Google Chromcast has been recently introduced by Google a small inexpensive device which plugs directly in to any free HDMI port on your home TV transforming any old TV to a smart TV allowing video streaming contents to be directly put to the large screen from a android or iOS tablet or simply a PC. Chromcast in many ways is direct response to the Airplay feature on iOS devices which has been available for quite some time now. But of course the drawback is that Airplay feature is tied to Apple ecosystem and also the Apple TV that is required to make this feature work is much more expensive than Chromcast.
However, if you don’t have the latest Macbooks or any iOS devices or you simply want to have this feature available from the connivance of Windows machine then its possible! Airparrot is an application that allows to wirelessly stream your Windows desktop to the big screen TV using the Apple TV – just like you can do with say your iPad or iPhone. Of course, a powerful PC is required because of the runtime encoding and compression of the video (H.264) data to wirelessly transfer to the Apple TV. I have checked the latest version of the AirParrot and apart from a few frame drops here and there it works pretty well. I won’t say that Airplay streaming through it is as smooth as you would get on any latest iOS device but its close particularly considering that we don’t have Airplay feature available on Windows PCs anyway. Maybe in the newer versions they can sort out the remaining kinks to make the wireless streaming even smoother. Airparrot is not only useful for the video of course but also be used to view photos, PowerPoint slides and so on the big screen.
You can download a trial version of the application from the official website however it will only work for 20 minutes session at a time. Airparrot is available for $9.99 for both Windows and Mac OSX. I have tested it on Windows 7 and Windows 8 but it may work on Windows XP as well. I have also searched for freeware alternative but so far unfortunately I cannot find any good freeware alternative to Airparrot allowing Airplay streaming from a Windows PC.
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