Using AirPlay to mirror your Mac's display to an Apple TV, or mirroring an iPad to AirServer on your Mac, is a convenient and flexible way of displaying content wirelessly. Here are a few best practices in order to get the best experience out of using AirPlay.
Mirroring your MacBook desktop is great for presentations, slideshows, websites, and more. However mirroring your desktop while playing audio or video can be problematic, including issues such as freezing, stuttering, and audio cutting out.
Follow these best practices to show a video on an Apple TV using AirPlay:
Use your iPad
When AirPlaying a video using an iPad, especially with YouTube, the Apple TV "takes over" and plays the video directly when the video is playing in fullscreen. Please note that you need to use the iPad's Safari browser or the proper video app (such as YouTube) for this to work.
On your Mac, look for the AirPlay icon in your video player
When playing a video from your Mac, some video players have an AirPlay icon that allows the Apple TV to "take over" and play the video independently of your Mac. On a YouTube video, for example, click the AirPlay icon in the video toolbar (screenshot below). Please note this will only work when using the Safari browser.
Controlling Your Volume
When using AirPlay, you will need to control the volume from your Mac/iPad, not the wall panel. If you have a classroom with an Extron wall control panel and projector, the volume knob may not control AirPlay volume. Some videos may also require you to turn up the volume with their built-in volume control.
Closing out unused apps or browser tabs can help free up memory. AirPlay uses a significant amount your computer's memory, and closing up tabs or apps can help.
Use Safari. AirPlay within browsers is not available in third-party options such as Chrome and Firefox.
Use an iPad. iPads prioritize video mirroring more than Macs and can uniquely hand off video to the Apple TV.
Use a wired connection. Some videos can be too large to effectively stream wirelessly, or your may need to have multiple apps and browser tabs open at the same time, so using an HDMI or VGA cable can sometimes be the most effective option. This can be especially true in high-density areas with many devices in one space.
AirServer is an app for staff MacBooks that allows students and staff to mirror an iPad to a MacBook display, often being used in conjunction with a classroom projector. AirServer Connect is an app for iPads that makes it easy to find the staff MacBook and share the screen.
When there are lots of people using AirServer in a building, sometimes you can have trouble with finding your AirServer name in the list of mirroring devices. Follow the steps below to reliably get connected.
On your iPad, download the open the AirServer Connect application
Follow the on-screen instructions in the app (tap OK on any permissions pop-ups)
You will be asked to open the QR code on your Mac, which is available here:
Using the AirServer Connect app on your iPad, scan the QR Code on your Mac display.
Keep the AirServer Connect app open until you connect or complete step 3.
Open the Control Center on your iPad (pull down from the top right corner of the screen), tap on Screen Mirroring, and you should now see your AirServer name with the word Connect at the end of it. Tap on the name, then enter the on-screen PIN if prompted.