The majority of people TiVo or otherwise record their favorite television shows in order to view them at a later time, one more convenient to them, and some may even have an entire computer equipped with television tuners that handle all these type of recordings. Shows are then saved to specific hard drives, and then either copied to files on a laptop or converted to the Apple MPEG4 or H.264 format, by means of a third party program that converts the information to one that will enable viewing on an iPad.
Many people prefer Divx for conversion purposes, because of its ability to compress files to a very amenable size combined with an excellent viewing quality that suits mobile devices. Divx is a very commonplace file format and it can be used across an extensive collection of devices. VLC, the authors of a widely approved open source media player, have an up to date native application for iPads that has been released only recently, and while this is not the first or the only application that allows users to playback Divix and AVI formatted data, it is certainly one of the best.
Video applications simply have to be able to support an extensive amount of files, and this one does not disappoint, supporting MKV; MPG; and AVI among others. It also has a very easy upload process. Navigate to your application tab inside iTunes and simply scroll down to the very bottom of your screen, choose the files that you would like to be added and the syncing process will begin.
The UI is also very impressive, with a smooth layout that combines intuition with easy navigation. Your video will be displayed as a small preview screen that has the file name showing beneath it, and the developers have also made use of shelf for your files, resembling the iBooks bookshelf. It is little touches like this that make sure this application remains at the top of the pile.
On the negative side, although files of standard definition had flawless playback there were some problems with high definition ones, these tending to a choppier playback. This may be due to the application not making use of the iPad’s inbuilt hardware acceleration, and this may be an issue for some people. The developer however is aware of the problem and is currently working on ironing the issue out. It would also be great if even more file formats were supported, in particular flv files; and the app does not currently offer support for Beta 4.2 although they are working on this.