First Look: Remote Potato HD for the iPad
Today, the folks over at Remote Potato have released their latest application: Remote Potato HD for the iPad. Last night, I was given the chance to do an early review of the latest product. For over a year now, I have been using Remote Potato to do remote scheduling and managing of my series recordings. Prior to the release of Remote Potato HD, I have been using the and Android client on my phone and tablet. Being that I also have an iPad, I took up the opportunity to put this new application through its paces. Since I already had Remote Potato installed and my ports on my router already forwarded correctly to support the use of Remote Potato on my Android phone, there was nothing I needed to do to get connected to the server from my iPad.
Setup was simple, all I had to do was input the URL for my server (in my case, my dynamic DNS name), the port number, enabled the security, input my credentials and off I went. When the Remote Potato application first connected, it had to pull down and cache the guide data which took a few minutes. Once that was complete, I had full access to my EGP grid, was able to browse per channel, pull up my scheduled recordings and setup new recordings all from my iPad while away from my home no where near my HTPC.
The application itself is clean looking and well put together. It reminds me a lot of another application I use quite regularly, Air Video. I like the simple feel to the home screen, it gives me all the information I want in an easy to use interface. Pulling up each menu is fluid and scrolling is really smooth.
There is one issue that I am experiencing: loading the EPG grid. Any time I load the EPG grid, it takes a while to load and there were a few instances where the application seemed to freeze. I recorded a short video review (see below) of me using the application and you can see how laggy the EPG gride guide is.
Like Air Video, the Remote Potato HD application allows you to stream all of your content from your Media Center pc. You can pull up all of your recorded tv shows that are stored locally on your machine. One thing I noticed, is that many of my recordings I off load to my Windows Home Server system for remote storage and any of those TV shows that are off loaded do not show up under the recorded tv shows. I was able to also stream movies I had stored on my HTPC; while I might not take advantage of that option, it definitely is a nice feature.
All in all, the application works as it says it does with the one caveat of the slowness/lag that I experienced on the EPG grid guide. While the $6.99 price tag might be steep to some, I honestly think it is well worth the price, even if there are a few bugs that need to be worked out. Having an iPad native application that takes advantage of the larger screen, the ability to play back your recorded tv shows, other videos, photos and music remotely, all through the iPad, it is easily justifiable. Also, I am a big proponent of supporting Media Center developers; while this might not be directly developed for Media Center, it helps support the server back end that makes this all possible. So if you have an iPad and have a Media Center pc, I highly recommend installing Remote Potato and picking up this great iPad application.