The Best PC to Android video streaming apps!

May 23, 2013
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    video streaming

    PC to Android video streaming is a very niche market, which may make it difficult to find such an app and get it to work properly. That said, we went to the Play Store in search of some of the best PC to Android video streaming apps there are, and we’ve returned with some great results! As usual, if you’d rather watch the video than read, just head to the bottom of the article.

     2player

    2player video streaming

    First up on our list is 2player, which recognizes DLNA servers to play content. The app was able to recognize a Plex server and play video from them. That’s a big requirement for this list, so good news for 2player. It’s a very simple app that doesn’t have a whole lot of features. It sort of works, but has some annoying graphics issues.

    The graphics issues isn’t existent on every device, but it doesn’t affect video playback either, which is good news. Again, it’s a simple app that will get the job done.


    Get it on Google Play


     BubbleUPnP

    BubbleUPnP video streaming

    BubbleUPnP is a fairly popular video streaming app, and there’s a good reason for that too. It works well, and goes the extra mile to offer a Google TV app on top of your standard tablet and smartphone support. The only real complaint we have about this app is that the free version feels a bit crippled.

    During our testing, it was fairly easy to get videos to play from the Plex server. However, BubbleUPnP does require a secondary player, which might be a bit tedious for some. Thankfully apps like Moboplayer and MX player are completely free and solve the problem easily.


    Get it on Google Play


    Emit

    Emit video streaming

    Emit is one of the nicer apps on our list, though, there is a few downsides.  While it works pretty well, it isn’t compatible with DLNA. Instead, it relies on its own PC app to stream media to your Android device. While that isn’t particularly a bad thing, it’s just a bit more tedious.

    You’re able to add servers via an IP address or a PIN, but if you don’t know a whole lot about servers, this might not be something for your average Joe. Regardless, Emit works well, and that’s all that really matters. To get the best experience out of it, all you’ll need is the PC app too.


    Get it on Google Play


    Plex

    plex video streaming

    Plex is one of the better apps on our list. In fact, you can think of it as the Pandora radio of PC to Android streaming. It’s one of the most popular streaming apps for any operating system, whether it be Windows 8, Linux, or Android. It’s very popular because there’s a lot to like about Plex.

    First off, Plex has a well designed, solid, and easy to use interface. Not only that, but it’s loaded with awesome features. Plex servers are also DLNA compliant and can be seen by other PC to Android streaming apps too. You may have noticed that with BubbleUPnP.

    Similar to Emit, you’re going to need to download Plex’s proprietary app to get Plex to work properly. This isn’t a big issue though, as Plex servers are fairly easy to get up and running. Once everything is set up and ready to go, video streaming works wonderfully, and you should only run into the occasional issue. Like BubbleUPnP, Plex is available on Google TV in addition to tablets and phones.


    Get it on Google Play


    Tonido

    tonido video streaming

    As you would expect in a PC to Android video streaming list, Tonido is perfectly capable of such tasks. You might be surprised to know that, that actually isn’t the sole purpose of this particular app though. Tonido also pairs as a file sharing app between your PC and Android device. So not only can you stream video, but you can also share documents, music files, video, and pictures.

    Tonido’s video streaming capabilities are actually quite good, though, much like Emit and Plex, you have to download its proprietary app on the PC to get it working on your Android device. However, if you employ a generic DLNA server, you may want to look elsewhere, as you can’t even get into the app until you sign into your Tonido account.


    Get it on Google Play


    Conclusion

    leaderboard video streaming

    If you take a gander at our leaderboard (image above) you can see how these apps compete against one another. These are based on Google Play Store ratings and downloads, so there isn’t any bias on our part.

    Much like our Best Widgets for Android list, PC to Android video streaming is very niche. However, there’s still a few out there that deserve an honorary mention. These include AVia, TVersity, and MediaHouse UPnP. When it comes to PC to Android video streaming, the quality of an app isn’t something that needs to be worried about a whole lot. What matters the most is finding a decent app that provides good video quality.

    As I said, PC to Android video streaming is a very niche market. So there could have been a really great app we missed. If you have a favorite PC to Android video streaming app, be sure to tell everyone about it in the comments section below!

