Back in the Windows Mobile / Symbian days, in 2007, I've already published a full roundup of then-current UPnP (desktop) server and mobile client apps (see THIS / THIS). Now, let's take a look at how it is done on the iDevice (iPad [Mini] / iPhone / iPod touch)!
As you may have guessed, the stock video player shipped with iOS, “Videos”, doesn't support accessing UPnP (also known as DLNA; in this article, I refer to it as “UPnP”) servers. That is, you'll need to use third-party apps on your iDevice. Fortunately, there are several of them.
1. What can you use UPnP for on iOS?
Today, I played with the just-released update of 8player (AppStore link; the free version is definitely worth giving a try, particularly if you're into UPnP), an excellent UPnP media player (and a not-so-decent local one).
Upon tapping a direct camera AVCHD test file (as has been explained in several of my articles, they all contain AC-3 audio tracks), I've seen the following message:
Today, EC Player (AppStore link) received an update without any update description. Just compare the update notes of the following screenshot (showing version 1.34) to that of the previous one HERE (of version 1.33):
In my yesterday's article on the iPad 3 / 4 Retina-friendly version of the great and, unfortunately, “thanks” to Apple's - when it comes to hardware video acceleration - absolutely unnecessary AppStore-approval restrictions, jailbreak-only XBMC, I've mentioned it still doesn't support external screens via a wired (HDMI or VGA) connection. (Decent AirPlay isn't supported either, so you can forget streaming video wirelessly from your iDevice. Only cabled solutions are workable.)
A brand new, free, iPhone 5-friendly player, Directplayer (AppStore link), has recently been approved in AppStore that has both AC3 and 16:9 (iPhone 5 / iPod touch 5) screen support – something painfully missing from currently accessible AppStore apps. For that matter, I think there is simply no player in the AppStore any more doing the same at the same time. The only app that officially has AC-3 support (meaning it'll never drop it), CineXPlayer, still hasn't got a 16:9-friendly update. (The current version, 2.8.2, was released in early August. No wonder it doesn't make use of the 16:9 screen.) On top of that, it's free.
You may have asked yourself the question: “Is it really important to publish articles on some multimedia players' dropping AC-3 and warning people not to update? What's the point?” In the article below, I present you some examples of the consequences of Dolby's forcing developers to drop AC-3 support.
Up until now, I haven't really recommended the otherwise excellent (“thanks” to Apple's overly strict and - in my opinion - when it comes to video playback, absolutely unnecessary restrictions, jailbreak-only) XBMC multimedia player for iPad 3/4 users playing back high-resolution videos.
The reason for this was, as has always been explained in my articles, the lack of Retina screen support.
Now, take a look at the next two screenshots (click the thumbnails to get the original shots! Don't even try to evaluate the video playback resolution using the thumbnails):
In my previous review, I in no way recommended AnyPlayer(HD) (iTunes links: iPad / iPhone).
The new, just-approved version (1.5.8) has a single item in the update list: the drop of AC-3 support. (The previous, public version (1.5.5), released earlier this month, still supported them with software playback – that is, with files like MKV but not with the iOS-native ones like M4V.), The update list (click for the original!):
In my previous review, I didn't particularly like the initial version of Movie Player HD+, which, with the just-released update, has just been renamed to Media Player PRO. It also received a price bump; now, it costs $1.99.
I haven't recommended (and still don't do; see below) LuberPlayer(HD) (AppStore links: iPhone / iPad) as it doesn't have even basic functionality like hardware playback of iOS-friendly video files (MOV, MP4, M4V).