Stream video content from XBMC to an Android tablet

Continuing on from earlier posts here and here (which describe how to stream content from XBMC to an XBox 360, and how to encode a DVD using Handbrake such that it is suitable for playback on the XBox 360 respectively), we can also stream video content from XBMC to an Android tablet device.

In this example, I am using an Android v3.2-powered tablet in the form of the ASUS Eee Slider SL101. I am using the built-in ASUS “MyNet” application to receive the XBMC stream.

You can refer to the official Android documentation for the list of base supported audio and video codecs, pertaining in particular to Android v3.x:

Generally, files encoded as H264 video and AAC audio in the MP4 container format work fine. Converting your existing media files for basic playback is a cinch in VLC Media Player, which includes a handy preset for this which takes the guesswork out of the equation (leave a comment if you need help with this):

Converting a file in VLC Media Player

Connecting the tablet to my local wireless network, one can immediately see the XBMC media server visible in the list of available UPnP media servers in the “MyNet” application. Ignore the reference to “Windows Media Connect” – this is simply the “MyNet” application assuming that the media server must be a Windows-powered device (*sigh*). By clicking on the “Video” tab, we can see for example recently added video files:

ASUS MyNet application on the ASUS Eee Slider

We simply tap on a file, et voilà:

ASUS MyNet application playing back "Elephant's Dream"

The chunky video quality in the above screengrab is simply because I am using the low-quality version of Elephants Dream, not because of any inherent quality issues with the source material, software, or hardware.


8 thoughts on “Stream video content from XBMC to an Android tablet

  1. mark

    This is great, except the only reason people use xbmc is not for their own library collection… it’s to use the add-on’s to stream remote content. Is there a way to stream to the tablet without someone having to write an xbmc port for android?

    1. davekoelmeyer Post author

      Thanks for the comment. In this example, I *am* streaming remote content in the form of my XBMC library to the tablet. That is to say, the media library is not on the tablet.

      XBMC seems to be a very popular topic, so if you have any other suggestions for how-tos, fire away.

    2. Sean

      We use XBMC explicitly to view personal media content. We’re stationed in a location that does not have good streaming capabilities or optimal cable/satellite access. XBMC is our front end user interface throughout our house. When we return to the US or another location with better media streaming capabilities, I’ll definitely check it out, but for now, its watching/listening personally owned media stored on a central media server.

      I absolutely LOVE the idea of a tablet playing XBMC media. I envision my house one day having a tablet on the wall in each room of the house to either serve up media or to handle tasks like lights, temperature, etc. We’ve already experimented with a touch screen Lenovo X61 tablet with XBMC with a e-cookbook add-on in the kitchen with great success.

      I hope that the XBMC dev team one day gets an Android version out there because at the moment, it seems android is working the tablet market very well, and well, I cannot afford an IPad in every room of the house.

  2. Ifonlyitweretrue

    Given that MyNet is an Asus thing (and isn’t available for download in the Android Market), this is more a tutorial on how to stream to Asus devices only (and not even all of them). Headline’s a bit misleading.

    1. davekoelmeyer Post author

      Thanks for commenting – “…an Android tablet” was used in the context of an example Android-based tablet, in this case the Slider 101, not in the sense of it being anything globally supported by the Android OS. Good point though – there is an implied question here on whether there is an available vendor-neutral application which will support UPnP streaming.

  3. Pingback: Stream video content from XBMC to an Android tablet (continued…) | Dave Koelmeyer

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