Beamer is the ultimate app for streaming video from your Mac to your Apple TV. Beamer works through Airplay without having to convert media files or use iTunes.
The typical setup in order to stream common video formats – including AVI, MKV, MOV, WMV, FLV – involves taking the time to manually convert videos using Handbrake to MP4 format, then importing files into the iTunes library. Converting to the Apple TV file format can actually downgrade video quality to lower frame rates whereas Beamer can cast impeccable quality at full resolution and at full screen. “The video quality is significantly better,” touts Ben Lenarts, creator of Beamer, “because Beamer uses a different protocol that properly buffers the video for smooth playback.” Beamer also magically enables you to still use your Apple remote and works without having to dedicate your mac’s computer usage to mirroring.
So what was the inspiration behind the product? “Beamer definitely started out of personal frustration,” shares Lenarts. “Eelco Lempsink and I were both early adopters of the 2nd gen Apple TV and we used the iOS app Air Video to AirPlay content from our Macs to Apple TV. We discussed how nice it would be to remove the iOS device from the process and simply initiate the video stream from the Mac. Literally the next day Eelco had a minimal prototype and we decided to work out a Minimal Viable Product from there.”
Beamer is available as a free trial but the fully unlocked licensed version is available for purchase in-app. The app requires OS X 10.9 Mavericks, which means you won’t be able to stream files from your older Mac Mini, but the product still comes packed with many worthwhile benefits such as easy importing of subtitles and playlist control.
Until we have next generation continuity across devices, Beamer is an Apple fan’s best bet for instant home video streaming.