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Thread: iPhone as WiFi Heasset Solution
08-27-2010, 05:57 AM #1iPhone as WiFi Heasset Solution
For a few months now I've been searching for an app that will allow me to comfortably listen to audio using my iPhone+headset while watching movies on my HTPC (Win7 x86). I have yet to find a suitable solution.
So far I tried the following:
Audioin - skips and stutters even on buffer set to large.
AirPhones - no decent Win7 support and judging from forum posts the project appears to be dead.
Airfoil - best out of the three but far from being perfect. Audio is clear most of the time but streaming suffers from significant latency. I tried correcting that by offsetting the audio on VLC/MPC, however unfortunately even after fine tuning the audio offset it seems to lose sync after 10-15mins and I end up having to re establish PC->iPhone connectivity to correct that.
Headset - untested yet but according to a review I read it suffers from latency as well.
I'm guessing that with the absence of decent Bluetooth support on iOS, WiFi latency is a real problem when it comes to audio streaming. Perhaps at this point in time there's no decent solution available...
Unless someone knows something I don't??
08-29-2010, 11:04 PM #2
Considering that apps like AirVideo can stream video over wifi with practically no latency problems, I doubt there's any fundamental issue here other than incompetence on the part of those devs.
I'd also be interested in any suggestions people can offer.
08-30-2010, 05:36 AM #3
Audio only streaming is different, the computer displays the video directly to the screen then the audio bit has to be pushed back to the AP, then to the client.
I think the key here is to somehow educate the vid player being used to dynamically offset the audio to the exact amount of latency in milliseconds between server and client.
I think the OSX version of AirFoil actually comes with such a player. No Windows counterpart unfortunately...
Last edited by netBAT; 08-30-2010 at 05:38 AM.
08-30-2010, 09:01 AM #4
Yeah, I see the problem. Have you tried setting up an adhoc wifi network between your PC and your phone?
08-31-2010, 07:50 PM #5
An adhoc network will orphan both my iPhone and HTPC from the rest of my home LAN and the server...
Anyway, I took the plunge and purchased 'Headset' from the App Store. I must say I'm quite impressed!
In terms of latency it's the best solution out of every app I tried. A modest 100ms offset on my vid player did the trick compared to 2,400ms in Airfoil and everything is in sync!
Headset installs a proper driver on your PC instead of just a server application. I think this may have contributed to the much improved latency.
Headset has some other significant advantages over Airfoil. In Airfoil you need to specify the running application in order to grab the audio off it to be streamed out to the network. Headset's driver latches onto the PC's main output and therefore streams all sound out to your iDevice.
Headset also allows you to use the mic on your iDevice for VoIP conversations, etc...
Very encouraging initial experience...BUT
I'm getting a stutter/skip glitch every minute or so...
I've contacted support to see if any updates are planned in the near future to resolve this.
Headset is still a young app but certainly shows a lot of promise
09-01-2010, 09:51 AM #6
Ah, then your setup is similar to mine, except that I use HDMI to connect my media server to my HDTV because it doesn't have wifi support, but use wifi for everything else (AirVideo was one of my big reasons for buying an iPad - I swear, they could charge $20 for that app and I'd still buy it in an instant).
That also helps clarify the source of the problem, which is that the iPhone up to 3GS doesn't support 802.11n, whereas pretty much every other device, including the iPhone 4 and iPad, does. If you've got video streaming over 802.11n and audio coming over 802.11g, you're going to have a lot of trouble getting them to sync perfectly.
I avoided running into that problem because I'm using a set of wireless headphones connected to my HDTV/home theatre audio output. Personally, I'd suggest you consider going that route, if only because the iPhone is pretty limited in terms of audio capabilities, and just isn't going to offer you the same experience when watching HD movies.