolling past the first page-full of channels. Because it wants to show me a thousand different possible channels, this becomes a problem when I need to scroll all the way up to the channel numbers that are past channel 1000, which is where Comcast now keeps all of their HD channels. A solution to this seems to be to add all of your favorite channels to the "Favorites" list and then just use that list exclusively.
If you don't need cablecard-encrypted channels (i.e., you can be happy with just ClearQAM), I'd be interested to know how well the server component works, and if it eliminates the pixelization/macroblocking/freezes that I've experienced without it. Also, using the server component apparently allows you to tie into the Windows Media Center program guide to see what's actually *on* the various channels. Without it, all I get is a list of channel names.
Of course, my ideal situation would be to not only be able to see the WMC guide, but also be able to pull up the Recorded TV section, as well as pause, rewind, and fast-forward. I didn't mention it before, but this app only allows you to watch live TV. There is no on-board storage buffer, so you can't pause or rewind. Still, if the PQ issues I mentioned previously can be nailed down, I'm hoping that this can be a workable solution for my loft which I'm setting up as a craft room for my wife and an exercise area (for all of us). I don't have a spare flat-screen TV for the loft, and was going to hook up an old 20" 4:3 TV with a Comcast tuner, which will give us live TV, but with fairly crappy PQ. Plus the old CRT TV is bulky. I'd much rather be able to use one of our iPads as a portable TV for that area. If I can jury-rig some sort of mount for our elliptical, it would look like a larger TV compared to the 20" TV which would be situated farther from the elliptical, and when my wife is seated at her craft table, she could have her iPad next to her on the table, so it would also look larger than the 20" TV several feet away. On the elliptical, we could also easily plug headphones into it. Plus, we actually have two iPads, so we could both be up there (maybe I need to buy a 2nd elliptical
) and working out at the same time while each watching two different TV shows.
On a separate topic...I posted about this a while ago but no one seemed to comment on it, but I figured I'd bring it up again...
I'm using Plex and AirVideo to allow for playing back my previously recorded .wtv shows. Plex is my preferred solution, but requires an additional app/script to be scheduled to move/rename your TV shows periodically, before Plex can successfully get the metadata for the shows. Even then, it sometimes can't find a match for the show (I believe it uses TVDB online to get that info). But, when that works, you're rewarded with being able to open up the Plex app on your iPhone/iPad and have your TV shows categorized by season, complete with the episode summaries, etc. The downside is that when Plex can't find the metadata for the show, you won't even see the show at all in the Plex app. That's when you have to resort to using the AirVideo app.
The AirVideo app won't give you any metadata at all, but it will let you view your recordings by file directory on your server, so you'll see everything that's out there and, thankfully, WMC names the files such that you'll know the show name and original air date. Both apps' server apps do a great job of on-the-fly transcoding of the MPEG2 video to MP4 format. This all assumes that you don't mind having a competent server running 24/7. Mine has an Intel i7 chip, but even an i5 (maybe even an i3?) could probably be up to the task.Edited by srauly - 1/6/13 at 6:51am