AirParrot: to stream or not to stream (Review)

by umOuch on September 26, 2012

AirParrot Review

With friends like AirParrot, who needs a jailbreak for the Apple TV 3? You are able to stream movies, watch TV, run XBMC, play music, and watch home videos – all on your Apple TV 2 or Apple TV 3, without any hacking whatsoever. AirParrot is a fantastic little package that enables your Macs running 10.6.8 and up and your Windows machines running XP and up to AirPlay its screen to Apple’s little hockey puck. Yes people, Windows machines! Now we can take full advantage of these Apple TV’s, especially those 3rd generation units that are still, patiently, awaiting a jailbreak.

Now, obviously Windows and Macs have been missing out on the AirPlay fun over these past few years. That is until Apple recently added this exact functionality – AirPlay Mirroring – to its latest OS release Mountain Lion. That said AirPlay Mirroring is only available on certain machines and what about those of us who do not intend to upgrade or own Windows machines? Well, AirParrot is here as a digital savior to us all.


1)  Unlike so many applications out there, AirParrot works right when you install it. There was not a set up, no trying to adjust a million little settings that are far outside my realm of understanding. I just clicked the download link, installed, and was streaming my Mac to the Apple TV in a matter of moments!

2)  I love that fact that the audio streams to the Apple TV as well. You can actually choose where your sound is going: computer speakers or the Apple TV connected television (with dolby digital surround sound perhaps). This program can really make you forget you are using a computer, and with the help of a iOS remote you can forego the mouse and keyboard all together.

3)  I was able to stream video, in fullscreen, without stutters and/or freezes. This has not always been the case with this application. The AirParrot team has done some fantastic updates to get us where we are today.

4)  When you do decide to play with the settings, they are easy to understand. Everything was very self explanatory.

The BAD?

1)  There was only one thing I found wrong with my time using this program, and it was easily fixed. When I first installed AirParrot I attempted to stream a movie right away. This caused my television screen to stutter and everything began to slow way down. I then checked the settings and saw that I was streaming in 1080p to my Apple TV 2. Once I adjusted the picture quality I was sending to the television, everything smoothed out and I was watching The Daily Show in no time. Shout out to #JonStewart!


In the end, AirParrot is a great option for work or entertainment, the home or office, the shed or your bathroom. It opens up a world of possibilities to your laptops and desktop computers. For me, I am all things XBMC and and therefore I am all things media, so my interest was in streaming movies, shows, and music and AirParrot handled it all. I then ran PowerPoint, Keynote, Chrome, and even iMovie: AirParrot knocked it out of the park. You haven’t lived until you have edited a movie on a 55 inch screen.

If you are one of the millions of owners of an Apple TV 3, I cannot see why you would not download and install AirParrot today. Load it on the computer in the other room, download a free iOS, or Android, or Windows 7 (soon to be 8) remote control for your computer, sit in the living room, and watch TV as if it your device had a glorious jailbreak. I did it, and so can you.

AirParrot is available from here with a single machine license for $9.99 USD and a 5-machine license for $29.99 USD. 10 minutes trial version is also available.

  • Tried it on my W7 X64 Lenovo and although the install and operation could not be simpler and it works straight away without any config, I noticed a background audio whistling and echo which would prevent me from purchasing. Anyone else heard this?

  • erjunt

    I mirrored the pc’s screen but i couldn’t make it full screen. There are about 1inch black parts on every side of tv screen. Is there any solution u know?

    Thank you..

  • Pedro Taquelim

    I only see AirParrot as an alternative to jailbreak in Macs after 2011, the ones that have enough horse power to support HD video mirroring through airplay with some quality and smothness. Before 2011 the performance to mirror stream HD films is terrible. I’m on a iMac 24″ from 2009.

  • zeemo

    Tried it too….can’t get it to work in fullscreen either with Apple TV3

  • mikkel

    have anyone actually tried watching a movie via airplay ?

    i have an iPad 2 and ATV3, and first of all. using airplay i cannot watch full screen. it gets to be a smaller screen on my TV screen. second. during a 90 minute film the iPad 2 looses the connection about 5-10 times. there is freezing and stuttering from time to time, it makes it pretty useful for streaming xbmc or movies from the ipad.

    and they are like 6-8 feet from eachother.

