As more and more people turn to streaming, computers and televisions have found equal footing as an entertainment source. No matter how you slice it, watching on a big screen will likely continue to be the best viewing experience for the foreseeable future.
Even as smart TVs become a home staple, there’s still something to be said about streaming from your computer to your television. For Mac users who wish to connect to a larger screen, it’s not as straightforward as it should be. However, it’s not impossible either, as a wireless connection between both devices is easily accomplished.
The most popular and best option for wirelessly streaming a Mac computer to a television is unquestionably AirPlay. Apple’s wireless display standard, AirPlay, enables streaming from any Apple device, including computers and iOS devices, directly to a television. First and foremost, you need to make sure you have a compatible computer. That includes any:
- iMac after 2011
- iMac Pro after 2017
- Mac mini after 2011
- MacBook after 2015
- MacBook Air after 2011
- MacBook Pro after 2011
- Mac Pro after 2013
Additionally, you’ll need to have a compatible Apple TV unit (starting at $149):
- Apple TV 2 (2010)
- Apple TV 3 (2012)
- Apple TV 4 (2015)
- Apple TV 4K (2017)
If you don’t have an Apple TV, you’ll need a compatible TV unit with AirPlay 2 built in. There’s already a bevy of choices on the market manufactured by Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio. You can see the full list on Apple’s website. Regardless of which hardware you choose, connecting via AirPlay is accomplished in just a few steps. Of course, you need to remember to have the most current software on your Mac for the latest compatibility.
1. Connect your Mac computer to the same Wi-Fi network as your Apple TV or AirPlay 2-enabled television. You might be prompted to enter a password when first connecting so make sure you have that handy.
2. In the Mac menu bar, search for the AirPlay icon that looks like a television with a triangle underneath. Click on this icon and connect to either your Apple TV unit or supported television.
3. On your Mac, open the app or video that you’d like to stream to the television and play.
4. To turn AirPlay off, click the same AirPlay button on your computer and select “turn off AirPlay.”
5. As an added bonus, you can also use the television as a separate display so you can stream on the TV while still working on your Mac. You can do this by selecting “use as a separate display” on the AirPlay drop-down menu on the Mac.
There’s no question Apple’s built-in support is the best technology for wirelessly streaming a Mac to a television. However, it’s not the only option. Enter third-party tools like AirBeamTV. Both apps achieve the same goal as AirPlay, wirelessly connecting a Mac to a television. To see the best performance with apps, you’ll need to be sure that your home network speeds can remain stable.
So how does it work? AirBeamTV is available as an app download for both iOS and macOS and works similarly to Chromecast or Roku. Basically, AirBeamTV records the screen on your Mac and “beams” that video to your television as long as you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
For television owners who don’t have AirPlay 2-compatible televisions, this is a fantastic and significantly less expensive option. Compatible with a number of television brands from 2012 and later, AirBeamTV is an inexpensive solution that sets up within minutes.
Once you’ve installed the Mac app, its icon will appear in your menu bar. Click on it and select “mirror Mac screen” and then select the source button. This allows you to choose between the different monitors or televisions that can be connected. It’s also at this step that you’ll be able to choose among the different applications running on your Mac that you wish to mirror wirelessly including streaming video services like Netflix, YouTube or Amazon Prime. Simple!
Even as third-party apps might be less expensive, there’s no question that the best method to wirelessly stream macOS to your television is AirPlay. It’s as seamless as it gets, thanks to Apple’s dedication to a simplified and dummy-proof experience. Have you tried AirPlay before? Sound off and let us know below about your experience streaming your Mac to a TV.
Image Credit: Vizio