The next version of OS X, Mountain Lion has yet to be released, but there are already a number of known features that are causing some excitement. Among these features is AirPlay which can be used to stream content from your Windows or Mac computer to your Apple TV. But there is no need to wait until Mountain Lion hits the download servers to do this as the same option is already available in AirParrot, a great low-cost utility.
The application makes it possible to stream whatever you see on our Mac’s display to your Apple TV using AirPlay. Your initial reaction to this might be that it would offer a great way to watch movies that you have stored on your Mac on your larger TV screen. This is possible, but as there is currently not support for sound, watching films in this way is going to be something of a quiet experience.
Getting up and running could hardly be simpler. After installing the app you need then simply indicate which of your displays you would like to mirror, choose which AirPlay device you would like to mirror to (if you have more than one) and then you’re ready to go. The app boasts support for both Snow Leopard and Lion, so even if you’re not toting the very latest kit you can take advantage of the cool features it has to offer.
The app works by encoding your display and streaming the output and in some cases this can lead to a degradation of image quality. Thankfully, there are a series of simple options available that can be used to control image quality to help balance video quality with overall performance, and you can also opt to hide the mouse – which is a useful option depending on what you are using the app for. This is already an interesting tool, but future updates are likely to increase its appeal even further.
Note that AirParrot can now stream content from your Mac or Windows computer.
AirParrot 1.1.6 brings these changes:
- Fixes an issue where the selected device in the menu could be incorrect if the device list changes while connecting
- Fixes a bug introduced in 1.1.5 where a congested Bonjour network may timeout prematurely