On my iPad, I tried to remote control a computer on my local network and open a video on it, but it wasn't fast enough (the video refresh rate was terrible). I've purposely tried to connect to the local area IP 192.168.0.xxx, my router touts 54Mb/s of transfer rate. What do I need to do to make my view of the video on the remote PC more fluid?

Added (after reading keen's answer): For example, if I want to stream from twitch.tv, that's hard because twitch.tv's ipad app doesn't work the majority of the time, so I can't really go directly to the "source". Other times when i'm browsing a site on the computer, and it streams a video. I want to sit on a sofa and watch it. It's inconvenient for me to type in the address on my ipad's browser again to go directly to the source. And this is a small website that hasn't created an app yet.

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    Make the video smaller. Start with calculating the RAW bandwidth needed to stream the video (RDP will do better than that, but start with that. Then compare it to your wireless speed (which usually is a lot less then 54Mbit/sec, and even on a 54MB 'wireless' connection you can not transfer 54Mbit of data per second. Wireless has a lot of overhead). -- To help with the data part: say yo steam a 1024x768 image at true colour. That is 1024x768x32 MB (3MB) per frame. To reach a smooth 50 frames per second you would need 150MB/sec (or about 1500mbit wireless and good conditions).
    – Hennes
    Mar 23, 2013 at 0:56
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    @Hennes if it requires that much bandwidth, why i have no problem when i visit the source site and stream directly?
    – user22105
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:00
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    Because the source is most likely in a compressed format. Sane video format do things like "full frame with max compression", followed by "X frames with only the differences from the previous frame". That makes a huge difference. This is why I capitalised RAW in the previous comment.
    – Hennes
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:00
  • @Hennes hmm... if what you said is true, is there a way to make it play fluidly from a remote PC?
    – user22105
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:10
  • Yes, do not stream the already uncompressed images. Stream the compressed data (in other words, run the player on the iPad).
    – Hennes
    Mar 23, 2013 at 1:14

4 Answers 4


54Mbps (which is 6.75MBps) isn't great speed in front of local disk speed. Despite the number is bigger than Blu-ray's 30-40Mbps bitrate, don't forget its theoretical number and RDP transfers RAW frames which isn't compressed as in video formats. So, video of your question shouldn't be high quality.

Now, do these things before creating RDC: Click on arrow next to "Options" to reveal "Advanced Options". Go to "Display" tab and change all display settings to maximum (like Colors to 32-bit). Go to "Experience" tab and change "Connection Speed" to LAN. Also, set maximum settings of all experience options.
Use maximum experience settings in your iPad client (as you haven't provided details about it, I can't further help).

Update after Question Update:
You can't compare video streaming with RDP streaming. Video formats are compressed formats. It means when you stream videos, compressed data (no redundancy) flows from server to client. But, the scene of RDP is different. With RDP, a part of video file (which is compressed) doesn't flow from server to client. RDP draws frames after seeing the screen. More details on screen (like at the time of FullHD video play) means big sizes of raw frames. As raw frames aren't compressed like videos, its causing you problem on slow network.

However, you aren't out of luck. You can use a nice RDP compression and acceleration software.

  • I'm not sure he's going to have the RDC options you're speaking of. He's using an iPad as the client. Mar 23, 2013 at 2:45
  • i've provided some more details on the problem
    – user22105
    Mar 23, 2013 at 5:30
  • @user22105 Updated the answer...
    – user79032
    Mar 23, 2013 at 11:20

Remote Desktop works by transferring graphical information from the remote computer to your local computer. In the most naive straightforward implementation of this functionality, everything would be rendered on the remote computer. And then the snapshots of already rendered data would be sent over to RD client computer. However, RD implementation is much less naive.

For graphics that consists of "line art" and text drawn through Windows API, Remote Desktop actually performs a remote procedure call: it sends the API call parameters to the client machine and carries out the actual call on the client machine. I.e. the graphics is actually rendered on your local client machine. This is an extremely compact and efficient way to transfer graphics, which is why all "line art" and text drawn through Windows API work very fast over Remote Desktop connection. Basic Windows GUI is one example of such graphical information. In essence, this graphical information is transferred over the network in extremely efficient vector form. This is what makes typical Windows GUI elements to work so well over Remote Desktop connection.

