Last night I sat down with my iPhone running iOS 4.3, tapped on the freshly updated version of Air Video, connected to my Mac Pro running the beta version of Air Video server, cued up some AVI and MKV files, and streamed them flawlessly to my Apple TV via iOS 4.3's AirPlay. My iPhone wasn't Jailbroken. My Apple TV wasn't Jailbroken. But with a huge geeky grin plastered on my face I was finally watching all those old home videos and DVD rips that were never before supported, in any way, by Apple and their luddite Hollywood licensors.

iOS 4.3 might be a minor update in many ways but it's also a game changer for Apple and iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users. It turns every one of those devices into a media server (AirPlay) and viewing client (Home Sharing or apps like Air Video) at the same time. And it cuts the tether of iTunes and the shackles of sync to do it.

That an iPad or iPhone had to be the intermediary was cumbersome, that the setup required an on-PC server component was complex, but it was all doable and once done it just worked. If you want to try it out, follow on after the break.

Here's what you need:

  1. iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 4.3
  2. Latest version of Air Video [$2.99 - App Store link]
  3. Air Video server 2.4.5 beta [Free - Web link]

Set things up the same way we outlined in our how to use an old iPod touch as an Apple TV tip, but say goodbye to the wires because this is the future and the future is streaming.

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)