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    Comments

    • Bas

      Any recommendations for an Android player (not Google TV) connected to a TV? I use Plex for Samsung TV in the living room and that works absolutely fabulous! But the experience with the Plex for android app on the Minix x5 in the bed room is completely different.

      The app has to be compatible with the Pled server because I do not want to use different software to manage my video collection.

      • Andreas Komninos

        Qloud is the best by far. Pitty there is no Air Video for Android.

    • http://twitter.com/daniel_cassian Daniel Cassian

      You forgot ES File Explorer. Free and capable to access movies from you PC through LAN. No stutter no lag. Combine with MX Player = perfect free combo

    • Dani

      For me Qloud is the best.

      • Greg Bissell

        Its not, i used to use that but it sucks compared to BubbleUPnP. Its laggy and sometimes i cant even fast foward a video and also you cant use different video players like MX Player or Dice

    • Leandro Brandão

      i am using imediashare with powerdvd 13 ultra. i can even beam youtube videos to powerdvd player. es file explorer i can search manually for files in my pc.

    • John Wolf

      XBMC

    • Steven Lovell

      Archos Video Player. The free version has ads when you tap the playing screen, but works great, and picks up UNPN easily.

    • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.hill.940641 Joshua Hill

      VLC Media player

    • http://www.facebook.com/Trent8381 Trent Richards

      I use a Tversity server on my PC and Mediahouse on my Nexus 10. A cool feature of Mediahouse is that I can also send the stream to my XBox from the Tablet.

    • Ruzveh

      Can we have the roundup for the Best Remote Desktop apps on Android?

    • Greg Bissell

      BubbleUPnP is by far the best of the bunch. Not only can you remotely stream any of your videos from your home NAS/PC to anywhere in the world you can also access all of your googlemusic. You can also for example say you are at your friends house and you want to stream one of your movies, you can stream it through your friends PS3/360 as it can see your BubbleUPnP as a mediaserver. The optiins are endless and none of these other apps come close. It is definitely worth the small price to get the paid version

    • JT

      I use Qloud and Plex. Plex is better for having the art and metadata. Qloud is better raw delivery of video.

      • JT

        Both work well over mobile data, not just wifi.

    • Joshua Hill

      Wow there are more down votes than up votes in the comment section. People were asked to give feedback on which apps they use or like and one special person seems to be down voting them. Well done nob :p

    • Marm

      I got away from running a PC to serve up my videos and instead use a PogoPlug PRO, purchased used for $35 on eBay to create my personal cloud. This saves me a considerable amount of electricity. It allows me to plug in multiple 3TB hard drives to stream my content to my Android tablets anywhere in the world. It works very well but there are a few Cons: 1) Will not stream MKVs 2) The software asks every time if I want to trans-code the video which I NEVER need to do (there was an option to disable this but it does’t work). 3) The PogoPlug is limited when it comes to organizing your hard drives. It is far better to do that on a PC and then connecting the hard drives to the PogoPlug later.

      I also use a SlingBox 350 to send my home TV to my Acer tablets. Also I use Netflix.

      The PogoPlug and Netflix work very well with all four of my tablets (Acer A500, Acer A100 and 2x Archos 43.) The SlingBox only works with the two Acer tablets.

      The PogoPlug works very well with no lag but I am using a 50/30 MB Fiber connection.

      • Mike Dornfest

        That’s what you get for using DRM laden DLNA and that transcoding crap.

        MKV is the new standard for huge files.
        AVI is out dated and what do you think they are going to use when the new video format is 4096×2160!

        It’s not going to be divx, avi or mov. It’s MKV and companies like Sony doesn’t want you using anything outside DLNA because they want you to buy the same movie over and over again. Same with YOUR MP3′s, Flac or whatever.

        Communities made all the codecs and distribute them freely.
        Good Codecs, GREAT Codecs yet a company like Sony loves proprietary equipment. just look at their PSP.
        They are into making money bottom line.

    • http://davidpolanco.com David Polanco

      Tonido rocks I have been using it for years. It just makes sense.

    • Unverified User

      Why would you want to watch anything on a tiny a55 phone screen anyway? My PC is connected to 2 42″ screens. So to step down to a 4.3″ makes no sense at all.

