Essential iPad Apps for the Home Theatre Enthusiast

Analysts estimate that by the end of 2011, the number of Apple iPads sold worldwide could be as high as 50 million units. Stimulating this demand is a community of software developers who have now released over 500,000 apps for Apple’s iOS devices.

For home theatre enthusiasts, the exciting news is that within the last year a multitude of apps have been released which can control most elements of your home theatre including your High Definition Television (HDTV), A/V Receiver, Blu-ray Player, Home Theatre Personal Computer (HTPC) and various media extenders such as the Apple TV, Squeezebox and Boxee.

Due to the overwhelming number of new iOS apps being released on a daily basis, it is difficult to keep up with all the new releases so the following is an overview of my favourite home theatre related apps along with some other recently released equipment specific apps which could be useful in many home theatres.

Audio Video Receiver Control – If you have bought a networked home theatre receiver in 2011 then there is an excellent chance that an app for controlling your device now exists. Since 2011 began, Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha have all released apps which let you take control of your receiver from anywhere on your home network. Excellent for home theatres with a multi-zone setup.

Boxee Remote – Boxee is a popular and free cross-platform Home Theater PC (HTPC) media center application which lets users playback video files on their HDTV. The Boxee software also gives users access to various internet streaming services including Netflix. The Boxee remote app turns your iOS device into a Boxee Remote Control.

CineXPlayer – this three dollar app is essential for downloaders who wish to watch native Xvid movies on their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Find My iPhone – I’m always looking for the lost remote and now I often myself searching for the iPad. Solve the problem by installing the Find My iPhone app. If you can’t find your iPad, just go to me.com and send a signal to your iPad. For the next two minutes, your iPad will play a sound at full volume so you can quickly find it in your house.

Good Reader – having a problem with your A/V receiver or hdtv then maybe it’s time to review the manual. The Good reader is a robust PDF reader that lets you search, annotate and read digital versions of all your manuals right on your iOS device.

HDTV and Blu-ray Remotes – Within the last six months, most major consumer electronics companies such as LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony have released free iOS apps to control their network enabled High definition televisions and Blu-ray players. The apps generally only work with models released in the last six months so be sure to check the iTunes store for suitability with your HDTV or Blu-ray player.

Logitech Squeezebox Controller – The Squeezebox is a popular networked music player which plays internet radio or digital audio across a home network. This app lets puts a fully featured Squeezebox remote on your iOS device.

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