I came across a neat solution to watch TV on an iPad without any special transcoding or hoops to jump through. SplashTop is a remote desktop addin for the iPad that comprises of a server that you install on your PC and a iPad app. Once you have the server installed on the PC from the iPad you can browse your machines running Splashtop and then view and control the PC. Unlike Remote Desktop it does not lock the host PC so you can continue to use the PC while controlling it from the iPad.

So from the iPad you can load up Windows Media Center and start TV playback and it smoothly plays back on the iPad, I tried live TV and recorded TV and it worked great, no buffering and and the sound worked fine too, I tried some 720p videos and they worked fine. A nice touch is that if the speakers are muted on the PC the sound still works on the iPad.

There are some limitations, the main one seems to be it doesn’t support full screen Direct X application so you can’t run Media Center in a full screen but you can resize the window so it fills the screen.

Obviously you can do more than just stream Media Center content, you can fully control your PC which is why I bought the app in the first place, anything on the PC will display on the iPad so that includes flash content, videos and applications but if you want to watch something recorded on your PC this is a great way of doing it.

The PC server is free so you can install it on as many machines as you need and the iPad app is $2.99 / £1.19,  there is a free version that is limited to 5 minutes so you can see if it will work for you.

There are also iPhone, iPod and Android versions of the app

photo (8)

photo (9)

photo (1)



This is a video made by Splashtop

4 thoughts on “Using SplashTop to Watch Live or Recorded TV on the iPad”
  1. I love this app however I don’t think it is good enough to watch live streams. My experience with it is the video does not have a fast enough framerate to look natural it looks not jerky but not smooth either. Not sure if its my setup but I am using it on an iPad 2 and an N network.

  2. I have been using SplashTop for this from a long time. To view full screen you need to install a small utility called Maxifier. Once installed Maxifier has a small taskbar menu which allows you to run Media Center in Full screen from Splashtop.

    This makes a perfect solution!

  3. i downloaded this app for just this purpose but I can’t get the sound to work at all. I have a win7 64 bit machine and no sound at all. I have media center in windowed mode and can control it great but with no sound this has no value

    1. I am using the 64bit version and it worked ok. I could even mute the audio on the PC and the audio continued on the ipad. When your connected check your audio devices

Leave a Reply