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OS X Mountain Lion Finally Brings AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac

OS X Mountain Lion Finally Brings AirPlay Mirroring to the Mac

AirPlay Mirroring, in my opinion, has been one of the biggest features missing from Mac. Fortunately, OS X Mountain Lion now finally includes this feature for the first time – something which holds a lot of potential in both the living room and the board room.

Apple describes the feature as follows:

Your Mac is on TV. This new feature in Mountain Lion is made for an audience. With AirPlay Mirroring, you can stream what’s on your Mac to your HDTV via Apple TV. Show web pages and videos to friends on the couch. Share lessons with a classroom. Present to a conference room. It’s a big deal for your Mac. And for everyone around it.

The Apple TV is portable enough to carry with you and plug into any HDMI-capable television or projector you may need to display content on, and at $99, it’s a fairly affordable solution as well. From presentations, to gaming, to home theater, the applications for AirPlay mirroring on the Mac seem almost limitless, and I’m extremely excited to see Apple finally jumping on this. This feature alone will make Mountain Lion worth the upgrade fee to me.

Even more interesting is that the Mac, unlike the iPhone or iPad, can create its own ad hoc wireless connection, so you can wirelessly stream presentations or other content whether or not a WiFi signal already exists in the place you’ll be broadcasting content.

Apple has created an extremely affordable solution for presenters or educators, for streaming movies to your friend’s television while visiting, or any number of other scenarios. The only thing remaining is to see how well Apple actually implements the feature. Here’s to hoping!

  1. AlecM says:

    As someone w/ two Apple TVs in the house (and who can already do some limited Airstreaming from my iPhone) I absolutely agree – this will be an instant upgrade for me as soon as it’s available. 

  2. buheper says:

    As an educator, I’m both excited about this feature and wondering whether it means that I will now be able to set up a wire-free environment in my classroom. Will any content on my Mac be displayed on my classroom LCD projector? Is an HDMI connection the only way to connect between the LCD projector and the Apple TV.

    1. The AirPlay mirroring works wirelessly through an Apple TV. You can directly hook your Mac up to a projector using an HDMI cable (or an adapter for another connection method). Using a cable, you can either mirror content, or use the projector as a second display.

    2. Sean Racine says:

      I don’t think there’s a post here that makes this clear…  You don’t need Apple TV if you wire an HDMI cable from your Mac directly to the TV (currently the only available option aside from 3rd party apps).  You will need the adapter to connect the HDMI cable to your MacBook and obviously the TV needs an HDMI input and have that input selected on the TV.

      When Mountain Lion arrives this summer (and if your Mac is new enough), it will be able to stream content (airplay mirroring), including your desktop if you wish, to Apple TV (which would be connected to your HD television).  No Wi-Fi is necessary for airplay as your Mac will connect to the Apple TV’s ad-hoc network (I’m pretty sure about this, but double check to be sure if you don’t have Wi-Fi available in your classroom).  You will have to enable home sharing on your Mac (in iTunes) when using Apple TV too.

      iOS devices (mobile devices) already use Airplay.  In fact Airplay streaming is the only option for the iPhone, iPad, etc.

      As far as ATV, it only has and HDMI port and one optical for audio only.  So unless the receiver, TV, or whatever device you’re connecting it to has an HDMI input, you’ll have to find another option (and yes, they do exist).  There are also plenty of “how-to’s” out there on how to connect your device(s), but this should help you get a general understanding.

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