I got a chance today to try out a couple of devices with the new Apple TV set up in our conference room. Since my MacBook Pro is too old to support screen mirroring, I wanted to see what options are available for my Android phone and my Windows laptop…
The ZappoTV app for Android worked as promised. It allowed me to send a number of items–media from my droid gallery, YouTube, Flickr, ShoutCast (although I couldn’t find OWU Radio,) and more to the Apple TV. It was noticeably laggy at times and often gave an annoying message on my phone screen that it was waiting for the device, which prevented me from selecting anything until it cleared. It was not screen mirroring and it did not allow broadcasting of documents or other apps. The app and the use of it is free with a (also free) ZappoTV account, so I can’t really complain.
For Windows and older Macs, AirParrot offers a free trial for 20 minutes. This seamlessly streams the Windows screen to the Apple TV. It was also laggy, less noticeable, of course, when I kept my eyes on the HDTV rather than my laptop screen. At times there were also display issues where images were distorted. I was disappointed that it only sent the video, not the audio. So you have to use the laptop speakers rather than the ones on the TV. The use of AirParrot beyond 20 minutes is only $9.99 for a single install.
So if you don’t have a second generation (or older) iPad or a recent MacBook Pro–or neither–there are still some options to use AirPlay through Apple TV, they’re just not optimal at this time.
Let me know in the comments if you know of any other apps.