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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for suggestions on the best application for navigating my movie library from my HTPC and playing back on other media extenders like TVs or other DLNA devices.


My setup looks like this:

1) HTPC - Zino PC in media room connected to a projector - Full media library stored here (mkvs, avis, etc. 1080p content) on Windows 7 MCE PC


2) Extenders:

WDTV Live - Playroom

Samsung C7000 series - Living room


3) Tablets - iPad, iPhone, Android (Dell Streak)


What I'm trying to do:

I can currently playback my movie content from my HTPC through the Samsung or WDTV. But I have to "pull" the content from those devices. The navigation interface of those is not the greatest and you have to navigate through several steps to get to what you want.

What I think would be better is to 'push' the content to those devices by navigating with one of the tablets like the iPad. So I'd like to be able to view my movie library on the iPad and then send the content directly to the Samsung or WDTV. In this case, I don't need to render or anything on the iPad, just use the iPad as a remote control and redirect the video stream to the extenders.


Partial Solution:

After many, many hours of reserach, I finally found an application called EyeController that does pretty much what I'm looking for: http://www.eyecontec.com/downloads/c...touchipad.html


The only issue is that the interface is not the greatest. I really would like to have a cover art style GUI like Media Center, Boxee, etc. that I can navigate all of my movies and then with a click redirect the playback to the other televisions.


EyeController is definitely doing what I want - I have tested and can flawlessly use an iPad to playback my 1080p mkvs on the Samsung. So this prove that its possible to just use the iPad as remote and not have to render. I've come across other apps like PlugPlayer that I think have better UIs, but they seem to need to render on the iPad which means they can't handle video formats that the iPad can't play.


Anyone else come across any other applications? I think this would be a killer app for people with DLNA movie library's looking to control those across the home.


Dave
 

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You might want to take a look at media:connect for the iphone/iPad. Unfortunately, I can't tell you whether or not it will satisfy all of your requirements, but it's the first app I've come across that satisfies most of mine. It functions as a DLNA media server, controller and player. I use it as a DLNA controller which allows me to "push" music from one or more DLNA servers to one or more DLNA renderers. Be aware though, that the basic app that you download in iTunes does not include the features I mentioned - to get access to the "real" features, you have to purchase an upgrade.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I checked out the info on media:connect and it looks like it does what I want except that it can't play any files that the iPad can't play natively. Which rules out most of my stuff that are mkvs, 1080p, etc. That is the great part about eyecontroller. It doesn't seem to care what the files are since it appears to just connect the renderer and server and then gets out of the way.


Dave
 

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I tried both of these - media:connect advanced edition (new version 2.0 just came out in May 2011) and eyeconnect. I do like the eyeconnect interface better, being a true iPad app, and it provides a bit more info on the media you've selected to play. I'm also trying to use the iPad just as a DLNA controller - using Twonky as my DLNA server and a Popcorn Hour A-110 as the DLNA renderer.


Both seemed to be able to queue up MP4 and MKV files without any problem. The newer media:connect solved the problem Dave noted about not playing MKV. I didn't have a chance to try playing a 1080p MKV, but I suspect it will play fine. Neither of these apps seemed to be able to handle M2TS files, though. Eyeconnect just reported, the device cannot play this, but I don't know where it's getting that incorrect info. The media:connect gave an error Illegal Mime-type for the M2TS - really? Also, once that error occurred, the app went into slow motion. I tried it more than once and the response got even worse - taking up to 6 seconds to respond to a button press. It made me wonder if the PCH was actually responding to the controller with a DLNA response that was incorrect - telling the controller that it couldn't play an M2TS file. Either way, I'm afraid neither of these will meet my need because of the M2TS shortfall.


In general, the DLNA controller interfaces would challenge a novice or casual user. I don't know if I could hand either of these apps over to a family member and say, here - pick out what you want to watch. I think we'll stick to TV screen navigation and the old Harmony 1000 for now. But I am still hopeful for DLNA soon...
 
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