  • Coward Anonymous

    What’s not to like? The fact that you’ll have a useless Mac/PC while streaming to your TV. So it’s not a jailbreak “breaker” AT ALL!!!! I need jailbreak on the ATV3 to see if I can finally stream movies via XMBC or something while I continue to work on my Mac. So far, AirParrot and ML’s feature just render the Mac useless.

  • Carl Jonard

    Beamer works way better than screen mirroring—it streams the video file directly to the Apple TV instead of playing it on your computer.

  • hackyourgadget
  • Rob

    For full screen: in Airparrot’s preferences. set underscan to zero

  • Alpine Dad

    I get a slight audio delay and it drives me crazy. There are so few options with AirParrot I am not sure if this is something that can be fixed.

  • Winther

    For me it was just lagging way too much and I find this program pretty useless.

  • Xaraz

    The only problem I have with Airparrot (and we’re using it all the time at the office during meetings to show stuff on a 55″ with an appletv3) is the poor audio quality. Video looks fine, but the audio is compressed way to much without any options to adjust this. Using it on Windows.

  • Xaraz

    adjusting the ‘underscan’ option in the settings menu should fix this. Worked for me.

  • nope

    garbage compared to air play.. not worth it

  • Jack

    I have an Apple TV 3 and a MacBook running OS X 10.8.6 and I can’t get AIrParrot to work at all. Their web site gives little to no information on how to trouble shoot problems. The IiTunes and iPad AirPlay works just fine with it but this AirParrot thing does not. I will be asking for a refund.

  • SteaminStreamin

    Negative comments are not warranted – this is the only product I have found to work perfectly streaming video from a MacBook Pro using OS 10.6.8 . I have Apple TV hooked up to a Sony Bravia TV. After experimenting with AirParrot Preferences Underscan is set at 10%, Video Quality High, Max Frame rate 45, NO to Force 720p, YES to Strech Apps to fill TV Screen. YES to Show mouse cursor, YES to Use compatability Mode, And make sure you switch audio on from the pull down menu after AirParrot is opened.

    These settings gave me the best overall result.

  • Not Satisfied with AirParrot

    Got apple tv for Christmas. Can’t get AirParrot to recognize AppleTv under DEVICES. Just see light gray Searching for Devices… Apple TV is working with TV so not sure what’s up???

  • Anonymous

    Just install Perian so it finds H.264 encoder (no you do not need special hardware or QuickTime 7). AirParrot streams from first Intel Mac Mini (2006) just fine with Core 2 Duo. Same from iMac 2007 (initially could not find H.264 so Perian had to be installed and AirParrot reinstalled). As far as mirroring support and all those BS discussions about which model and what year… AirPlay works on Leopard from new iTunes as long as you have that H.264 software encoder.

  • Dick Johnson

    I use air parrot in the extended desktop mode. I drag over VLC/Chrome to the second desktop (The Television in this case). This way I can watch media on my television and still have full access to my mac.

  • agentbb007

    I have Air Parrot for PC and the video looks great no lag at 1920×1200 and CPU around 55%. My problem is the audio is CRAP, it keeps cutting and crackling like every 5 seconds. I’ve tried adjusting my resolution, lowering quality settings nothing worked to fix it. Hopefully they will release an update that fixes it.

  • The issue I had with it on my circa 2008 MacBook pro was there were issues AirParrot created with OS X Mountain Lion. I could no longer drag and drop with OSX in Finder or move layers in photoshop, etc. Once I removed AirParrot and the .ktext files associated with it, all those problems went away. It’s good, but not without its flaws.

  • Brick City

    I cannot get air parrot to stream the audio when playing you tube videos. Any suggestions ???

  • change your tvs aspect ratio, that should change the view to get rid of the black bars

  • apple tv has youtube

  • charlie

    PC users use Netgear Push2Tv 3000 or 2000, unless ur laptop is WiDi.

