If you use a Mac as your media hub and aren’t interested in getting a Apple TV but you would like to use AirPlay you may want to try Banana TV. Once you download and install Banana TV, it will appear in your menu bar. Banana TV uses the AirPlay protocol to allow you to stream AirPlay enable videos or images from your mobile device including your iPad (1 or 2), iPhone or iPod Touch running OS 4.2 or higher to an [Intel Mac]. I really like to use it when I am reading my RSS feeds in the River of News or perhaps I am looking through Flipboard and come across a YouTube video I want to watch. Instead of stopping to watch it on my iPad, I can send it to my computer monitor and continue to read the article while it is playing. (You do have to stay on the same page within the app that the video is on.) Maybe I am looking through the Discovery Application and I want to show my husband the video I am looking at, instead of passing the iPad to him I can simply send it to the TV the Mac is connected to.
Banana TV does have a couple of limitations that the using AirPlay with Apple TV does not have. It will not play videos that are encoded with DRM that are not authorize. It also doesn’t play slide shows; you have to hit the play button for each new image and then it flickers and the next image appears. When playing videos you have the option to play them either with in the Banana TV or through QuickTime. When you first install Banana TV it has always open in QuickTime as the default method under preferences, I found it works better if that is disabled. On occasion the video would not play and I would see a blank screen, usually restarting the video fixes that problem. I have only been using Banana TV for a short time, but so far I like it. It is $7.99 and can be found at Banana TV.