TutorialsAirPlay AirPlay on the MacAirPlay from a MacBook (Air or Pro)

AirPlay from a MacBook (Air or Pro)

This lesson describes how to use AirPlay on a MacBook Air or Pro to mirror the screen to an IWB or Apple TV at the College.

NOTE: AirPlay can be used to display ALL of the contents of the screen on the MacBook EXCEPT for content from DVDs. This is due to DRM (Digital Rights Management) restrictions placed on Apple by the Movie and Film industries. However, DVDs can be played back over AirPlay by using a 3rd-party DVD player on the Mac such as VLC Media Player (covered in the next lesson).

Using AirPlay on a MacBook (Air or Pro)

Using AirPlay on a MacBook (Air or Pro)

To use AirPlay on a compatible MacBook Air or Pro (early 2011 model or later), you simply go to the menu bar on the upper right-hand side of the screen and click on the AirPlay icon. This will reveal all of the available devices that you can mirror your laptop screen to. In this case, I can see several AirPlay devices, including Mac Minis on IWBs as well as Apple TVs (Meeting Room, I6-ART-TV, etc.).

At the moment, you can see at the top of the menu that it says "AirPlay Mirroring: Off". This means that I have not currently selected any AirPlay devices to mirror to.

Mirror your MacBook Screen

Mirror your MacBook Screen

In the screenshot above, you can see that I have selected an AirPlay device to mirror my laptop to (I6-ART-TV) and that the menu states "AirPlay Mirroring: On". My laptop screen has now been mirrored to the Apple TV in the I6 classroom.

Also notice the new menu options that have shown up under the title of "Match Desktop Size To:" We will discuss these options next.

Setting Screen Resolution for AirPlay

Setting Screen Resolution for AirPlay

When you AirPlay to an Apple TV or IWB from your laptop, you will notice that the screen resolution on your laptop changes to match the AirPlay device. This is the default setting and usually the best option. However, you can also choose "This Mac" under the Match Desktop Size To: options, which may work better for some applications to maintain their perspective and prevent the image from being stretched or squashed. It is easy to switch between these options, so if you're not sure just try the other one and see how it looks on the screen.

Display Preferences

Display Preferences

You will notice in the previous screenshot that there is also an "Open Displays Preferences..." menu option. This will take you to the Displays menu in System Preferences where you could customise resolution and mirroring settings further. These options are rarely needed however, so only go there if you really know what you are doing with display resolutions, etc.

Turn off AirPlay Mirroring

Turn off AirPlay Mirroring

So, you've finished with the class or session and want to turn off the AirPlay mirroring. How to do this? It's a simple two-step process:

  1. First, go to the AirPlay icon in the menu bar and click on it.
  2. Next, click "Turn Off AirPlay Mirroring"

You're done.