Sometimes you just need a bigger screen. Like, when working with a team. Or, when watching movies on your laptop. For those times, there’s Air Parrot. This program allows you to mirror your desktop on your TV. How? Through Apple TV. This, of course, means that you have to have an Apple TV. You also have to have a PC or Mac. Got those two things? Great! Here’s how to avoid watching flicks on that small screen ever again.
Using Air Parrot
The development team behind Air Parrot couldn’t have made Air Parrot easier to use. There are lots of different customization, resolution, and sizing options available, but all of these options are self-explanatory. Simply scroll over the drop down menus, and choose the settings that appeal to you. If you are going to watch a movie on your TV, you’ll want to go ahead and slide that Video Quality bar all the way to the highest setting. If you’re not watching a video, play around with the settings to see what makes the most sense.
You can make whatever you want to display full screen, as well, so you don’t have worry about any top or bottom blocking bars. While I can see lots of potential for using a video site like Hulu or simply mirroring any other video, Air Parrot also has tons of presentation potential. Imagine presenting to your colleagues via widescreen – so much easier than setting up an actual presentation!
How Does Air Parrot Stack Up to Air Play?
Apple’s Air Play is another mirroring option. To use Air Play, however, you have to have a recent Mac (after 2011). You also have to be running Mountain Lion. Air Play works in relatively the same fashion as Air Parrot. The main difference is that you can’t extend your desktop with Air Play (this is possible with Air Parrot). If you are currently running Snow Leopard, Lion, or have a PC, Air Parrot is the program that you want. If you plan on installing Mountain Lion, you might give Air Play a try. Air Parrot also offers a bit of a free trial, so you may want to test this out prior to paying the $10 price tag. Or, you could just wait for Mountain Lion to arrive. Apple does promise that Mountain Lion’s Air Play will be excellent, and I’m definitely looking forward to testing it out.
It isn’t clear whether or not playing a burned DVD through Air Parrot is possible. Since this program works with iTunes, I’m guessing that it’s not. But, if you subscribe to Netflix or some other streaming service, you can easily play movies and TV shows. Of course, it might just be easier to purchase these through Apple TV, but that’s up to you. For all purposes, Air Parrot is a great alternative to Air Play if you have an older Mac, aren’t upgrading to Mountain Lion, or have a PC and want to use Apple TV. If you’re wondering about Apple TV, I can tell you that this little gadget is great all around, and it’s worth the $99 price tag. You can download a free trial version of Air Parrot right now from the Air Parrot website or from the Apple App Store.