Reflector AirPlay Receiver Review

Over the last month I’ve been trying out reflector as a way to get my iPad screen projected for the whole class to see. At first I was a little sceptical about using software to mirror my iPad screen but due to the difference in cost when compared to an Apple TV I had to give it a go.

Reflector AirPlay Receiver Logo

Reflector AirPlay Receiver

Installation
As with any software you need to install reflector first. It’s worth noting at this point I installed the 32bit version of reflector onto a 6 year old Windows PC with 1GB of RAM and a 1GB wired network connection. I felt if it worked on this machine it would work on anything. Reflector also comes in a 64bit Windows and Mac version.
The actual installation was very simple and quick. It’s not bloated with extra unnecessary software or wording. I think I only clicked twice during the whole installation! So this is a big bonus as no cables, usernames etc needed to be connected/entered before I could get started.

First Launch
The first time I ran reflector I was asked for a serial number. As I was only trialling the program I just clicked ‘Try’. I actually received this message every time I ran the software, but if you registered the software this wouldn’t show again. The trial version also only runs for 10mins before closing down. This was a little frustrating but it didn’t stop me having a good play with the software. Now the software is running and I have a little icon in my task bar which I can use to make any changes.

Connecting the iPad
This is where I thought the app would let me down but I’m pleased to say this blew me away! On the ipad I just dragged up from the bottom (ios7) and selected Airplay. Bang there was the name of my PC. I selected it making sure mirroring was turned on and my iPad screen appeared in front of me. It always connected showing a nice iPad frame which I wanted to remove and I found a quick right click gave me full access to the options allowing me to make it full screen and remove the frame.

Lag
To be honest I fully expected this to have some lag especially after using an Apple TV which suffered from it occasionally. However I’m pleased to report that so far after many hours of use. I’ve never experienced lag even when watching videos from YouTube etc. So another big tick for this software.

Video Resolution and Sound
Reflector allows you to choose the resolution using the options menu this means you can display at full 1080p as long as all the other hardware your using supports it! Also sound works really nicely without any lag.

Extras
As reflector displays your iPad on to the PC, this allows you to record your iPad screen using a screen recorder. Also reflector has the ability to display more than one iPad on the screen at a time. This is really cool as you can use it to compare things or have a video playing on one side and taking notes on the other etc.

Alternatives
There are only two main alternatives to Reflector and they are Apple TV and AirServer. Depending on your usage and setup would depend on which one you go for. However if you are happy to display your iPad on a screen via either a PC or Mac then reflector is the way forward me.

If you need more information or pricing then visit the reflector website here.

Transferring Photos and Videos from Computer to iPad, iPad to iPad, iPad to Computer using SimplTransfer. How To?

Today a teacher asked how she could get a video file from her computer to the class iPads. You may think just use YouTube but due to the age of the children the school filters YouTube for her class.
So here we go.

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1. First you’ll need a free app called SimplTransfer. You can upgrade this via in app purchase to get more features or to support the developer.

2. Now you need to load the app. On first load it will ask you to allow access to photos and videos. Accept this otherwise the app won’t work. You should now be presented with a screen like this.

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3. If you want to transfer between computer and ipad please read on otherwise goto step 6 for using it between iPad and iPad or iPhone. Leave the app open and running. On the computer you need to open you web browser.

4. In the address bar type the web site address given to you on the iPad screen. It will be something like http://000.000.000.000 (the 0s will be numbers relating to your device . Tell the browser to go.

5a. Now you will be browsing your photos and videos from the iPad on your computer screen. To upload a video or photo to the iPad press the upload button on the top left. Browse to your photo/video and open it. It will now be uploaded to your iPad and saved in the camera roll. If you upgrade the app you can upload to any album or create a new album to upload to on the iPad by selecting them from the dropdown menu to the right of the upload button.
5b. To download click into the photos and find the one you want. You can select more than one by clicking the selection box below a photo or you can select all by pressing the select all button in the top left corner. Once you have selected the photos/videos click the download button at the top left.

6. That’s it for transferring between computer and iPad. If you want to transfer between iPad and iPad or iPhone then read on. First you will need the app open and running on each device. Now at the bottom select device.

7. You will get a new screen on the iPad allowing you to select a device from a list. Press the device you want to transfer to.

8. Now you will need to select an album where the photo/video is stored. In the free version you can only send the top 50 items from an album so if your photo is number 51 or above you will need to create a new album in the photo app and add your video/photo to it. Alternatively you can purchase the upgrade.

9. After touching an album you will see all the photos and videos in the album. Touch each photo/video you wish to transfer.

10. Now press send at the bottom left and all the photos/videos you have selected will be transferred to the other device.

11. Job done, good luck transferring photos and videos between devices.

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Using Apple TV with a Windows Tablet and AirParrot

This week I tasked myself with displaying a Windows 8 tablet on a projector wirelessly. The only problem I had was no money or time to buy anything new and very old projectors. Then I thought to myself I wonder if I could use the Apple TV in the Heads Office to wirelessly connect using Airplay.

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So a quick google search leads me to a piece of software called AirParrot. The first thing to note this software does cost money but you can download a free trial. The free trial gives you 20 mins of airplay time before closing. You then have to open the program again to get a further 20 mins.

After a quick download and install I was ready to give it a try. The program sits in your task bar and when you need to connect you just right click the little AirParrot icon and select the Apple TV you wish to connect to. A few seconds later and bang your windows screen is on your projector via Apple TV. It even lets you connect to an Apple TV which is pass code protected.

To be honest I was very surprised when I started trying different metro apps and programs. I was able to draw on the screen in Fresh Paint and it replicated on the projector without lag. I also tried watching videos and again no lag.

AirParrot also has tools to allow you to alter frame rate etc to improve performance if you do have trouble.

So if you don’t have a modern projector or TV with wireless then this bit of software with an Apple TV may help you out.