Because Apple products integrate so well with each other on both the hardware and software sides, it is effortless to share and stream content between your Apple devices. For instance, you can easily share videos via AirPlay or use your iPhone as the remote for your Apple TV.
However, things are not as smooth when you have a Mac and want to stream content to an Apple TV or, even worse, an Android smart TV. And even if you can find a way, managing multiple input and output sources can be quite a hassle.
Fortunately, this is where Beamer for Mac comes in. We have been testing the latest Beamer 4 for the past week, and we wanted to share our honest experience with you. In this brief review, you will find everything you need to know about Beamer.
What is Beamer for Mac?
Beamer for Mac is a content-streaming app available for macOS. It is designed to simplify the process of streaming content to Apple TV and other devices. This powerful utility allows you to watch your content on smart TVs and other speakers by streaming the content directly from your Mac.
So, if you have a video file on your Mac, you can stream it to an Apple TV or a Google Chromecast speaker. As you can see, the Beamer app does a few things that you cannot do via the built-in options for AirPlay. Therefore, you may need this app if you have multiple TVs and speakers, such as Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Sonos speakers, etc.
Now, let’s see how Beamer works.
How does it work?
Even though Beamer offers a couple of innovative features, the core functionality uses native options for streaming content for your Mac. For instance, the integration between macOS and tvOS is used to stream content from your Mac to an Apple TV.
Similarly, the Beamer app will simulate an environment for Google Chromecast so that it can stream content to Android TVs and other smart speakers. Similar techniques are used to stream content to Sonos speakers as well.
The use of native streaming technologies offers a couple of advantages:
- We have found that Beamer is extremely fast. It does not take extra time to configure or select input/output sources on your Mac.
- There is an additional advantage of added compatibility. It is one of the reasons Beamer can work with a variety of devices running different platforms like Chromecast and tvOS.
At the first look, Beamer for Mac seems to have a lot of potential. And the core functionality is accompanied by some convenience-focused features.
The features we loved
Here are a few features that we believe add value to the Beamer package on Mac.
As we mentioned, Beamer was developed for those who stream a lot of content. With that in mind, the streaming player comes with playlist support, allowing you to add all the content you want to stream in the order you prefer. Beamer also allows you to customize the playlist according to your preferences. And because the currently playing video is shown at the top, you won’t have any trouble finding what you should watch next.
It is another feature aimed at automating the entertainment experience. For instance, Beamer can remove movies from a playlist once you finish watching them. It is also intelligent enough to select your preferred subtitle and audio track when multiple options are available. Therefore, if you do not have hours to watch but tend to come back in intervals, the Beamer app will know how to resume the content you love.
Just because you are streaming content from the Mac, you do not have to forfeit the convenience of a dedicated remote. Instead, the Beamer app works quite well with Apple TV and Chromecast remote controls. For instance, you can use the Apple TV remote to move between the multiple videos on your playlist. What’s more, even if you have lost the existing remote, you can use one of the remote apps to get the job done.
We found that these features improve the overall entertainment experience.
Probably the best thing about Beamer for Mac is its intuitive user interface. You do not have to be a tech expert to get started with this streaming app. Instead, you simply have to make sure that your Mac and the output device are on the same Wi-Fi network. Once you launch the Beamer app, it will automatically detect these devices and let you pick one of them.
So, if you already have a common Wi-Fi network at home or in the workplace, using Beamer is a piece of cake. To add videos to the playlist, you can drag and drop them – it’s as simple as that. Therefore, we would give a premium rating for the user experience of the Beamer app on Mac. Combined with the overall speed at which streaming works, it is a great app you can rely on.
Compatibility is an area where we need to talk more about Beamer. For context, we used the v4 of Beamer, which will soon be available through the official website. But, if you are still using the previous version of the app, you might not have access to some features.
For instance, only the latest version of Beamer supports tvOS 16 and AirPlay 2. If you have the previous version, you can still connect to Apple TVs running tvOS 15 or earlier and devices with AirPlay. We believe this is something you should keep in mind while getting Beamer for your Mac.
When it comes to the compatibility of media files, Beamer does not disappoint. You can expect the app to work no matter what you throw at it. The official list of supported formats include ASF, AVI, DivX, FLV, MKV, MPEG, MPEG-TS, MPEG-4, QuickTime, VOB, WebM, etc.
The app offers built-in support for a wide variety of video encoding formats, including HEVC and VP8. Given that native options may not have built-in support for all these codecs and formats, Beamer presents a win-win situation for most people.
Overall, we are impressed by how compatible Beamer for Mac is. And it is impressive that the developers do an impressive job of improving the overall compatibility for upcoming versions of tvOS and streaming standards like AirPlay.
Availability and pricing
Now, let’s take a look at how you can get your hands on Beamer.
You can download Beamer for Mac from the official website and test the app for a few days. However, if you want permanent access to all the features we have mentioned, you have to purchase a license. One license of Beamer for Mac will set you back at $19.95, which we find reasonable enough.
You can get the Beamer app for Mac through the Universal License from Softorino. You can get the license subscription for as low as $2.92 per month, and you get access to some brilliant apps like SYC Pro and WALTR PRO.
But there is an easier way to access Beamer: through a Setapp subscription. By getting a Setapp subscription that costs around $10 a month, you can have access to Beamer and hundreds of other apps, most of which we love and regularly use.
Room for improvement
We do not mean to imply that Beamer is perfect.
In fact, one of the areas where the app can work is enhanced support for video content. At this point, 1080p is the maximum quality of a video file that you can stream to Apple TV or Chromecast from your Mac. Of course, we would love to see 4K support in this department.
But, considering how rich 1080p still can be for most types of content, the lack of 4K streaming is not exactly a dealbreaker. On the other hand, the 1080p streaming options on the app appeal better, thanks to high bit-rate and 5.1 surround support.
You can also explore alternatives like JustStream, which lets you mirror and stream content from your Mac to smart TVs. However, these tools may have a different level of optimization for tvOS and Chromecast.
Overall, we can confirm that Beamer for Mac is a value-for-money utility for those who own an Apple TV or a Chromecast-enabled TV. The fact that you can manage the entire playlist and order from your Mac at the native speed is impressive. So, make sure you check out Beamer and enjoy the convenience of easy content streaming.