An A.P.P.L.E. Review: AirServer — Play Videos from iPad to TV

  • Program:   AirServer Mac
  • Cost:          $7.99
  • Platform:  Mac OS X 10.7.3
  • System:     Mac Mini
  • URL:          http://www.airserverapp.com

This month’s review is one of the more useful utilities we have found in a while.  Not exactly new or the latest and greatest, however, the App does what it claims to do and we figured this one deserved a closer look.

Over the past two months, we have used a number of devices trying to emulate the capabilities of AirPlay to Apple TV.  Nothing really worked and even this app falls just a touch short of our inflated expectations when dealing with this type of equipment.   AirServer allows you to play non DRM videos directly from your iPad or iPhone running iOS 5.x to your TV.  The app is rather simple to use and even allows re-broadcast of a video.  The only real requirement is that all of the devices be on the same wireless network.

So we set everything to our internal Call-A.P.P.L.E. network and were pleasantly surprised.  Football videos we shot earlier in the fall of 2011 played full screen on our Toshiba TV.  While other videos such as ripped videos played in the screen at the scale they were recorded at. The AirServer icon appeared in our utility bar of the video when we started it, and played the video to the TV with a less than ten second delay from the moment we selected the output device.

The cost of the app at $7.99 is more than a lot of apps, but in relation to hardware devices that work nearly the exact same way for 10 times the price, we were actually happy with the quality we got with this app.

But of course, when you are riding a high of seeing things work as advertised, you then get to the only disappointment, not the Apps’ fault though.  The DRM videos purchased from iTunes started up and then ended just as quickly.   Apple obviously does not want users to use the Mac Mini as an Apple TV so they prevent any movies from starting up under such applications.  I guess I am with the hoards of users who are waiting patiently for Apple to change that so that we can truly use our Mac Minis as living room entertainment systems.

For those users who are thinking they will check the App store, don’t bother.  AppServer isn’t available there.  The AirServer App is only available from the website and can be purchased via the website using Paypal.  However, the system is set up so that the App is immediately available after purchasing the App.  Verification of the purchase is performed within the App via the website.

While the lack of play of Apple Fair Play videos is a bit of a show stopper, it is not the end of the world.  We did like the fact that Mac OS X Lion was not an issue, nor was iOS 5.x as is the case with many such applications.  The AirServer App itself was updated in November 2011 with Version 3.2 of the App.  With the potential being there for another upgrade, we are sure that we will see more good stuff out of this App in the future.

In the meantime, back to watching game film from last season and preparing for another one.

Rating: 4 of 5 Apples

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