TUAW's own Erica Sadun recently announced the immediate availability of Banana TV, software that allows users to display photos and videos from any iPad, iPhone or iPod touch on a Mac connected to the same wireless network.
Banana TV closes a notable gap in Apple's AirPlay streaming technology. Typically, AirPlay enables iOS devices to stream photos and videos only to a second generation Apple TV. Now, with Banana TV, customers can easily choose to use the big displays on their Macs to show off content from iOS apps that support AirPlay, including third-party apps in iOS 4.3.
The software should be especially useful for customers with Macs integrated into their home entertainment systems. Any Mac can easily be connected to an HDTV directly or with inexpensive adapters. Mac users who wish to wirelessly stream video from an iOS device to their television sets can spend less buying Banana TV and a few adapters than the US$99.00 needed to buy a second generation AppleTV. The software also makes sharing photos and videos on a bigger screen possible in situations where an AppleTV is not available (for example, at the office or while visiting friends and family).
To use the software, customers launch Banana TV on a Mac, and within moments, the Mac appears as a valid target for AirPlay sharing on iOS devices within the same Wi-Fi network. It's that simple to enable a Mac to wirelessly showcase the latest music video that you cut in iMovie on your iPad, or the photos you took of your trip to Hawaii using your iPhone 4.
Banana TV does suffer from a couple of limitations. Currently, the software supports streaming for photos and video, but audio-only streaming isn't available. Banana TV also struggles with displaying photo slideshows from Apple's "Photos" app. Lastly, video protected by iTunes digital right management (DRM) must be authorized to play on the target Mac. Sadun aims to resolve many of these limitations in future updates to the software.
Banana TV is available now for US$7.99. To stream images and video from an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, the device must be running iOS 4.2 or higher.
Keep reading to watch a short promotional video for Banana TV.