This app turns your iPad into a pro HDMI monitor

Lux Entertainment has launched a new free app called Orion that turns your Apple iPad into a portable HDMI monitor. The company’s previous products include the popular iOS camera app Halide.

Orion app

With the Orion app, you can use your iPad as an external HDMI monitor. The app works with any camera, video game console or even VHS. This means that you can use the high-quality screen on your iPad as an external monitor for your video camera. A larger monitor also makes it easier to check your framing, focus and exposure when shooting video. In addition, the Orion app also allows you to easily share screenshots.

Capture card

Although the basic Orion app is free, you will need to spend a little money before you can use it. This is because you will need to buy a USB-C capture card to add an HDMI port to your iPad. However, these capture cards aren’t expensive, and you can pick one up for less than $20. There is also a Pro version of the app, which adds extra features for a one-off fee of $5.

AI upscaling

Lux Entertainment says that, by default, video inputs can look fuzzy on the high-resolution Retina display of an iPad. The company also points out that the Nintendo Switch only runs at 1080p and that most capture card adapters can only run at 60 fps at 1080p. However, the paid-for Pro version of the Orion app uses an AI-powered upscaler to boost your HD video to 4K.

Other Orion Pro features

In addition to the AI-powered 4K upscaling, with the Pro version of the app, you can adjust the video brightness. This allows you to raise the screen brightness to HDR range or lower it to darker than the iPad’s darkest. The Orion Pro app also comes with a CRT emulation mode for retro gaming or movie watching.

What we think

If you already own an iPad, the Orion app is a great free add-on. However, it’s well worth paying the $5 for the Pro version, so you take advantage of the AI upscaling and screen brightness adjustments. In addition, you can use your iPad as an external HDMI monitor with your Nintendo Switch or other console when you have wrapped filming for the day.

Pricing and availability

The Orion app is available from the Apple App Store now. The basic app is free, or you can unlock all the features with Orion Pro for a one-off purchase of $5.

Featured image courtesy: Lux Entertainment

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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