If you’re a Mac owner with a Chromecast device or a Google Cast-supported HDTV, Beamer 3.0 offers a convenient way to stream video files from your desktop or laptop to these video devices. The software also works with an Apple TV, though it’s less crucial for owners of Apple’s set-top as you can use AirPlay and iTunes to get your videos from your Mac to your Google Cast device.
However, if you own multiple Apple TVs or a combination of Apple TVs and Chromecast boxes, Beamer makes it easy to stream content from your Mac to any of your devices as you can select one of them right from the app’s player window.
The app makes it easy to view any common format of video content that's stored on a Mac as simple as dragging and dropping a file. You just click on the videos you want ago watch, then drag ‘n drop them into the Beamer window. Next, you select the device you want to stream the video to from the pull-down menu in the viewing window, and you’re good to go.
The caveat to all this is that Beamer works great for home videos, but not so much for commercial titles. For example, you can’t drag movies purchased from iTunes into the app’s queue for playing because the films’ video data is protected by DRM.
You can’t “rip” a DVD to your hard drive using Handbrake as a DVD Player Media Document and use it with Beamer as that format isn't supported (though you an “rip” DVDs to acceptable formats with Handbrake.)
In addition to its easy “beaming” features, the app also includes subtitle support. If you choose to use Beamer with an Apple TV, you can use your Apple TV Remote or the new Siri Remote to to fast-forward or reverse a video. Or you can use the remote to completely skip to the next movie in the Beamer queue.
Version 3.0’s revamped interface is user friendly and very Apple-like in its design. It places commonly accessed options, such as subtitles and audio track options, in the playback window of the software. The playlist is now integrated into the player window of Beamer, and displays the titles of previously viewed videos. This makes it easy to choose a movie for continued or repeated viewing.
If you don’t want to watch ‘em again, you can conveniently set the preferences of Beamer so that it automatically removes the titles of previously viewed flicks. On the other hand, if there’s a playlist or film you simply must watch over and over again (say, a cute cat video on YouTube), you can set it to repeat automatically. Version 3.0 also sports improved automatic subtitle selection, better color accuracy for movies using the bt709 color matrix, and an updated transcoding backend.
So is Beamer, which costs $19.99, for you? If you own multiple Apple TVs or at least one Google Cast device, it’s money well spent. If you have just one or two Apple set-top boxes, you can get along just fine with Apple’s own software.
Beamer works with OS X Yosemite 10.10 or higher, the Apple TV (second, third, and fourth generations) or Chromecast (first and second generation).