Twonky Beam is quite amazing and connects easily with the Apple TV
This application was suggested to me by a Twitter friend called Ross Craig who goes by the name of Pirate Jim. He suggested it to me because of the fact I was trying an application called BBQ Screen that I wanted to use to send video from the Galaxy S3 to my Mac. I was able to do that successfully with BBQ Screen and this application Twonky Beam does something similar, but going from the Android device to a number of possible devices that you could have connected to your television. Included in the list of devices is the Apple TV and I own one of these. So I sat down on my couch with my Android device, the television turned on and of course also the Apple TV also in operation.
Getting Twonky Beam up and running
As always when you start working with a new application that you have never seen before, it can be a little confusing when you are working out how it does what it does. I didn’t know what to expect, so I didn’t know if I needed to change some settings in the Apple TV or do some special magic which required waving around a rubber chicken in the air.
All you need to do is to start up the application and when you do, you do get some information on how to make it all work. Basically, all you need to do is to go to a website which can be one of your own or any other website on the Internet that has video. There are a list of icons that you can choose directly to go to video websites such as Vimeo or YouTube and various others including Funny or Die. Get searching for videos to look at and you are in business pretty soon. An obvious one to start with would be YouTube and when you get to a video page you will see an icon in the top right corner of the video – Beam. The icon is of a decent size and quite easy to tap, to get the video playing and beaming to your Apple TV. At first I thought I must have been doing something wrong or that it didn’t work, but I found that if I slid the screen from right to left I got to a control page in the application where I was able to choose the device I wanted to send the video to. You also get the controls for play, stop, preview and volume. It is also possible to create a beam queue of videos lined up to be played one after the other. I haven’t tried this one yet, I will let you know how I get on.
Twonky Beam works a treat
Overall I am very impressed with this application and the ability to use it to send video from my Android device to my Apple TV. I can certainly see that I will get a lot of use out of this application in my living room. I also tested this Twonky Beam application with a website of my own as I wondered if it was just going to work with just the video server websites like YouTube and so on. I went to a site of my own, Mac20Q and I found a page where I had a video embedded. Sure enough the beam icon was available in the top right-hand corner of the video, I tapped on it and the video was soon playing on my television.
You can also create bookmarks so that you can easily get back to a video that you want to watch later or just watch again. It is quite easy to get to the bookmarks page and it all seemed to work just like a webpage in a web browser. It is just that you also have the ability to send any videos off to the big screen.
Not all plain sailing
I did find on a couple of occasions that I had the video playing on my Galaxy S3 and it was also playing on the Apple TV. After a little bit of experimentation I found that it was easy to just take the webpage back by using the back button to stop the video on the Galaxy. So then I just had the video playing on the Apple TV fullscreen with me on the sofa and my feet up, relaxing. I can already do video from websites to a certain extent directly with the Apple TV such as with the YouTube video site and a couple of others, but there is infinitely more videos available this way as I can go to any old website.
All of the things I have tried so far with the Twonky Beam application has been available to me for free. There are some in app purchases that you can make, but as yet I haven’t found the need to do so. Twonky Beam gets a big thumbs up from NoStylus.