"An AirPlay receiver for Mac and PC."
AirServer provides one of the best ways to display a live feed from your iOS device to either your PC or Mac. AirServer not only displays live video through the AirPlay option on your iOS device, but also audio and both can offer great high quality picture and sound. Considering that Apple does not allow any screen recorder apps on the App Store currently, this is one of your best options of being able to capture video and audio from your iOS device.
AirServer delivers the live stream from your iOS device by streaming the video and audio over a wireless network. So the experience in quality can vary depending on the speed of your network, the good news though is that AirServer works exceptionally well over an Ad-Hoc network. Nearly any wireless card today has the ability to create an Ad-Hoc network, which basically just broadcasts your computer as its own wireless network. This is also possible to accomplish through a jailbroken iOS device with a jailbreak app called MiFi. MiFi broadcasts the iOS device as if it was the wireless router just like an Ad-Hoc connection through your computer. My experience with AirServer was close to perfect quality when connecting it directly through Ad-Hoc, though it still works fairly well just working through a wireless router it’s definitely a better option when recording more intensive apps.
The biggest reason AirServer is one of the most preferred methods of capturing video from your iPad to display on your PC or Mac, is its incredibly low cost. Where an AppleTV device would run you close to $100, AirServer only costs $14.99 and works with no equipment other than your own network. AirServer does not come with the capacity to record video directly, but it allows you to use a 3rd party application like Fraps (PC) or QuickTime (Mac) to record the stream coming from AirServer.
AirServer installation is fairly simple, with easy to follow instructions. AirServer is available on most Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. It does require that you have iTunes installed on your machine. We'll focus on the Windows version of the app here in this review.
The UI for AirServer is about as simple as it gets. It’s an empty window until you broadcast your iOS device to it, with options to shut down the server and a settings menu that gives you some quality options to optimize the application for your network and device.
- Allows for the ability to display a live stream from your iOS device to your computer
- Allows for video recording with 3rd party applications.
- Supports Audio and Video
- Low cost
- Can have slow-downs depending on network speed. You can get better results if you're setting up an Ad-Hoc network rather than using your network through a router.
There is another option out there called Reflector which accomplishes the same thing as AirServer. It costs slightly less at $12.99. I can’t really say for sure which application is better, as they both seem to be on par with each other. The good news is both applications offer a full non-restrictive trial so you can try them both out.
AirServer is an excellent way to finally get anything from your iOS screen onto a computer screen. It’s a step up from AV adapters which don’t support some applications, it’s much faster than USB-type connections, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than purchasing AppleTV. Whether you want to just display your iPad on a larger screen or you’re trying to capture audio or video from it, AirServer is a great option at a low cost.
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