There is a page here detailing how to put aerender into restricted mode, so that a license key isn't required.
There is a page here explaining that we can use "network rendering (aerender and watch folder) without activation of render-only nodes" and that a limitation is "In this mode, some codec-specific features are disabled—primarily use of MPEG codecs."
Does anyone know what codecs specifically work and which ones don't? I don't know how anyone is supposed to know this. I've tried testing but I get stuck because everytime I enable render only mode, I get an error saying:
aerender ERROR: No output module template was found with the given name.
Which doesn't make any sense, because when I disable render only mode everything works fine. I've tried with a number of different templates and it happens to all of them, h264 mp4 and 3gp, m2v, png sequence, and lossless AVI.
MPEG CoDecs are H.264 and all MPEG-2 flavors as well as MP3 audio and that. The other error could merely point to permission issues when in render mode, but naturalyl, if you do this on teh same system, the render only version will stil lread your normal prefs, which could include references to the then invalid output modules...