  • michiel

    hy guys i indeed love it but why the hell doesn’t it stream XMBC to my atv3? screen turns just black (i am using an ordinary windows 7 32 bit)
    do you have a solution please mail me @ michiel[@]

  • we need it for the Ipad, so we can stream Amazon Prime content!

  • brekc


  • penny

    After using it for a week, the audio streaming stopped, I checked sound on my mac and switched to airparrot but cannot have it work. anyone out there who can help me out?

  • Trish

    I need to stream quickflix app. The app has been specifically made to not be used with AirPlay “DRM player error”. Copy right they say is the reason for this block. I hate excuse like that from allowing you to use a device to its potential. I’m assuming this is the same problem with Amazon Prime.

  • Andreas Normand Grøntved

    I got massive stutter and audio lag on my asus g74sx to apple tv 2 – 6 foot away.
    Forcing 720, downscaling my res, move computer closer – none of it works.
    Sounds like it is a general apple device prob, more than an airparrot prob.
    This is great for dias screening, or other where good fps is not required. Not even sound works smoothly, which I would’ve expected.

  • Jean Wong

    you must go to itune and make sure the airplay is check for apple tv for mirroring.

  • dissatisfied

    program fails to recognize apple tv, would not waste your time trying to make work and not worth $10.

  • erssie

    I have an Apple TV3 + Windows 7 PC and net-book. Using Air-parrot I can mirror the video but not audio of my Amazon Prime Instant Videos. Airplay streaming works from borrowed IOS devices but they are not mine and cannot afford to purchase just for Airplay. Do you know if Amazon have restricted licences in allowing Airparrot to work? If so, you would expect those legal issues to restrict IOS Airplay but it doesn’t?

  • TheoPizza

    Why would you do that? You can use standard AirPlay for Prime Instant via an iOS device…

  • Mike A

    AirParrot was great. It was simple, elegant, easy to use, and worked beautifully. Now they only offer AirParrot 2, which sucks! It’s bloated, buggy, crashes, and barely ever sees your Apple TV unless you fiddle with it for like 30 minutes. The original product was great, why did they replace it with crapware?

  • ma

    hOW DO i GET OUT OF THE parrot picture on i Mac start up?

  • sprksflm

    I had a similar situation… and problem!
    could find no others to post solutions on blogs etc!
    so I thought i thought same situation what my problem was… my firewall and etc.was blocking it! and no search could find it either!

    i am using windows 7.

    i clicked windows button+e for windows explorer.

    i clicked on the top bar where the address thingie is.
    (to the right in blank space by my computer or whatever)


    Control PanelAll Control Panel Items

    in search, type firewall

    click “allow a program through windows firewall”

    then change settings.

    firewall settings!

    (make sure public and private are both checked and allowed, in addition to both checked etc!)

    check allow all for airparrot. public and private. just open it when you need it. problem of first part was solved! (minus many hours of sleep lol).


    if apple tv won’t show up…
    (searching for devices)

    in apple tv look up ip address:
    (make sure both signed up on same wifi)
    under IP Adress: remember the number.

    type that no. into quick code on pc. voila!

    connected. if still laggy connection, as i share with many roommates, buy a super router lol. i did:

    Asus AC2400 RT-AC87U Dual-band Wireless Gigabit Router. lol. overpowered but incredible and works. but any u router should do.

    . then problem solved and works incredible. wish someone else explaned a possible solution, having same problem this is what i did and it worked. wish u the best!

  • G®åƒƒîkî

    i have been having problems, you guys talk about 1080p and such, My settings in my mac, does not give me resolution sizes, just a “default for display” setting. Inside the parrot all i have is high medium and low button and frame rate. My apple TV 3rd gen has not settings for resolution either. My tv is 1080p though, and i have a macbook pro 2009 with air parrot 2.2 or whatever the latest version is. When mirroring, It still lags. I have tried settings that say “low (fast) on parrot, and frame rate 60 and slided it all over the place, nothing is working and whatever video i stream on safari still lags and is delayed 🙁 Please help.

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