      • Muvoksi

        Oh you simpleton. Some of us might want to watch movies in bed, and most of us aint rich bastards that have 2 42″ TV’s.

        • Mike Dornfest

          TV’s are cheap now.
          Anyone who still buys a 22″ monitor for $300 is not the brightest bulb in the universe.

          If anything ALL new monitors should come touch screen in order to justify the price.

        • Unverified User

          Simpleton? Who is the imbecile holding onto a 0% egronomical device, laying in bed, with some headphones on so you can hear whatever you are watching? The one that is streaming content, from a real computer that has been reduced to serve the incompetent new devices its owner now favors… That would be you.

          I however, can see my screens just fine from anywhere in my lil home. Im not rich, nor am I a bastard. I just possess something that all of us are not lucky enough to benefit from. Its called logic.

          People buy $400 Galaxy’s, and craplets. Then change them out when a version 0.0.1 different comes out, so thats like every quarter of the year. Not to mention pay that monthly bill. And the stupid accessories for it. The app purchases, insurance and so on and so forth.

          After say, one phone, we can make it cheap, say, $299 with 2 year contract. Lets make that cheap too, so say, something like metro PCS, with a $39.99 a month unlimited (not really) plan for 24 months. We wont include buying cases, songs, screens, or apps. Wont tax insurance onto that. We can do those numbers. So that puts that phone at….$1258.76

          For your 3-4″, antiquated hardware, not really so, “smart” device.
          Thats just being very general and kind with the spending. Some of you dolts are rocking phones that cost more than your desktops, but do only as much as your net-books could. (oh that was mean)

          So I guess man, if spending $0 for my first 42″ smart 3D-HDTV, with pre loaded apps like google,yahoo,facebook,twitter,and the same goddies your eyes strain to see at distance. And paying a whopping $800 for the center piece 65″ Vizio 3D HDTV. And, selling my smaller 32′ and 37″ screens paid for the matching 42″. A whopping $400 black Friday sale.. puts me at about the same damn cost as that one phone.
          The part that really makes me stupid, is that my dumb ass screens, came with extra cool stuff like 3D glasses, and remote control keyboards.. And now my son can watch what he wants on his own good sized screen for a 5 year old. I can play games on my 65″, till I save up for the Vizio 80″M series TVs (fkn 3,799.99$ OMFG!!) And when we get bored we can play games in 5760×3240 resolution when I plug all 3 into my GPU.

          So yeah, I friggin hear ya. My poor ass should have bought SSG4 or a droid razr. pocket sized is the way to go. Maybe I should throw away the PSV and use my phone….? hmmmmmm

          dix

      • Mike Dornfest

        I totally agree with you however I TRY to watch my tablet while walking on the treadmill. I stream my share to it but Android is so screwed up that it buffers all the time, Wifi problems and just doesn’t have the power even with 4 cores.

        What I really need is a Windows 8 based tablet that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg because this linux crap being shoved down everyone’s throat just doesn’t work.

        Have you ever taken a picture with an Android Phone or Tablet, plain garbage. At least Apple’s cameras work to some point.

    • Jitin Pillai

      Would love your feedback over AirStream – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nityaalabs.airstream

      It works across Smartphones, Tablets & TV’s for streaming media..

    • Mike Dornfest

      I am in amazement that this is still a problem in 2014 even after you people scream that the PC is dead due to tablets.

      Other than XBMC for android there is NOTHING I can find that will just look at an already existing NFS share and play the video or audio file in it.

      You people keep trying to shove these paid apps that either they work or they don’t and none of them will play all types of files. Most just AVI and MP3′s

      DLNA is a format that was designed to trans code and play prepaid and DRM files. Only chumps use it.

      What gets me is that after you set up a NFS share, which my 9 year old can do, on windows and set the permissions then you can access that file from any other PC or Linux computer on your network yet android has issues with that.

      You people want to change the already working game in order to make a profit.

      How about go through your list again and find something that works and something that I DON’T need to build a library with some propitiatory server that is unnecessary and redundant.

      NFS shares do it all and I’m not talking about that Homegroup garbage.

    • postags

      Airstream?

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