30 iPhone Apps for your Home Theater 
Home Theater Feature Articles Best Of & Top 100 Lists
Written by Mike Flacy   
Thursday, 11 March 2010

Over the last year, the iPhone / iPod Touch app store has seen substantial growth in the number of home theater / movie applications.  Manufacturers have especially latched onto the platform in order to provide consumers with extra control options.  Everything from A/V receivers to HDTVs has seen new methods of integration with Apple’s mobile devices.   Add in the release of the iPad and we expect to see an acceleration of growth for applications developed for home theater gurus (especially in system control applications).

We combed over the App store to bring you 30 iPhone / iPod Touch home theater / movie apps that you should definitely check out.  First up, Movie Management applications.

Movie Management:



There are several Netflix Queue management tools available for the iPhone, but PocketFlicks (formally PocketFlix) is the best one I’ve tested.  It’s quick, simple and responsive.   It integrates recommendations, ratings and popular movie lists into the application.  You can also jump into the Wikipedia or IMDB information from the app as well.  Link  ($1.99)





Now Playing

Now Playing

Since I picked up my iPhone two years ago, this has consistently been my favorite app to check rotten tomatoes scores as well as locate newly released movies in the theater.  The application’s developer continues to improve on the app and it’s excellent for locating a nearby theater by GPS location.  You can also check out the RT scores on newly released DVDs.  Link (Free)







You’ve probably heard about this application, but it’s definitely worth another mention for movie buffs.  The RunPee app notifies you of the best time to run to the bathroom during a movie.  It provides an alert option when the specific time is nearing, a countdown timer to keep track of your break time and a summary to fill you in on what was missed.   It’s ideal for new theatrical releases and small bladders.  Link ($1.99)








For a simple movie resource on the go, the official IMDB app provides the wealth of information from their website in a mobile package.  It’s exactly what you would expect from the website and provides all the charts, popular lists, movie listings and trailers that you can find on the main site.   Link (Free)









If you are on the go and looking for a redbox to rent a new movie, this official app will point you in the right direction.  You can search through all the new releases, but will only show you the movies in the machine that you select.   You can also reserve titles via the interface before hopping in the car to go pick it up.  Link (Free)

Universal Remotes:







HippoRemote Pro

Easily one of the sleekest designs in the UR category, the HippoRemote app provides an excellent way to control your home theater PC or media center.  It provides a trackpad, keyboard and plugins for a variety of platforms including Boxee and Twitter.  It’s also compatible with Macs, PC and Linux systems.  The multi- functionality replaces the standard Apple controls for good and is easy enough for anyone to use.  Link ($4.99)   

Note: There’s also a free version and a Lite version ($2.99), if you want to try it first.)






If you are interested in turning your iPhone into an IR device, New Potato Tech sells a $79.99 device that pops onto the top of the iPhone / iPod Touch and turns it into a universal remote.  With the application, you can add devices by brand and control your home theater components with a couple simple taps on the iPhone.  Link  (Free)








iMastercontrol Pro

This application is not targeted at the typical home theater consumer, but rather it’s designed for home theater gurus that use either a Crestron or AMX system to control their home theater and/or lighting.  It’s ideal for installers setting up these new systems in homes or for the savvy consumer that wants to try their hand at programming the system themselves.  Link ($149.99)




Company Remotes:








Remote (Apple

This simple remote from Apple connects you Apple devices on your home network with your iPhone / iPod Touch.  It’s especially helpful when you throw a party as guests have the ability to request songs off your entire playlist and they get thrown into the queue.  For anyone with a mac computer, Airtunes speakers or an AppleTV, it’s definitely worth trying out.  Link (Free)







Boxee Remote

If you are familiar with the HTPC platform Boxee, you are aware that it’s designed to simplify your home theater pc.   Their iPhone application matches this concept and is designed to be a gesture control for the Boxee interface.  It also provides a handy keyboard for searching through your media.  Link (Free)









If you purchased Sonos’s excellent multi-room music system, their official iPhone / iPod Touch application allows you to select zones of your house to play music in.  You can choose different music for different zones, stream music from the web, search for music on your home network and even set timers for music alarms.  Link (Free)









If you are using a Sooloos system from Meridian, then connecting this application to your system controls is vital.  You have the ability to browse your collection by artist, genre and even custom tags.  You can create playlists and control all of your music zones as well.  Link (Free)








Yamaha Network

Created for those with specific Yamaha A/V receivers (V2065, V3900, Z7), this application allows for multi-zone control of said receiver.  You have the ability to power it on and off, control volume and change inputs within zones.  The receiver does require a wired connection into your home network though.  Link (Free)







Crestron Mobile Pro

Ideal for installers, the official Crestron application offers control of your Crestron controlled devices.  For iPhone users, it also works with the 3G and Edge networks in case you forget to turn off anything in your house.   Assuming you have the proper Crestron hardware, you can control your home theater components, lighting and climate directly from your client’s iPhone.  The interface is simple and easy for the consumer to understand.  Link ($99.99)   Note: There’s also a free version to try as well.












