What is Apple AirPlay

Apple AirPlay: What is it and how to enable it on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, Windows and TV


Most users buy an Apple TV set-top box (you can buy it here) just to stream content from Mac and iOS devices wirelessly to their TV via AirPlay. It is a very practical function that usually works very well.

AirPlay works differently on macOS and iOS. AirPlay is a powerful tool that offers many possibilities, such as sharing photos with family and friends, giving presentations, or getting your Mac desktop from a laptop (for example, to a TV).

What is Apple AirPlay?

AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary wireless transmission protocol for sending video and audio from a Mac or iOS device to an AirPlay-enabled receiver such as an Apple TV (wireless speaker, headphones, streamer, etc.). This technology was first introduced in 2004 as AirTunes for iTunes.

At the time, AirPlay capabilities were limited to wireless audio, but in 2010 Apple added AirPlay support with video streaming capabilities to iOS. A year later, the company rolled out AirPlay’s “mirroring” feature, and in May 2018 it introduced a new version of the protocol, AirPlay 2.

What is AirPlay mirroring (screen mirroring, screen mirroring, mirroring)

AirPlay mirroring is the ability to mirror a screenshot of a Mac or iOS device to a receiver (Apple TV + TV) that supports AirPlay. Both iPhone, iPad and Mac support this function. While mirroring can be used to verify video and audio files, some content may be restricted due to the risk of copyright infringement. If you try to “mirror” the Mac screen while playing protected iTunes content such as Apple Music videos, you will see a gray window instead of the video. But it’s ok to view any video from movie sites on TV.

What is AirPlay 2?

Apple introduced a new version of the AirPlay protocol at the WWDC 2017 developer conference. The manufacturer planned to add AirPlay 2018 support in version 11 of iOS 2, but the technology was not available until May 2 with the launch of the iOS 11.4 update. . AirPlay XNUMX has multi-mode support, allowing Apple device owners to use various gadgets to play music for the first time.

The AirPlay 2 protocol is also compatible with Apple TV devices with tvOS 11.4 and newer. Apple HomePod speakers update automatically. Older third-party devices may not be compatible with AirPlay 2; Consult your provider for assistance.

How to use AirPlay to transfer or reproduce content?

You can use the AirPlay function to stream content (audio or video) to the receiver or mirror the current device’s screen (including audio) to the receiver. Before using the function, make sure that the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection are active and AirPlay mode is disabled on the device. The easiest way to work with AirPlay is to tap the AirPlay icon and select the desired receiver from the list that appears.

Stream Video, Photo and Audio from iPhone/iPad to Apple TV (TV) Using AirPlay

1. Swipe up on the screen to search for “Checkpoint”. . Owners of iPhone 11, 11 Pro, XS, XR and X need to swipe down from the top right corner.

2. Press and hold your finger on the widget “Applied”. on the right side of the screen before it opens

Tap the wireless icon (the icon with three circles and a triangle) next to the playback items.

4. Wait until the recipient list appears on the screen.

5. Tap the desired receiver and start playing the multimedia content.

To stop broadcasting, repeat the process but select iPhone or iPad in step 5.

To mirror (repeat) the iPhone or iPad screen

1. Open “Checkpoint”

2. Click “Screen Playback.” on the left side of the screen

3. Wait until the nearest AirPlay device appears on the screen

4. Select the recipient where you want to view the image

To stop the broadcast, select and repeat the process. “Stop screen playback.”

Stream Video, Photos, and Audio from Mac to Apple TV (TV) Using AirPlay

To connect your Mac to Apple TV, select the AirPlay icon in the menu bar, iTunes or QuickTime, or “System Preferences”. → Monitors. to define an AirPlay display (it will act as a wireless display connected to your Mac). In this article, we covered how to stream video from your Mac to your TV screen.

The easiest way to configure a “mirrored” Mac is with an icon in the menu bar.

On macOS Big Sur and later:

Click the Control Point icon in the macOS menu bar and select Screen repeat .

Select the device on the screen that appears.

Once connected, you can mirror the built-in display, “mirror” the Apple TV, or disconnect the monitor and use the Apple TV as an external display.

In previous versions of macOS:

Click the AirPlay icon in the upper right corner of the screen and select the receiver you want.

Once connected, you can mirror the built-in display, “mirror” the Apple TV, or disconnect the monitor and use the Apple TV as an external display.

Stream Video, Photo and Audio from iPhone/iPad to Mac or Windows Using AirPlay

Despite the popularity of the AirPlay function among users, Apple does not allow Mac or Windows computers to be used as receivers. Fortunately, you can circumvent Apple’s ban by using third-party emulators like AirServer or Reflector. The first will cost $20. The app is available in Mac and Windows versions and can work with Google Cast and Miracast. Users can test the app for free for 14 days. Reflector ($15) is a cheaper alternative to AirServer and also supports Google Cast and Miracast. There is a 7-day trial period.

YouTube video

AirPlay troubleshooting and setup

Sometimes AirPlay can have problems. Most often they are caused by external factors, but before resorting to drastic measures, it is worth trying a hard reset (iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, etc.).

Streaming, quality, and other AirPlay issues

In most cases, poor quality of video or audio transmission is caused by congestion in the Wi-Fi network. Too many Wi-Fi connections on the same channels that the receiver uses will degrade the signal quality received by the Apple TV. This can also occur when using older devices that do not support high-speed connectivity. In this case, you should get as close as possible to the Apple TV or replace the iOS device with a more modern model.

How to rename Apple TV

If you have multiple Apple TV set-top boxes, or if your neighbor’s Apple TV still appears in your device list, you can give your receivers unique names. 

To do this, open “Settings”. → “Basic”. → “About this device.” → “Name”

How to enable/disable AirPlay on Apple TV

You can completely disable the Apple TV function or go to “Settings”. → “AirPlay” . You can then choose the options you want: allow all users to stream via AirPlay; Limit AirPlay use to devices on the same network only; disable the function completely; set a password.

Apple TV not displaying (not recognized) on Mac or iOS

If you can’t watch your Apple TV on your Mac, check your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection activity. Make sure the decoder is turned on and connected to a power outlet and to the TV via HDMI.

The first time it connects via AirPlay, Apple TV should automatically wake from hibernation, although in some cases it may be necessary to use the remote and manually “wake up” the device. If Apple TV still doesn’t appear on your Mac or iPhone, try restarting your set-top box. To do this, open “Settings”. → “System”. → “Restart”. . The whole process will take about 30 seconds and you will need to press the button on the remote control to complete the process. In case of Apple TV not working, unplug the power cord, wait 10 seconds and plug it back in.

If none of the above methods helped to fix the problem, reboot the original device (Mac, iPhone or iPad) and then try to reboot the network hardware. If that doesn’t help either, use another Mac or iOS device.

As a last resort, you can do a factory reset on the Apple TV: menu “Settings”. → “System”. → “Restart”. . Then follow the instructions.


The appearance of the AirPlay protocol indicates that Apple is determined to move away from wired connectivity. As Wi-Fi standards evolve, so will the speed, reliability and quality of AirPlay technology

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