How to Connect a Mac to Apple TV over Airplay

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • About Airplay.
  • How to use AirPlay to cast a video file over to your Apple TV.
  • How to use AirPlay to mirror your entire computer screen over to your Apple TV.
Before We Begin:
  • Have your Mac nearby.
  • Your Apple TV should already be set up and functioning properly.
The apple logo

1 What is AirPlay?

AirPlay allows you to mirror your entire screen, or a single QuickTime-compatible video file to your AppleTV.

  • Other apps are starting to support AirPlay. Look for the AirPlay icon on the toolbar of your favorite video or audio app.
    AirPlay Icon

Your Mac must be connected to the same WiFi network as your Apple TV.

2 Cast Video Files to Apple TV

If the video file you wish to play isn't compatible with Quicktime, this method of casting will not work. The only way to view it on your AppleTV will be to mirror your entire screen.

  1. Before beginning, make sure your Apple TV is powered on and being displayed on your television screen.
  2. On your Mac, click Finder.
    Finder
  3. Across the menu bar, click Go, then click Applications.
    screenshot of Finder Go menu with applications highlighted
  4. Double click the QuickTime Player.
    screenshot of applications with QuickTime Player highlighted

    No window will open, but the menu bar across the top will change to indicate that you are using the QuickTime Player.

  5. Click File, then Open File...
    Screenshot of QuickTime Player File menu, with Open file highlighted
  6. Using the Finder window that opens, locate the video file you wish to play, then click Open.
    Screenshot of opening a file

    Your video files will be stored in a different location than the one depicted in the example photo above.

  7. Move your mouse cursor inside the video window that opens to reveal the play bar.
  8. Click the AirPlay icon.
    Screenshot of QuickTime interface with AirPlay icon highlighted
  9. Select your Apple TV from the list of available devices.
  10. Choose Play on either your computer screen, or your Apple TV remote.

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In This Guide
You'll Learn:
  • About Airplay.
  • How to use AirPlay to cast a video file over to your Apple TV.
  • How to use AirPlay to mirror your entire computer screen over to your Apple TV.
Before We Begin:
  • Have your Mac nearby.
  • Your Apple TV should already be set up and functioning properly.
The apple logo

AirPlay allows you to mirror your entire screen, or a single QuickTime-compatible video file to your AppleTV.

  • Other apps are starting to support AirPlay. Look for the AirPlay icon on the toolbar of your favorite video or audio app.
    AirPlay Icon

Your Mac must be connected to the same WiFi network as your Apple TV.

If the video file you wish to play isn't compatible with Quicktime, this method of casting will not work. The only way to view it on your AppleTV will be to mirror your entire screen.

  1. Before beginning, make sure your Apple TV is powered on and being displayed on your television screen.
  2. On your Mac, click Finder.
    Finder
  3. Across the menu bar, click Go, then click Applications.
    screenshot of Finder Go menu with applications highlighted
  4. Double click the QuickTime Player.
    screenshot of applications with QuickTime Player highlighted

    No window will open, but the menu bar across the top will change to indicate that you are using the QuickTime Player.

  5. Click File, then Open File...
    Screenshot of QuickTime Player File menu, with Open file highlighted
  6. Using the Finder window that opens, locate the video file you wish to play, then click Open.
    Screenshot of opening a file

    Your video files will be stored in a different location than the one depicted in the example photo above.

  7. Move your mouse cursor inside the video window that opens to reveal the play bar.
  8. Click the AirPlay icon.
    Screenshot of QuickTime interface with AirPlay icon highlighted
  9. Select your Apple TV from the list of available devices.
  10. Choose Play on either your computer screen, or your Apple TV remote.
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