Watching Streaming Video from an iPhone to a PC

by Danielle Fernandez, studioD

The amount of storage space on your iPhone limits the number of music and video files you can load onto it, but you can use Apple's Home Sharing to wirelessly stream content from your computer to your iPhone. Home Sharing only works in one direction, though, where the video feed originates from your computer for viewing on your iOS mobile device. If you want to reverse it and pull video from your iPhone to your PC -- for example, to implement a DIY security system using the live feed from your iPhone's video camera -- there are a number of ways to facilitate the streaming.

AirPlay and a Screen-Sharing App

AirPlay streams videos, music and photos wirelessly from your iPhone to other AirPlay-enabled devices like TVs and computers. You can configure it to work with screen-sharing software on your computer that mirrors your iPhone's display on your PC's monitor so you can use your iPhone's touchscreen to input the commands but see the same display on both screens. There are no limits to what you can stream -- watch from the PC's monitor as you use your iPhone to play a game, FaceTime a friend or watch a video from your device's camera roll.

Enabling AirPlay Mirroring

Once you have chosen and installed mirroring software on your PC, you will need to enable AirPlay Mirroring on your iPhone. Begin by double-pressing the "Home" button and then swiping your finger across the screen from left to right twice. Tap the "AirPlay" icon, which looks like rectangle with a triangle inside, and then choose your computer's name from the available list of displays. If things are configured correctly on both devices, you should see a mirrored image of your iPhone on your PC's display.

Live Broadcasting

Live video broadcasting apps offer one-way, real-time video feeds from your iPhone's video camera. Most of these types of applications -- popular ones include UStream Live Broadcaster and Qik Live -- feed a live video signal from the mobile device over a wireless or 4G connection to an online video sharing site. The app will also present you with the URL for the video that you can share with friends or simply type into your PC's browser address bar.

Video Conferencing

For a live, two-way video streaming solution, you can always rely upon a video conferencing app like Skype or Google Hangouts to stream a live camera feed -- often in HD quality -- and share it not only with your PC, but with a number of friends. Like the one-way live broadcasting applications, this video feed can also be watched from within a browser, making your iPhone's video stream accessible from any device.

About the Author

Based in Tampa, Fla., Danielle Fernandez been writing, editing and illustrating all things technology, lifestyle and education since 1999. Her work has appeared in the Tampa Tribune, Working Mother magazine, and a variety of technical publications, including BICSI's "Telecommunications Distribution Methods Manual." Fernandez holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of South Florida.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images