How To Use Your Apple TV as a Second Display in OS X Mavericks

How To Use Your Apple TV as a Second Display in OS X Mavericks

The debut of OS X Mavericks brought some great new features to Apple’s venerable operating system. One of my favorites is the ability to use any display attached to an Apple TV as a secondary display.

Enabling this is simple. First, make sure your Mac and the Apple TV are on the same network.

AirPlay_display

Go to “System Preferences” -> “Displays,” and select the Apple TV from the “AirPlay Display” pull-down menu.

Your Apple TV should then take over as a secondary display. The two displays may be “mirrored,” which means they’re showing the same screen. If you’d like two different desktops, open the “Arrangement” tab in the Displays Preferences. Then uncheck the “Mirror Displays” checkbox.

AirPlay_Arrangement

Now, you can arrange your displays to be in the proper order by moving the displays around on the screen. This is handy to keep things straight if you’re dragging objects from one screen to another.

AirPlay_Resolution

The resolution of the AirPlay display can be adjusted just like any other display. Go to “System Preferences” -> “Displays.” While you can experiment with the resolution here, you may be better off setting it to “Best for Display,” that way the best possible resolution will be used for your Apple TV.

AirPlay_sound

When you connect to an AirPlay display, by default all sound will be played via the AirPlay connection instead of your Mac. If you’d like to change this, just go to: “System Preferences” -> “Sound” -> “Output.” There, you can set your Mac’s sound output to play through which ever output device you’d like.

With these few simple steps, you can easily use your Apple TV as a second display for movies, presentations, technical show displays, and more.

  1. It should be noted that this only works if your Mac is relatively new. In my Mid-2009 MacBook Pro the AirPlay Display -option simply doesn’t show up.

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