AirParrot is an interesting piece of software that allows you to view content from your Mac desktop through your television set if you have an Apple TV that can act as a bridge between the two devices. When you use the app correctly, you can view content on your TV from your desktop Mac computer or specific apps in that system. This is especially helpful for streaming video content from your computer to your TV.
- Mac Desktop Screen Mirroring
- Watch Streaming Content Through TV
- Use TV as Mac Monitor
- Requires Apple TV
- Occasional Connection Lags
While AirParrot is adequate at what it does, it could be a bit better. The ability to stream content from your Mac desktop to your large TV screen is something that many people want, and even though AirParrot isn't perfect, it is one of the best options. One of the most compelling reasons to try AirParrot in light of the release of Mountain Lion for the Mac desktop system is that you can use AirParrot in Mac systems as long as those systems use Snow Leopard or newer. You might be familiar with a similar software tool in Mountain Lion called AirPlay, but this feature is only compatible with Mac systems from 2012 or later. When you first start using the AirParrot app on your Mac desktop, it will create a small item on the upper Menubar that you can use to enable mirroring with any local TV with a connected Apple TV on the same network as the Mac desktop. Click on the AirParrot Menubar item to reveal a dropdown list of mirroring options, then choose the Apple TV connected to your TV. Once the make the selection, the screen should start mirroring whatever is happening on the desktop. You can alter several different settings in the software to personalize your experience. The video quality, resolution, and frame rate can all be controlled, and the software includes under-scanning technology that works to make every piece of content fit perfectly on your TV no matter the aspect ratio. There are also some additional functions in AirParrot that you won't find in AirPlay, so there are many reasons to try out this tool. If you don't want to perform mirroring, you can use the same dropdown menu from the Menubar to select Extend Desktop, which then transforms your TV set into additional desktop space. You can then drag anything you want from your primary desktop on your Mac screen to your secondary desktop on your TV screen. If you want to have a single app open on the second screen, you can do so, but that tends to make your system run slower. When compared to the default AirPlay option in Mountain Lion for Mac desktop, AirParrot is only adequate. That is because the tool doesn't stream content as smoothly as the Apple proprietary app. When using AirPlay with Mountain Lion, streamed content isn't laggy or jerky, but with AirParrot, the footage tends to jump and skip occasionally. However, since some older Macs don't support AirPlay, AirParrot is certainly a viable option.
I have struggled for over a year with AirParrot2 on Windows 10 Pro and finally gave up. Good luck if it finds any devices ... even if your Firewall gives it full access. They don't tell you this but it is not compatible with AirPlay2 devices ... after my latest generation Apple Airport Expresses were updated to latest firmware (adding AirPlay2) AirParrot2 crashed when connecting to them every time. This issue is well known to AirParrot but there is still no solution after a year. So it can't connect to over half of my devices. As for the others ... sometimes it find them, most times it doesn't. I now use Airfoil (on Mac) - works perfectly, every time.