When AirPlay is too laggy for games, use DisplayOut with a wired AV adapter

By , Jan 16, 2013

Wii Remote HDMI

There is recent post on Reddit where a user was attempting to play classic NES games from an iPhone 4S, using a Wii remote for controls, with the whole thing mirrored to a TV through AirPlay. The redditor asked if there was any way to compensate for the 1 second lag he was experiencing through AirPlay, and I thought some of our readers might have come to the same question. Unfortunately, without resorting to time travel, it’s not possible to technologically compensate for latency in current version of AirPlay.

While wireless displays are now feasible for gaming, just ask anyone with a WiiU, AirPlay mirroring is not your best option for streaming fast-paced games. A better solution is to plug your phone directly into a TV…

Just get your hands on an official 30-pin to HDMI, VGA, component, or composite cable and the DisplayOut jailbreak tweak. If you’re using a Bluetooth controller anyway, plugging your phone directly into the TV won’t be a problem.

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Depending on your setup, there may still be some lag, but the delay should be nowhere near as bad as AirPlay’s. You can also go to settings to lower the screen resolution, render quality, and disable the ‘suppress flicker’ option to get a boost in performance. That said, I found that at 720p, with high render quality and suppress flicker on, I got a decent balance between performance and picture quality.

I’ve personally used the Apple VGA Adapter and the DisplayOut tweak on my iPhone 4 to play apps and emulated games on a spare monitor. In terms of latency, it is a clear improvement over using AirPlay.

Have you tried to use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as a TV console? If so, tell us how it went in the comments section below.

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  • jose castro

    Maybe when iphone 5 get jailbroken they could update the tweak to use the hdmi

  • Ken P

    Now…if only I had a Jailbroken iDevice. *sigh* I miss my Jailbreak and wish there was one coming soon. And while I am at it — might as well re-state my wish for an Apple TV3 Jailbreak too.

  • Matthew

    You don’t need to jailbreak to do this. Unless you are on A4 or lower.

    • http://profiles.google.com/nedscott Ned Scott

      Even A4 devices can do this without a jailbreak. Any app that supports AirPlay video out (and not just generic mirroring) uses the same API used for the HDMI and VGA adapter, even if that device cannot AirPlay (outside of video streams, that is).

      • Matthew

        I agree. Just A4 cannot mirror everything.

  • http://twitter.com/rcnino Ryan C

    I just recently got this going on my TV. With Blutrol programmed for games and VNC to control everything from the couch with my MBP, my iPad 2 is now a console! Tiny Wings is oh so sweet on a 50 inch plasma!

    There is a bit of a stutter every few moments, and 3D games take a big framerate hit because of the dual display. If only there was a way to turn off the iPad screen…

  • http://www.facebook.com/linton.findlay Linton Findlay

    Hdmi to 30 pin cable is £35 which is about $50. Rather save up and get a apple tv and get more features

  • Johnathan Jennings

    I don’t always play games, but when I do; it’s never with a Wired AV adapter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/siggen Sigurd Bøe

    You can clearly see that on games with programmed in support for the AirPlay lag it does wonders. Games like RealRacing 2 feels less than 1 second lagg, maybe just under half a second. It is a fast pace game and is fully playable via Apple TV.