While everyone in the media and entertainment industry has plenty of ways to watch a video, sometimes that’s all you want to do. You don’t want to edit it, or to grade it, so you don’t want to fuss with Resolve or Creative Cloud. You just want to open it quickly and have it play back flawlessly. That’s when you’ll appreciate what Video Village is doing with Screen, a new video player for the Mac.
Screen is designed to deliver a seamless playback experience, keeping the video viewport clean of pop-ups or overlays unless you specifically request them. It supports playback of a range of files — including Apple ProRes, Blackmagic Raw, Redcode Raw, XDCAM — and image sequences, and you can easily open a window to view metadata about the file you’re watching, such as video format and resolution, frame rate and bit rate, audio codec, frame count and timecode range, and more.
The image can be panned and zoomed, flipped horizontally or vertically, or cropped to any desired aspect ratio. You navigate your file via the Barcode, a kind of color-coded timeline that appears both on screen and on the Touch Bar of a Mac with that feature above the keyboard. (And that Barcode can be exported to an image file at any resolution, in case you’re looking for a little abstract artwork for your desktop wallpaper or studio wall.)
Because it’s made by Video Village, the outfit behind Lattice, Screen is rather color-conscious. It supports real-time application of LUTs, either embedded in a video file or drawn from a LUT library, and the company claims it has better color accuracy in standard color spaces than QuickTime Player X. A Color Sampler allows any pixel’s RGB values to be retrieved via a click, and a Channel Viewer isolates a single channel of the video, including alpha.
If you need still frames from a file, screenshots can be grabbed with a key press, or can be dragged out of the video window directly into Finder or other Mac applications.
And here’s the kicker — Screen supports transcode and export to Apple ProRes, H.264 and H.265, with basic tweaks to keyframes and bit rate. And Screen allows the selection of in and out points, as well as cropping or exporting with a LUT applied. So maybe you can do a tiny bit of editing and color-grading, after all. That makes it a pretty neat all-purpose tool for video viewing and basic manipulation.
You can find a full list of Screen’s features, along with a roadmap of additions that are under consideration by the developers, including waveform visualization and direct YouTube/Vimeo export capabilities, at the Video Village website. Screen is $99, including one year of updates, with an optional $29/year fee to keep the software up-to-date.