Saturday, August 24, 2013

Airplay video to a Raspberry pi - yes and no

Messing around with a Raspberry Pi recently used as a Wifi hotspot, led me to an idea for a box installed on the projector in a meeting room that creates a wifi network that you can join to send your screen to the projector without the need for annoying cables and adapters. It turns out that recent versions of XBMC support AirPlay. I first tried Raspbmc but had more luck with OpenELEC.

It works pretty well, and is able to use the tiny Edimax Wifi USB dongles to join my home network and do all the amazing XMBC stuff pretty well - I've spent the afternoon watching fantastic Apollo videos and TED talks.

If you turn on Airplay it works on my iPhone when I'm using apps like YouTube but not apps like ABC iView - why?

It turns out that Airplay is not just one thing, it's a combination of technologies and while YouTube works because the controlling client passes the HLS m3u8 url over to the XBMC server which then streams it from the server, clients with either secure video or doing video sharing are not able to stream to XBMC over the network.

I think the solution to my problem is to combine a Wifi hotspot, probably an Airport Express, with an Apple TV box, but where's the hacker fun in that? (I wish Apple would make an Apple TV box with some sort of "AirDrop" for video for use in meeting rooms).

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