The iPhone, iPod and iPad are ideal platforms for viewing movies and TV shows stored on your computer, but the need to copy files to devices often limits their potential. Many collections of personal movies and videos are too large to be copied into the space made available by the iPhone and the synchronization process of many gigabytes (or even terabytes) still requires large periods of time.
A second problem that most of the videos purchased from the iTunes Store are protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management), a system that prevents copying videos to other devices or transcoding them into different formats. Most of the solutions for streaming video on iPhone / iPad do not address the issue but simply affix a disclaimer warning that their product does not work with DRM-protected videos.If, therefore, many of their video collections have been purchased with iTunes , most streaming applications will not work. A solution to the problem comes with Lite Web TV, a software (still in beta at the time of writing) that allows you to use your own collection of movies purchased through iTunes and use them on any device in your home. The application takes advantage of the intrinsic sharing capabilities of Mac OS X and a web application for iPhone that can be used by any device on the local network. By installing the application, this will provide a link to point to the iPhone / iPad / iPod web browser and access the iTunes library.
The program does not perform any video transcoding function, it simply serves the data as it is. The system is simple and effective and allows you to operate with DRM video as long as the device itself supports its playback (the iPhone will not, for example, be able to play HD content, but the iPad will).
The minimum requirements are: a Mac with Mac OS X 10.5 or higher. After downloading and starting the program, some additional components will be automatically downloaded and the administrator password must be entered to start sharing services. At the end of the installation, a window will show the address to which to point the iPhone / iPad browser to view the videos from the iTunes library. The program is still a bit unstable (still beta) but promises well. It is not clear if and when the software will be marketed and at what price it will eventually be sold.
(By Mauro Notarianni)