Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to watch presentations and college videos I have on my computer, from my tablet. There are almost a hundred of GB in videos, so I would like to watch them in streaming from my computer. My wife has also tons of videos so I have decided to do a kind of streaming local service to watch the videos from our tablets.

I have found an article about how to do it with Internet Information Server, but the article is relaying in an application that is not free (Expression Encoder). Since this is for home fun, I am not willing to pay, so I would like to ask for some free encoder that can do the trick.

I have no idea about streaming. Actually, I tried to hang the files directly on IIS, and the browser tried first to download some of them and some other (mp4?) got played badly, so I could not get a smooth video experience. What is missing?

What is the deal with H.264 ? Can I roll with VC-1 and play videos in my Android tablet with streaming with an acceptable quality through my WLAN home network?

Any better solution?

Thanks.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers

Best way to do this is to run your machine as a DLNA server. As it happens Windows Media Player can do this for you ( tutorial at http://www.agoraquest.com/viewtopic.php?topic=35037&forum=70 ) but there are also many other DLNA servers ( Comparison list at http://www.rbgrn.net/content/21-how-to-choose-dlna-media-server-windows-mac-os-x-or-linux )

Once you've done that, any DLNA compatible media player (of which plenty exist for iOS and Android) will be able to stream the content from your PC and it should 'just work' at that point.

share|improve this answer
    
Do I need to transcode the videos in another format? For example, if I have .wmv and .mp4 videos, do I need to encode them again or that DLNA can stream them out of the box? Thanks. –  NullOrEmpty Sep 3 '12 at 14:18
1  
Many DLNA servers will perform automatic transcoding on-the-fly depending on what formats the client supports. The comparison list I linked shows you which servers will perform transcoding. –  PhonicUK Sep 3 '12 at 14:20
    
Great I will check the list. The computer where I hold the videos is a Windows 2008 server, and apparently there is not Windows Media DLNA :(, but it looks like there are plenty of solutions, and not expensive. –  NullOrEmpty Sep 3 '12 at 14:26
1  
The ideal solution in practice (but involves spending money) is to buy a DLNA compatible NAS (or if you already have a NAS, check to see if it's DLNA compatible!) - this gives you general non-specific shared storage, as well as a dedicated media server without the long-term electricity cost of an actual computer being left on. Might be worth looking into once you're happy with a homebrew setup. –  PhonicUK Sep 3 '12 at 14:27
    
Tversity PRO cost $19. It is a reasonable price, and apparently does everything I need. What do you think? –  NullOrEmpty Sep 3 '12 at 14:30
show 1 more comment

The problem here is that there are simply too many options and variables to take into account.

The first option I can see is rather than using IIS you can simply use Windows File Sharing to share the folder then a file browser that supports SMB (such as Astro File Manager with the SMB module) on your tablet to browse your network share. Then it would hopefully be a matter of using a player on your tablet that supports the video formats you have. There are many options such as MoboPlayer, DicePlayer and others which support a good variety of formats and can also make use of hardware deconding abilities your tablet may have.

Of course then it depends very much on the quality of the video files you have and the hardware (processor and graphics chip) on your tablet as to how well the file plays. Most up to date devices have a graphics chip that can handle hardware H.264 (typically used in mp4 files) decoding up to 1080p resolutions, but older tablets and phones will not and so you may have to transcode the files if they are particularly high quality.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.