airvideo vs. sub video player

Still enjoying all the multitouch.

I’ve been using AirVideo for the longest time to watch anime on my iPad. It’s fantastic. Six months, and I still haven’t managed to find a file that I couldn’t watch on it. It lets me sit on my bed and watch an episode before I sleep or watch on my couch and watch a Miami Heat at the same time. Even better? iOS 4.2 + jailbreak + AirVideoEnabler which adds AirPlay to AirVideo. Just the Thunder God Cid of video capabilities. I replaced one my HTPCs with an Apple TV and haven’t looked back. (Apparently, Apple is planning on letting 3rd party apps access AirPlay next year, so you don’t need to jailbreak.)

Still, one weakness of AirVideo is what if I’m off network? I can transcode beforehand, but that takes time and is a hassle. The AirVideo internal transcoder doesn’t play well with CUDA, so I’m off fighting with MediaCoder if I need to queue up a bunch of files for a flight. Well, that’s where Sub Video Player (iTunes link) comes in. It’s still a hassle, but not so much. I’ll explain. Sub Video Player doesn’t transcode, instead remuxing common anime mkv formats into iPad-friendly formats. Remuxing is fast– seconds compared to ten or more minutes. Once remuxed, you can watch on the go after a quick sync with iTunes. It’s still annoying that I need to pre-process my files, but at least I can do everything in one sitting. What’s great is that (a) no quality loss (b) karaoke and multiple sub tracks all stay 100% intact.


Sub Video Player

Videos play really smooth, and because they’re the original encodes, look fantastic, especially on 1080p files that AirVideo trouble transcoding (gosh sakes, why isn’t there CUDA support in AirVideo yet?). There’s just one big gotcha: it doesn’t work with all files. See, I wanted to keep the Mio multitouching tradition, but I couldn’t find one K-On!! file that would play in Sub Video Player, so I had to use a clip of 1080p Hanekawa instead.

I really haven’t figured out which files work and do not work, but it appears it has trouble with any encode with a high number of reference frames, which is basically everything out of [gg], [Mazui], and [Coalguys]. Other times, I find files that I can play but not seek, which is troublesome as well. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done with this program, but it’s a good start. Until they work out these kinks (and maybe add AirPlay), I’ll stick for AirVideo for home use.

9 Responses to “airvideo vs. sub video player”

  1. Get an android and you can play all that natively. ( ¯‿¯)

  2. Name one 10″ Android tablet with full app market access that you can buy before 2011 (8 months after iPad already came out).

  3. The Viewsonic gTablet comes close, but it doesn’t look like it gets the full App Store out of the box. There do appear to be workarounds, though.

    For my money I’d rather have an ultraportable. I just can’t justify a near-laptop-size slab with no keyboard and a kindergarten operating system when for similar money I could have a real, full-blown PC with non-terrible input options.

  4. Hanekawa’s fine for this sort of thing. I’ve been reluctant to buy Sub Video Player, so this doesn’t look like a BAD program… but well, it looks like it’s not the best deal out there.

    Thrashy: I’m not doing a lot of heavy work on this device (just simple web browsing, reading, video playing), so it does what I need to. It’s limited, but it’s functional enough to do what I need to, and with decent battery life. For anything really heavy (like work), that’s when I break out the notebooks. Ultraportables are overrated in my books, at least for anything beyond simple web browsing… and at that point, I might as well go tablet.

  5. There’s another alternative to Sub Video Player. It’s called VLC. It plays all types of video formats and works like Sub Video Player, only that VLC is free. I recommend that you use VLC as it’s open source and free. Airvideo seems to be the best for streaming videos if you are worrying about space.

  6. Hmm, definitely let us know if an update helps with that [gg] support. The only other thing I might find annoying about this app is that I historically hate using the iTunes file share option and find it much easier to just mass convert with AirVideo using the client queue, then mass add to iTunes, then mass add to iDevice. But at the same time, with Sub-Video, I’d be skipping an entire step, and the longest one at that. So yeah, you sold me on AirVideo months ago, but not enough for Sub-Video just yet.

  7. Dragon: VLC crashes hard with MKV files, and that’s been happening for months.

  8. Besides, VLC can’t use the hardware decoder of the iPad/iPhone for silly Apple reasons, so it chokes easily on any 720p file and is thus even more unusable for anime playback.

  9. I guess you have to wait until they make andriod available on the ipad

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