Long road trips and time away from home can be a challenge, especially when you have young children to entertain. Keeping kids content on the road or in a hotel room can be a tough task, and videos can be a sure fire way to keep them busy.
If you have a 3G or 4G iPad, you can use video streaming apps to access your home videos from any location, be it another room or across the country. This is also fantastic solution for camping, hanging out at the park, or a day at the beach. With an iPad, and a simple app, your video collection can go anywhere.
There are quite a few video streaming apps in the App Store, but a few are better than the rest. Here are three good options:
Air Playit HD (Free) – This free app allows you to stream videos and music from your computer to your iPad. It supports 320 different formats, and works over both Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. This app converts videos live as they stream, so you don’t have to worry about file compatibility. Have AVIs or MKVs? No problem at all. There’s also an offline task manager so you can add and manage conversion tasks and then download videos to your devices over the air, for use any time. This is especially handy when you’re going somewhere with no connection.
Video Stream (1.99) – This media center app lets you watch any video format that’s on your computer on your iPad. Like similar apps, it streams and converts files over the air for instant playback, and also allows you to import your videos over the air for offline viewing. It’s able to play videos in 1080p, and takes advantage of the newest iPad’s Retina display. You can also hook this up to an Apple TV using AirPlay to stream videos from your computer to your iPad to your TV.
Air Video ($2.99) – With Air Video, you can watch your entire video collection anywhere. Streaming videos over the air through this app frees up valuable space on your iPad (you won’t need to download them) and you can watch content anywhere there’s a 3G or better connection. As with the other apps, offline conversion is available with a single tap, and it also supports iTunes playlists so you can listen to music from your computer as well.
If you don’t want to download an app, but you still want to access your entire collection of videos and music wherever you are, you can also use cloud-based service ZumoCast, which is provided by Motorola. ZumoCast streams video from any format with no conversion necessary, which is one reason it has a leg up on the streaming apps. ZumoCast essentially converts your computer into a personal cloud network, so you can access all of your files and media without having to upload anything. Try it out at ZumoCast.com.