The Apple TV is fast becoming the connectivity hub for all your devices. You can connect an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to an Apple TV in order to stream photographs, video, and music. Even some iOS games support AirPlay, thereby allowing them to be played on the big screen. The technology is simply amazing and Apple continues to improve the Apple TV experience by adding additional features, such as AirPlay Display.
AirPlay Display offers users the ability to not only mirror the display of the Mac, but to create a completely new workspace thereby extending the desktop.
In order to use this feature you will need to ensure that your Mac is running OS X Mavericks and your Apple TV has been updated. Both your Mac and the Apple TV will need to be on the same network. We recommended that you have at least an 802.11n wireless network in order to achieve a smooth experience. You can always connect the Apple TV to your network via Ethernet, if that option is available to you. Ethernet is capable of higher speeds and is not impacted by interference.
Now that you have your devices updated and connected to the same network, how do you use this functionality? In classic Apple form, they have made it a rather straightforward process.
In the Menu Bar, you will notice the AirPlay display icon. Simply click and select your Apple TV. By default your display will be mirrored. To change this simply click on the Menu Bar icon again and select Extend Desktop.
You will immediately notice that a brand new desktop will be presented on the display that the Apple TV is currently connected to. At this stage any open windows or Applications will remain on your Mac’s primary display.
To move open windows, or Applications, to the new display simply click and drag the window by the Title Bar to the left hand side of your display. As you do this the window will appear in a transparent view on the Apple TV display. Once the entire window is on the new display, it will become active and can be interacted with in your second workspace.
To navigate between the displays, simply drag the mouse pointer between the screens from left to right, or right to left. This is the default option, but you may wish to change the second display to be on the top, bottom, or righthand side of the primary display. In order to change this, proceed to System Preferences > Displays.
Then select the Arrangement tab. You will notice two displays are presented in blue. The one with the white bar at the top is your primary display whilst the standard clear blue box is your Apple TV display. In order to change their positions, simply click and drag either display to a different location.
Now that you have your displays arranged the way you like it, you may wish to change the resolution of the second display. When you open the Display System Preferences panel, you will notice resolution options appeared on the Apple TV display as well as your primary display. On the Apple TV, you can select from Best For Display, or scaled to 1080p, 720p, or 2560×1440 (MacBook Air, 2013 output). Generally selecting Best For Display will be the most appropriate option. That being said, you should test the other available options, especially if you plan on giving a presentation via a projector.
It is important to note that any audio from your Mac will be transferred through to the Apple TV whilst it is connected using this feature. If you don’t want this happen, you can make adjustments within the Sound Preferences.
When you disconnect from the Apple TV, all open windows and applications will return to your primary display. The good news is any application or window that was open in the display, on the Apple TV, will reappear when you reconnect to the Apple TV at a later date, provided they are still active.
This functionality is simply amazing and will appeal to businesses and consumers alike. If you would like more information, or a demo, please drop into our store. We stock everything you need to get started and can even assist you with ideas that may improve your workflow and presentations.