Stream iPhone Video To Roku

Dave Zatz —  August 8, 2013 — 4 Comments

roku-video-phone

By way of The Verge, we’ve learned Roku’s iPhone app has been updated to wirelessly stream video from smartphone-to-TV and Android support is “coming soon.” This joins previously released music and photo beaming, and “Play on Roku” is quite the handy feature. In fact, we’re hopeful the long in the tooth TiVo Desktop will be replaced by similar touchscreen flicking to move personal media to the television.

4 responses to Stream iPhone Video To Roku

  1. Presume this will be limited to un-DRM’ed videos you’ve shot or downloaded to the phone somehow, and won’t work with any DRM’ed content (TV Shows, Movies) that you purchased from the iTunes store. I guess the obvious question next is what codecs are supported beyond the obvious mp4 container and mp4/h.264 video and aac audio.

    There are still going to be lots of advantages to the Apple TV vs. this for iOS users. You can play those iTunes purchases. You can play audio/video in other apps like Spotify or Air Video or games or whatever. Still kind of an afterthought.

    But hey, if it can play your music off your phone and let you throw photos up on the screen, that seems useful.

  2. Yeah, presumably the idea is to stream your personal content. Supposedly Roku was looking at Miracast for expanded mobile-TV interaction, but this is pretty good for many. Regarding movies, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see Roku move into their own movie store via Ultraviolet or something else. Then again, they probably get Amazon and Vudu commissions and advertising dollars. Hm. My plan is to move my Roku 2 into my mom’s new place (up here) so she can watch Netflix, Amazon (Prime or VOD), Sky News, and whatever’s it the Newscaster app. Then I’ll pick myself up a Roku 3 for improved performance, both wireless and UI speed.

  3. I played around with this last night with just personal content. It was a little buggy…had to back out and restart about 1 out of every 3 videos but it was overall a very positive experience. It is really simple and easy to use and a nice way to show pics and videos to visiting family.

    As for non-personal usage, it seemed like it was downloading the whole video before it played it. I could be wrong as I only spend 10 minutes playing with it, but there is some communication time before it plays and it is longer for longer videos. I’m guessing this will mostly be useful for showing personal videos and pictures.

    Unfortunately, it requires you to log into your own device. It would be cooler if I could get a token or something from a friends roku that allowed me to play content at their house.

  4. I played with it the other day and it works well. Maybe it’s the difference between my wireless network and my brothers, but the same video that needed to buffer for over a minute on my brother’s Apple TV, starting playing almost instantly on my Roku 2 XS. Everything shows up very quickly and videos will continue to play even if you exit the app, though doing so can cause the Roku and app to get out of sync.

    It will only play videos in the camera roll though, so it’s not an airplay replacement.

    Also music that is stored in the iTunes Match cloud cannot be played until it is downloaded in the Music app first.

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