Summary: Using this free Android ICS app called Mirage you can stream videos on your phone or a DLNA server to AirPlay supported receivers including Apple TV.
Apple iOS device users are lucky enough to enjoy AirPlay technology on their iPhone and iPad. One native iOS feature that allows seamless wireless streaming of music, video and photos from apps that support AirPlay to compatible receivers. The closest competing feature on non Apple devices including the mighty Android is what is popularly known as DLNA or Digital Living Network Alliance (UPnP derivative), a network protocol for media management, discovery and control. DLNA being a widely adopted technology can be made use of to stream content from various software (Plex, Twonky, AirVideo, XBMC, PS3) and hardware (Media players, TV, DVR, NAS) DLNA media servers. Though there are many free Android apps including Twonky (Mobile and Beam), BubbleUPnP etc. that can handle DLNA protocols to stream multi-media stored on servers but the one that is both intuitive and feature rich was long due. That is being squared away with the introduction of Mirage for Android.
Mirage (Beta) acts as a hub for your online and personal videos (as of now video only) stored on remote servers, locally available on your phone and web. This app can discover DLNA/ UPnP servers available on the same network and then stream video on to your Android device or beam them to both DLNA and AirPlay receivers including Apple TV. What is available for Android features sleek Ice Cream Sandwich UI that can not only handle video in various file formats intelligently but also enhance over all experience which other apps in this category fails to deliver. The native support for popular video formats like MKV, MP4, AVI etc. and its ability to software or hardware accelerate decoding on the fly is sure a deal breaker. Moreover with Mirage you can wirelessly beam web videos from Engadget and TED to start with, but expect them to add more sources to their web video list soon.
To get started make sure you are connected wirelessly to your local network or internet. Now launch Mirage app and click on the search icon on top right corner of the screen to bring up all the DLNA servers detected on the network to which Mirage is connected. Select ‘Internet Feeds’ for videos from popular sources or select your own DLNA server (software or hardware) to start streaming on to Mirage for Android.
Once you select a DLNA media server you can browser further in to access available videos on that particular source. Click the video file you wish to play locally on your phone or beam to wireless DLNA renderer like Apple TV that supports AirPlay protocol. Now before you start playing a video it is worth noting that if the video is in container formats like MKV it is better to make use of hardware accelerated decoding which Mirage as a media player supports out of the box. Hit on the play icon on top right corner to choose between SW/ HW acceleration. After selecting that you may hit ‘Play’ button to start video playback.
Now lets look at the features that set this apart from the competition. Mirage, unlike other media player features controls including Play, Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, Volume, Brightness that is easily accessible and intuitive to use. These controls are invisible and will only show up when you tap on the screen while playback. Mirage users can select between Playback position, Volume and Brightness icon to move the slider up or down to control it. Mirage also supports Bookmarking with which users can freeze favorite shots to add it to ‘History’ and quickly skip to that particular position later or during playback. The aspect ratio can be changed by tapping on the small icon towards left top corner of the screen that pops up along with player controls.
How to stream wirelessly to AirPlay devices (Apple TV, Windows, Mac, Linux) and DLNA players:
As you can see in the image above the post, while the video playing you can tap on SW/ HW button on top of your screen to select the output source to which you want to stream content wirelessly. Select a source and wait for it start playing on Apple TV or DLNA player running on desktop. While beaming to Apple TV is simple, you can follow the steps mentioned in this post to turn Windows, Mac and Linux desktops into AirPlay receivers using XBMC 11 media center software.
Download Mirage for Android [Free]