Now, any graphical information that cannot be described as a sequence of vector Windows API calls has to be transferred in bitmap form. That applies to raster images, for example. You probably noticed that ordinary bitmap images are drawn in Remote Desktop client much slower than typical GUI elements. The same applies to video. Video is actually played on remote machine and then the rendered result is transferred to your local client machine as a rapid sequence of bitmaps. This generates a huge amount of network traffic, which easily exceeds the bandwidth of a typical connection. This is why videos are virtually unplayable through Remote Desktop.


You're asking the wrong question. You're looking to find a way to play video on your iPad from your computer via RDP. You should be asking how to play the video natively on your ipad. RDP is the wrong tool for the job.

Unfortunately, since you don't mention what kind of video you're dealing with, I can't fully answer that underlying question of how to play it. I can suggest a few ways to play video on iPads though:

  • If its a local video file, there are tons of options. Do some searching for video playing apps, there are plenty that will play them. I use Oplayer personally. I put my video files in a shared folder on my computer, which Oplayer can access. I copy the file to the iPad inside Oplayer, and then play it.
  • If the video is from a website that streams video, your options are limited. Search the App Store to see if that site has an app that will let you view their videos. If the video is a TV show, you should check Imdb or Wikipedia to see who makes the show and which network airs it, as that may point you to an app that will have that show in it.

I hope this helps. I recommend posting more details on the video you're trying to watch, as that'll help us give you more useful advice on how to get it to your iPad.

Now that you've mentioned Twitch.tv specifically, and the issues you're having, I can provide more accurate advice. Something to try is to just open http://twitch.tv/ in Safari. Their site has extremely limited support for this though. Only some streams are accessible this way, it looks like only Featured streams can be viewed. In addition, you can't view archived streams.

I also did some digging to see if there was a way to use your computer to mirror or transcode the Twitch.tv streams, but the usual tool I look to for this, PlayOn, doesn't have support built-in and I couldn't find a plug-in that adds it.

There's a manual way to get the archived streams to your iPad. You can download the .flv of an archived stream (per this thread):

  1. Install a 3rd party video player on your iPad off the App Store. You need one that plays .flv files. As previously-mentioned, I use Oplayer.
  2. On your computer, go to the page with the archived stream.
  3. Click 'Share', and copy the link. It'll be in a format of http://www.twitch.tv/<user name>/b/<video ID>
  4. Take the video ID and put it into this URL: http://api.justin.tv/api/broadcast/by_archive/<video ID>.xml
  5. In the XML, find the video_file_url elements, and download the .flv files in the link. If the video is less than 30 minutes, there will only be one video_file_url element. If the video is longer than 30 minutes, it's split into 30 minute .flv files, when naming the downloaded files, be sure to include an indicator in the file names for their order.
  6. Transfer the .flv files into the video playing app on your iPad. (Oplayer supports a few ways to get videos into it, including http, ftp, and Samba. If you setup a share on your computer that you can throw the .flv files into, then Oplayer can download them wirelessly)
  7. Play the video(s), and enjoy.

In between 5 & 6, you can optionally use a tool to merge the multiple .flv files into one .flv file that has the whole video.

  • i've added some information after reading your comment
    – user22105
    Mar 23, 2013 at 5:29
  • @user22105 Sorry for the delay, I just updated with instructions for how to get Twitch video files downloaded, and then play them on your iPad.
    – user94278
    Apr 2, 2013 at 23:27

Try using AirPlayit. I use it to stream video to my iPhone and iPad. It also, supports Android (buggy for my device tho). It is really easy to use and set up. I can stream all my audio and video fluidly through it. I know it supports FLV, but Im not sure if you have to have the FLV downloaded or not. Check it out, it might be exactly what your are looking for. Plus its free!

  • I believe AirPlayit only works if you have the video file. Is there a workaround that allows streaming a website?
    – user22105
    Apr 4, 2013 at 16:42

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