App of the Week

AirParrot

I really hadn’t any need to use AirPlay to broadcast my Mac’s screen to my Apple TV, but then I got a subscription to Hulu Plus to replace my cable provider. Unfortunately, there is some content on Hulu that can’t be viewed natively on Apple TV or on my iPad; instead, the shows are limited to viewing on the web.

AirPlay, then, comes in handy for streaming from a Mac to Apple TV–or it would if AirPlay supported my older iMac. Since it doesn’t (and since using my newer, headless Mac mini for the same task involves switching my external monitor from one Mac to the other), I’ve turned to AirParrot to mirror my iMac to my TV.

AirParrot [Website, $10] does more more than just mirror your screen, though: it can also mirror a single app or extend your desktop to your TV, in addition to sending the audio. All it takes is a quick selection from the menu bar and you’re viewing on your TV whatever’s on your Mac.

There are a few options in the app’s preferences that improve your experience, but you’ll probably get the best performance when using a 802.11n router (or better). My father-in-law’s 802.11g router just wasn’t up to the task and the video connection dropped constantly, even though his MacBook Air is the latest model.

If you’ve got an Apple TV with either an older Mac or one that is running Snow Leopard or Lion, download AirParrot and try it out for 10 minutes (at a time) to see if works for you.