Announcing the TVersity Screen Server

We are delighted to announce today the TVersity Screen Server - a different kind of media server optimized for streaming the contents of your PC screen to a wide range of devices.

We have received over the years many requests for this feature and have developed a prototype of it about two and a half years ago, however we could not include it in the TVersity Media Server for technical reasons. If you are tech savvy and want to know more here it is… the Media Server runs as a service and therefore has no access to your Windows desktop, it has its own virtual desktop that is always just black. Moreover on XP, one needed to disable hardware acceleration and capturing the audio was problematic as well. So.. we shelved it.

Recently we started receiving again requests for this feature (maybe because of twitch.tv rising popularity?), and given that XP is a lot less popular and Windows 7 or newer are the norm we decided to give it another shot. In order to overcome the service issue, we ended up creating a separate product that runs when the user logs in and is independent from the media server. There were just too many differences in the use-cases addressed by the media server and the screen server that we had to split them to two separate products.

So.. this is it.. give it a shot and let us know how it goes. To make it easier for you to try and decide whether you like it or not, the Screen Server offers a free trial (limited to 15 minute screen mirroring sessions but you can start another one immediately so should allow you to evaluate the product without issues).

Some things to be aware of:

  • It is highly recommended to change your screen resolution to 1280×720 before mirroring.
  • It is also recommended to disable Windows aero.
  • We wanted to allow you to mirror to all the devices supported by the Media Server and since they all do buffering before they start playing videos, you will have 5-15 seconds delay between your PC and your target device. This is not an issue because the use-case we are looking to address is watching videos or games (not playing games while looking at the mirrored screen).
  • A capable CPU is definitely needed but we worked hard on optimizing it so on a 3 years old core i3 (2330M 2.2 Ghz) when running at 1280×720 and streaming to a PS3 the CPU is at an average of 15%, leaving most resources available for whatever it is your PC is doing.

Version 3.5 is here

We are glad to announce the availability of version 3.5 featuring support for the Xbox One.

Microsoft has recently added DLNA support to the Xbox One and naturally we wanted to fully support it and properly transcode for it when necessary. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that the Xbox One can play natively a much larger set of media formats (including many formats that the 360 cannot play like DVD/VOB, Blu-ray/M2TS and MKV) but there are of-course still many things that won’t play and so as always the Pro version can make your experience vastly better.

You can download the latest version here.

A full list of changes is available here.

Version 3.4 is here

We are glad to announce the availability of version 3.4 featuring support for twitch and making H.264 encoding via Intel Quick Sync Video 25% more efficient.

We have been recently receiving many user requests to add support for twitch and so we are pleased to make it available today and add yet another reason for you to go Pro.

A full list of changes is available here.

You can download the latest version here.

To learn what’s new in the major 3.0 release please check this post.

Version 3.3 is here

We are glad to announce the availability of version 3.3 with self-healing capabilities after crashing during media library indexing.

The number one support issue we have been getting is related to the indexing process quitting in the middle due to a corrupt file causing a crash. The problem was that any subsequent indexing attempts (i.e. media library refresh) would quit again in the same place and so some media was never getting added to the library.

Now, you might say, just fix the crash (typically in ffmpeg) and we have been doing that of-course, but for those users whose library failed to index this was not any consolation.

And so we finally decided to keep track of those files and skip them the next time the library is indexed. We are also resuming the indexing automatically which basically results in a complete recovery after such a crash.

Of-course this release includes other improvements, for a full list of changes please go here.

You can download the latest version here.

To learn what’s new in the major 3.0 release please check this post.

Version 3.2 is here

We are glad to announce the availability of version 3.2 with an HTML5 interface that supports playing your media in the browser as well as easy browsing and searching (for best experience please use Chrome).

Having a really great interface for accessing your media library from web browsers is obviously super important and yet our web and Flash interfaces were dated and insufficient, so it is time to fix this, right?

Ever since we released an HTML5 media library interface for casting media to Chromecast, the plan was to extend it so that it can also play the media in the browser (including full screen support). Unfortunately this functionality could not make it into the 3.0 build and so we have been working hard on making it available as soon as possible, and today we finally release it. Please try it and let us know what you think.

A full list of changes is available here.

You can download the latest version here.

To learn what’s new in the major 3.0 release please check this post.

Version 3.1 is here

Just a few weeks after making a major release (3.0), we are making a small bug fix release (3.1) to address some issues that came up in the field. In addition to a long list of bug fixes we also added to the GUI some new functionality.

A full list of changes is available here.

You can download the latest version here.

To learn what’s new in the major 3.0 release please check this post.

Please stay tuned for our 3.2 release which will include a more comprehensive HTML5 interface for the media library. This interface will become the preferred way to play media in the browser (and not just with Chromecast), replacing both our old web interface and our Flash interface.

Version 3.0 is here

We are thrilled to announce the availability of the TVersity Media Server 3.0. This is a major release with an all new user interface, a lot of new functionality and of-course bug fixes.

The highlights of this release are:

  1. Introduce an all new user interface, which is HTML5 based and is significantly simplified.
  2. Hardware accelerated H.264 encoding via Intel Quick Sync Video, allows 3 times faster encoding (up to 1080p) at half the CPU consumed by software encoding (Pro only).
  3. Support for Chromecast:
    1. An all new, search centric, HTML5 interface is available for navigating the library and selecting media to play on the Chromecast.
    2. Play every format on Chromecast via on-the-fly transcoding to WEBM/VP8 (Pro only).
  4. Support for Roku:
    1. The built in Roku Media Player app is now fully supported.
    2. Play every format on Roku via on-the-fly transcoding to H.264 and HLS streaming (Pro only).

We are also re-introducing the free version, which is identical to Pro but cannot transcode audio and video (and naturally we are retiring the Basic version).

You can download it at:
http://tversity.com/download/

The new HTML5 interface for Chromecast.

Version 2.7 here

We are very pleased to announce the availability of the TVersity Media Server 2.7.

The highlight of this release is support for Sony Bravia TVs and better DLNA compliance all around for increased compatibility with devices not officially supported. Many devices that refused to inter-operate with TVersity, are now fully expected to work.

We are also pleased to eliminate the browser toolbar in all our software editions. Recently our toolbar partner has taken a different direction, which is not aligned with our values and so we have decided to stop including it in our software.

We also expanded the universe of DirectShow filters potentially used to transcode content and offer the usual dosage of bug fixes an minor improvements.

You can download it at:
http://tversity.com/download/

As we gear up towards our 3.0 release (with Chromecast support and other goodies), we may do additional 2.x releases with incremental improvements so please stay tuned.

Version 2.4 is here

We are pleased to announce the availability of version 2.4 - this is primarily to fix various issues with web content and to add support for additional premium web content (like crackle.com).

Full release notes at:
http://tversity.com/support/releasenotes/

Download it at:
http://tversity.com/download/

Version 2.3 is here

We are pleased to announce the availability of version 2.3 - this is primarily to address audio loss with Flash 11.3 for some web content (including Hulu).

Sadly, the Basic version no longer supports YouTube content. This is because YouTube prohibits direct access to their media. The Pro version is using a server-side web browser and therefore does not need to access the media directly. Needless to say, we are looking for ways to restore support for YouTube content in the Basic version.

Full release notes at:
http://tversity.com/support/releasenotes/

Download it at:
http://tversity.com/download/