How to Set up and Use AirPlay on the New Apple TV


When you use AirPlay on the new Apple TV, it means you can mirror your Mac, iPhone or iPad’s screen, play videos from iTunes, and so forth. Here is how to go about setting up AirPlay on your new Apple TV.

We described how to set up AirPlay on the previous third generation Apple TV. With the new fourth generation Apple TV, the procedure isn’t too different, but there are several new options to which you should be aware.

To begin, you should click the “Settings” tile on your Apple TV’s home screen.

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In Settings, click open “AirPlay”.

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In the AirPlay settings, you will see that the first option will immediately let you turn the feature on or off.

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The second option lets you rename your Apple TV to something either location-based such as “Living Room” or “Kitchen” or you can give it your very own custom name.

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If you select the custom option, you will need to use the Siri Remote to delete the default name “Apple TV” and enter a new one. We’ve not been shy about detailing how much of a pain this is, but you can adjust the remote’s sensitivity if you have a difficult time hitting your targets.

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One of the new features you’ll find in the fourth generation Apple TV is “AirPlay Display Underscan”. If you’re projecting an image from your Apple TV and it is cropped, then turn the underscan feature on, if there are black bars around the image, then turn it off.

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When you project your screen from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, you can elect to assign security to the process. You can do this in the form of a passcode or password.

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Finally, the last option is to “Require Device Verification”. With this enabled, you will need to enter a one-time onscreen code to use your devices with Apple TV on your Wi-Fi network.

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Let’s talk briefly now about how to use AirPlay in practice on a Mac and then on an iOS device such as an iPhone or iPad.

Using AirPlay on Your Apple Devices

If you want to actually use AirPlay to project something from your Mac, iPhone, or iPad, then it’s very simple to accomplish.

On your Mac, you can mirror your full screen, which means if you want to watch a movie using VLC or watch YouTube videos in a Safari tab, the option is available.

First open the display preferences and look to the bottom-left corner where it says “AirPlay Display”.

Click it and choose which ever Apple TV you want to mirror to. Remember you can rename your Apple TV(s) (described above) so if you have a unit in the living room or the bedroom, you can mirror to it.

If your device requires verification, the Apple TV will display a code on the screen and you will need to enter it into your Mac when it asks for the “AirPlay Device Password”.

While you’re at it, you should tick the box on the display preferences that says “Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available”. You will then see the AirPlay icon, which if you click, will display mirroring options for your Apple TV(s).

In iTunes, you can stream to your Apple TV directly from iTunes. If you have a large iTunes library or have converted your DVDs to an iTunes-friendly format, then you can play everything to your Apple TV without having to mirror you screen, which means you can then continue to work on your computer.

Again, on iTunes, you will need to enter a code if the Apple TV requires it.

If this is just temporary, then you can store the “AirPlay Client Identity” once by clicking “Allow” or if it is permanent, then you can click “Always Allow”.

Moving over to iOS, swipe up from the bottom edge to access the Control Center and tap “AirPlay” to turn it on. You also need to make sure that your iPhone or iPad is connected to your WiFi network.

The AirPlay dialog will have you choose your AirPlay device, in this case the only one available is our Apple TV. Like on our Mac, you have the opportunity to mirror your device’s screen.

If you have device verification enabled, a code will appear on your TV screen, which you will need to enter into your device.

Once you’ve got AirPlay set up and running, you can project your iPhone or Mac’s screen to your TV, watch movies, TV shows, or play music. You can even play games if you’re so inclined, though you might experience a small amount of lag, which might hamper your gaming performance.

We hope you found this article useful and will be able to use AirPlay on your Apple TV and other Apple devices.

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