While the main functionality of the iTV application is to provide TV / movie listings, it also has the ability to do remote scheduling for network connected TiVo DVRs.  It also acts as a remote control for TiVo HD DVRs and Roku players.   While TiVo is taking their sweet time in releasing an official DVR application, this app makes for a great substitute.  Link (Free)









I rarely find people that are fans of Comcast as a cable company, but at least they have an iPhone / iPod Touch app for their userbase.  The application has a DVR manager (available in select markets) as well as integration into other Comcast services including Digital Voice for phone calls, Smartzone for email and On Demand for watching trailers.  Link (Free)






Dish Network


Dish Network

Continuing the lineup of television providers,  Dish Network’s official application integrates into their DVR service (assuming that you have an approved receiver unit).  You can schedule recordings, manage the priorities of the recording unit and browse through the program guide.  Link (Free)






Direct TV


Direct TV

Sleeker design than Dish Network’s application, Direct TV also provides the same functionality.  It handles all the same DVR functions and can be programmed all over the mobile device.  It works over wi-fi, 3G and the Edge network.  Link (Free)







SlingPlayer Mobile

If you have a SlingBox, then using the official SlingPlayer Mobile app to record all your shows is vital.  Interestingly, the core feature of the application is to wirelessly stream all of your recorded content onto your iPhone / iPod Touch via WiFi or the 3G network.  The 3G streaming certainly isn’t perfect, but having your entire library of media from anywhere outside of your home is an outstanding achievement.  Link ($29.99)


Audio Calibration:









Home Theater Audiophiles will go bonkers over this application.  Audiocalc is an application designed for positioning your speaker system for the optimal listening experience.  It has a frequency, period, and wavelength converter for positioning loudspeakers, a delay tool for setting distances and a volume tool for setting the proper amplifier power.  There’s also a modal response tool for placing the subwoofer.  Technically oriented home theater owners and installers will love this application.  Link ($2.99)




Reverb Times



If you are interested in acoustics, this application will allow you to find the best reverberation times for your theater.  You can select types of acoustic wall treatments that come into play as well as furniture, seating and the people within it.  It’s a handy app to combine everything you learned in Audiocalc to create the best listening space.  Link ($1.99)





Speaker Pop



This handy application allows you to test for polarity.  Simply put, you can discover if your speakers are wired correctly.  It sends a “pop” through each of your speakers connected into your system and determines if the speaker cone is moving in the right direction.  Very useful for first time home theater owners.  Link ($4.99)






Decible Level



This application provides one simple function; measuring decibel level.  There are several applications on the app store that do the same thing, but this interface trumps all of them.  As a little social networking bonus, you can tag photos with the decibel level and share them if you are at a particularly loud venue such as a concert or a sporting event.   Link ($0.99)    





Video Calibration:






HT Designer


HTA Designer LT

While this application also provides audio calibration tools, I preferred the visual video calibration tools for locating the best spot for home theater seating in relation to the screen.  You can set the height of the home theater seats and position them according to your screen size.  It’s also simpler to understand for first time home theater owners.  Link ($1.99)









From the creators of AudioCalc, they come through with another home run.  VideoCalc is for the home theater videophile that’s ready to make the leap into a front projector and the screen that goes along with it.  You will be able to determine the optimal screen size, projector placement, the ideal field of view and several other video related measurements.  It’s also ideal for installers in the field.  Link ($2.99)





Projector Calc



Similar to VideoCalc, ProjectorCalc (created by a different company) is also a projector calibration tool, but for large venues.  Owners of huge home theaters may find this application useful though.  It’s somewhat more simplistic than VideoCalc due to a more visual design.  Link ($4.99)









I can only recommend this application to installers that specifically sell Sim2 projectors.  Why?  The application is identical to VideoCalc in functionality (Made by the same company), accept for one difference.  It provides a selectable list of the entire lineup of Sim2 projectors and automatically enters the technical information into the corresponding fields to determine the best spot for the projector.  It also provides a bulleted feature listing for all the projectors, but it’s somewhat difficult to read due to the dark text.  Still, if you sell Sim2 projectors, it can be handy for a quick guide to installers.  Everyone else should stick to VideoCalc for a tenth of the price.   Link  ($29.99)









HT Glossary


Home Theater Glossary

If you are new to the world of home theater technology, this pocket guide for home theater terms comes in handy when buying your next component.   It’s extremely descriptive and has a searchable interface.  If you are befuddled by home theater tech, this is a great place to educate yourself while in the store.  Link ($0.99)





HT Cables



Are you wondering how to connect your new home theater to your HDTV?  This visual reference guide provides you with the information needed to walk through setting up audio and video components.  It’s perfect for the novice that doesn’t understand what the best connection for their home theater is.  Link ($0.99)





plug finder


Plug Finder

Finally, the Plug Finder Application provides photographic information on the male / female side of various plugs.  It’s ideal for those trying to figure out what an extra cord is for or perhaps identifying an unlabeled plug connection on an old home theater component.  It’s helpful for the first time home theater owner as well as anyone wanting to learn more about their cabling.  Link (Free)





What iPhone / IPod Touch Applications do you use the most for your music listening, movie watching and general home theater use?

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