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How does Airplay work on a MacBook?

AirPlay lets you stream video and mirror your display from iPhone, iPad, or MacBook to Apple or Smart TV. It also lets you stream audio to Apple TV and any compatible speakers, including those connected to an AirPort Express router. If you’re on the same Wi-Fi network, AirPlay easily connects and starts streaming. If you’re not on the same network, AirPlay will use point-to-point Wi-Fi to stream.

AirPlay is a great way to share content among iOS devices onto Apple or smart TVs. You can share music, photos, videos, or just mirror your entire computer screen on a display. Most Apple devices have AirPlay and Screen Mirroring options easily accessible via Settings.

Turn on AirPlay on a MacBook for screen mirroring on larger displays like an Apple or smart TV

How does AirPlay work?

The first thing you should know is that AirPlay is not Bluetooth, even if Airplay can also send audio streams through a traditional local network. While Bluetooth compresses the audio stream transmission, AirPlay keeps the file’s original quality. Also, Bluetooth’s operating range is limited to 30 meters; AirPlay’s range can be as wide as your Wi-Fi network. And, at the last, Bluetooth can interact with only one device at a time, while AirPlay is able to send signals to several receivers at the same time.

All these benefits make AirPlay better choice to create a single home multimedia system. There are several analogs but they require special devices for streaming or expensive receivers with the support of AirPlay technology. In short, Apple AirPlay makes it easy to view images, enjoy your favourite games, or listen to music directly from your TV.

How to turn on AirPlay on a Mac:

1. First, make sure your Mac is connected to the same Wi-Fi network your Apple or smart TV is.

2. Next, find the video you want to display on AirPlay — either on Safari, Quickplayers etc.

3. Open System Preferences.

4. Find the icon for “Displays” — which looks like a computer monitor.

5. In the Display menu, make sure you have AirPlay on. Do this by using the two blue arrows to access the drop-down menu.

6. Make sure the box where it says “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available” is checked, too.

7. Next, find the AirPlay icon in the upper menu bar — it looks like a computer monitor with an arrow at the bottom.

8. Select your smart or Apple TV from the drop-down menu. To stop AirPlay, click the same button and select “Turn off AirPlay.”

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How to setup a Mac for mirroring

You can mirror the display of your entire Mac screen onto an Apple or smart TV that is compatible.

1. Make sure your Mac and your smart or Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

2. At the menu on top of your Mac screen, find the AirPlay icon — a monitor with an arrow at the bottom. Click it.

3. Choose the TV you’d like your Mac to be mirrored on.

4. A passcode should appear on your television screen. Enter it on your Mac.

5. To stop screen mirroring, turn AirPlay off. To change how the mirroring display looks or its settings, go here.

How to troubleshoot

When attempting to use AirPlay on an Apple or smart TV via Mac, the most common misstep is not having both devices connected to the same WiFi network.

If things still aren’t matching up, access your computer’s Firewall by going to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Firewall. Make sure the Firewall is turned off.

It may also be that your iOS devices are not up to date. Make sure they are.

The final troubleshooting method is just to restart all devices — including your internet modem.

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