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AirPlay Hacking: Streaming to Linux and Windows, DVD Streaming, and More

Over the past couple of weeks, we've covered Erica Sadun's efforts at extending AirPlay video streaming functionality with AirPlayer, which allows users to stream content from iOS devices to Macs, and AirFlick, which offers the ability to stream video from Macs to the new Apple TV. While the tools are only very alpha versions, they demonstrate how Apple and third-parties could extend AirPlay functionality.

Sadun and others haven't stopped there, however, with new proof-of-concept demonstrations arriving showing AirPlay functioning in a wide variety of environments not officially supported by Apple. Among the interesting developements:

- AirPlay comes to Linux: An installation of the open-source XBMC media player on Linux running an AirPlay service allowing iOS devices to stream to computers running Linux.

- AVI files on the Apple TV: Utilizing the resources of Air Video Server, Sadun was able to stream live-transcoded AVI files from her Mac to the new Apple TV, eliminating the need to convert such files to iTunes-friendly formats.

- Streaming DVDs to the Apple TV: Using VLC, AirFlick, and a bit of command-line tweaking, Erick van Rijk and Sadun have demonstrated how to stream DVD content from a Mac to the new Apple TV. While certainly not a one-click solution at this point, the demonstration shows the wide variety of media that can be converted for AirPlay streaming.


- Screencasting a Mac to Apple TV: While the result is a bit blurry and demonstrates significant lag, video of a Mac's screen can be streamed to an Apple TV for display. The technique uses a similar VLC trick to that used to stream DVDs.

- AirPlay for Windows: In the same vein as Sadun's AirPlayer for Mac, Apostolos Georgiadis has released AirMediaPlayer for Windows to allow iOS devices to stream content to Windows PCs.