Need to stream video over a network using iOS devices? Transmitting video over wifi or Cat5e using an Apple tablet or phone can be really easy. This is how to do it.
A recent gig required live video and audio streamed from one building to a projection screen in another building some distance away. The gig came as a last minute request (the night before a morning event). I had little time to prepare. They were in a bind and didn’t have anyone else they could count on. Though I did not own very much video equipment, I knew I had to help. I had to be creative in order to accomplish the task. Here is what I did.
First, I broke the problem into 2 parts: audio and video. Figuring out an audio solution was easy, since I’m primarily experienced in audio and had all the gear for that portion. So the tough part was figuring out video. Another factor to consider was that the signals needed to be fairly secure (to prevent easy hacking), so wired was preferred over wireless options. My plan was to send audio over balanced audio cables and video over ethernet/Cat5e cable to reassemble on them together on the other end.
Second, I scoped out the location. The buildings were two small structures set on opposite sides of a small parking lot. A quick reading with my super handy laser distance measurer revealed the buildings sat about 100 feet apart. This measurement was helpful for figuring out how much cabling I need to run between the two locations. In addition to the distance between the two, there was also a height factor (the receiving location was on the second floor), plus there were interior distances that needed to be run. Altogether the total distance from the source to the destination required enough cable to reach somewhere in the ballpark of 200 feet.
Third, I needed to inventory my equipment list to figure what I needed to buy, if anything. Luckily, I found a nice iOS app that streams video quite reliably.
Video Signal Flow
This is the basic routing I came up with:
iOS Device with Video Source App > Wifi Router > Ethernet Cable > Computer with Video Destination App > HDMI Cable > Output Device (Display or Projector)
And here are the specific details of my setup:
- a newer iOS Device (iPad/iPhone/iPod touch) with good camera (I used an iPad Mini 2.)
- a video streaming iOS app (I used AirBeam by Appologics UG with its companion desktop app AirBeam Pro.)
- a wifi router (I used an older AirPort Extreme Base Station A1354. For increased security, I also made sure the SSID was not broadcast, the network required a WPA2 password, and the password was fairly long and complicated. Not a perfect solution, but much better than an open wide, password-free network.)
- Cat5e cable (I used cable rated for outdoor use since it was kind of rainy and wet outside.)
- an Apple computer with ethernet jack (I used an aged Mid-2010 MacBook Pro.)
- a video adapter for connection to video cable (I used one of these AmazonBasics Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt) to HDMI adapters.)
- a video cable (I used an HDMI to HDMI cable.)
- an output device (I used a projector.)
Here is a sketch of my set up:
Not shown: MiniDisplay Port to HDMI adapter
I didn’t describe or diagram my audio setup as it was a little more traditional in approach. I may or may not write about that in another article.
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An alternate method that might make your Bluetooth device connect with your iOS device.
Can’t get your Apple Bluetooth keyboard to pair with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch? I couldn’t either. My A1255 keyboard wouldn’t connect at all. The iPhone would find the keyboard, but wouldn’t update the name of it, nor ever present the four digit code for pairing. I could only get this error:
Make sure “Keyboard” is turned on, in range, and is ready to pair.
I tried a bunch of fixes I read about online and none of these worked in any combination nor configuration:
- turning Bluetooth off and on
- rebooting the iPhone
- holding the power button on the keyboard
- deleting other Bluetooth device pairing from the iPhone
- clicking ‘Forget This Device’
- connecting to another device and then my iPhone
- replacing the batteries
- holding the V, A, and R keys while powering on the keyboard
- turning off Bluetooth on any other nearby devices
It seems Bluetooth under iOS 7 is broken. Lots of people are having issues with Bluetooth on iOS 7 that weren’t there in older iOS versions. Unfortunately, Apple is apparently ignoring this problem.
Here’s how I finally connected my keyboard to my iPhone.
- Switch off Bluetooth on iOS device under Settings > Bluetooth.
- Shut off the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button for 3 seconds.
- Switch on Bluetooth on iOS device.
- Turn on the keyboard by pressing and holding the power button until it green light blinks.
- The keyboard should appear listed under the DEVICES heading in the iPhone Bluetooth settings screen with “Not Paired” in gray next to it.
- Now at this point you’re supposed to just tap on the listed device on the iPhone to begin the pairing process, but when I would do that it would time out with the “Pairing Unsuccessful” alert. Here’s the trick: repeatedly tap on the listing (maybe 5-6 times) and hopefully the “Bluetooth Pairing Request” alert will appear with the four digit code you’ll need to enter.
- The pairing may fail the first time. Try again.
- I also found that subsequent attempts to connect after forgetting the device worked much better after that initial connection.
I hope this fix works for you. Let me know if it does.
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The story behind recording “Go Tell It On The Mountain.”
In case you missed all the promotional efforts on Facebook and Twitter, in 2011 I released my version of “Go Tell It On The Mountain” as a free download. Try one of the following links to get the song now.
Many thanks go to Lynn Graber of The Recording House for offering to record this Christmas song for free as part of his Christmas 2011 compilation. Six other artists recorded songs with Lynn. I’ve embedded their tracks below for you to enjoy.
As for my recording, I had a lot of fun working with Lynn at his swanky studio. We experimented with new microphone placement and techniques while recording the upright piano. I also was able to track harmonica using an Alesis iO Dock with an iPad and the Ground Up Audio Amps & Cabs iOS app.
“Go Tell It On The Mountain” by Scott Troyer
“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Autumn Ashley
“Some Children See Him” by Nathan Metz
“Emmanuel” by Larisa Grisham
“What Child Is This?” by Vanessa Ann Grisham
“Oh Holy Night” by Escaping Yesterday
“Free (A Christmas Song)” by Troy Erbe
In 1907, John W. Work, Jr. published a collection called Folk Song of the American Negro, which contained the first publication of “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” For those listening closely to my version of the song, some of the lyrics have been modified from the original. I altered a few of the words and added a couple lines. Some may want to stone me for changing a classic, but I believe the changes to be improvements that are faithful to our best understanding of the gospel. Review the lyrics on the discography page to see if you can find the changes I made. Let me know what you think via the comments section below.
Go Tell It
This song may seem old-fashioned or out-of-date, but here’s the thing: there are places in the world where people have never heard that “Jesus Christ is born.” They may know the name Jesus Christ (possibly as it is used as a profanity in movies or TV), or they may have limited information (or even disinformation) about this Messiah guy. In spite of the nearly omnipresent accessibility of the internet and prevalence of computers, smart phones, and iDevices, there are still many people uninformed about the central character of the Christian faith. Often, governments prevent their people from receiving information about Christianity or persecute their citizens for spreading the information.
One of the most notorious of these regions of the world is North Korea. With the recent passing of dictator Kim Jong-Il, the North Korean government is likely to change its policies in regards to religious practice. Please read this article from Vernon Brewer, president of WorldHelp, to find out how you can “go tell it on the mountain.” Then donate via this link.
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I met my maker. I made him cry.
And on my shoulder he asked me why
His people won’t fly through the storm.
I said: ‘Listen up man they don’t even know you’re born.’
– Oasis, “D’You Know What I Mean?,” Be Here Now