One thing I love about my Apple TV is that it makes it easy to watch videos from my Macs on my HDTV. Well, at least if the flicks are on iTunes or are supported by AirPlay. If not, then it's Silver Screen to the rescue.
The Mac OS X app lets you stream video in a variety of formats from your desktop or laptop to your TV. For example, I have hundreds of DVDs I've bought over the years and ripped to an external drive so I can easily watch them on my optical drive-less iMac when, say, my wife and daughter are watching a Hallmark movie on the living room TV.
However, if I want to watch the "ripped" movies without firing up the DVD player connected to my 55-inch Vizio, I can launch a film on my iMac, use Silver Screen and "broadcast" the movie to my TV. Ditto with any YouTube videos I've downloaded. To a film buff like, these are wonderful options.
Silver Screen is a web app. To use, launch it on your Mac, and the app offers a look at the contents of your Movies folder via Safari or any other browser. If a video is in the Movies folder on your Mac, it appears on this list. You can then send that Safari web page to your iPhone and have the handy list in, well, your hand.
As long as you stay on the same Wi-Fi network, just tap on a film's name, and it will be streamed out to your Apple TV and, if needed, transcoded on the fly. To activate after you've downloaded the app, launch Silver Screen and click on the menu icon (the little film reel) and select "License." Then copy and paste your name and license key into the registration window, and click Register.
If you stop playing a video from Silver Screen or from the Apple TV remote, you can pick back up right where you left off -- even from a different Apple TV. The app supports Dolby Digital and DTS surround sound, multiple audio tracks, and subtitles.
If you have lots of films, home movies, YouTube videos, and other flicks on your Mac and want to be able to quickly, seamlessly view them on your big screen, you'll want Silver Screen.
Silver Screen requires Mac OS X 10. It costs US$19 and is available here.