Presentations aren’t always on large projectors and when you need to present in the absence of one; a smart screen sharing app can come in handy. TiffanyScreens is an app available for Mac, Windows (7, XP & Vista), and Linux that allows you to share your screen with other systems. The app’s free (Std) version allows you to broadcast your screen to three other systems. To stream to more computers, you will need to purchase the pro version, most likely meant for classrooms and workplaces. In either case, the recipients only need the free version to watch the stream. TiffanyScreens allows you to predefine the window size for received broadcasts and has five different channels that you can broadcast to. The app also lets you manage the refresh rate for the screen and control the quality of your transmission.
All systems (whether transmitting or receiving) must have the app installed and should be connected to the same Wi-Fi network. When launched, the app will detect and list other systems in your network currently running the app. These systems are called ‘Peers’. To view a complete list of them, click the ‘Peers’ button at the top-right of the window. Peer systems are automatically detected and cannot be added manually.
The ‘Venue’ drop-down allows you to select a broadcasting channel. You have five channels to choose from and can only control which channel you broadcast to, not which one your peers are watching. The purpose of the channels is to let you separate your broadcast streams and manage groups more easily.
To start broadcasting your screen to your peers, click the broadcast button and it will start. You are now broadcasting, but your peers will not be able to view your screen unless they click ‘Watch’, which starts reception.
When watching a transmission, you will be able to rotate the screen and signal the broadcast via the arrow and bell buttons at the bottom respectively. You can switch to full screen or stop receiving the transmission by clicking the red close button in the bottom-right corner.
TiffanyScreens’s preferences let you manage the network address for your system. If you do not see a peer system appear when it should, make sure that the correct network is selected in preferences.
Broadcasts can be password protected. To set a password, simply click the lock icon at the bottom. Anyone who wants to watch your transmission will be prompted to enter the password to proceed.
TiffanyScreens is quite a handy tool, but its free version, as mentioned earlier, is limited to just three peers in a group. If you want to share with more, you will have to go pro for $19.99, which might seem like a hefty amount for home users, but is quite a reasonable investment for classrooms or workshops.