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If you have a Mac model created in mid-2011 or later, that Mac supports a feature called an AirPlay Mirroring. This allows you to wirelessly project your Mac screen to a television that's attached with second- or third- generation Apple TV, and this is the 99$ small black set-top box that does things like stream Internet video and allows you to wirelessly stream the contents of your iTunes library to your television. Setting up an Apple TV is beyond the scope of this course. The gist is that on the Apple TV you go to Settings and then within the Settings window, select AirPlay and you switch it on.
Note that your Apple TV and Mac need to be on the same local network. Once you've done this, return to your Mac and click on the AirPlay icon that's in the menu bar, and here it is here. Your Apple TV should appear in the list of devices. Select it and your Mac screen will be mirrored on the Apple TV. Now, note when this happens it's likely that the resolution on your Mac is going to change a little bit, because it needs to change so it will accommodate the picture on the Apple TV. Now from this menu, let's choose Open Display Preferences.
Within this window you have a couple of options. First of all, you can choose the resolution you want to use. So you can use the best resolution for the built-in display-- that's if you're going to be working a lot with your Mac--or Best for AirPlay, and that maybe you're looking at TV most of the time and you want the picture to look its best there, or you can choose to scale it if you like, and then you have a series of resolutions below that. This brightness slider works only on the Mac; it has no effect on the television picture. Now the Overscan correction option is worth paying attention to if the picture on the TV screen has incorrect boundaries, your Mac's desktop runs off the edges for example.
When you turn this option on, the Mac screen should fit correctly. If you have access to more than one Apple TV--for example, you have one in your office and maybe another one in the family room-- you can click on the AirPlay Mirroring menu and then you can choose which Apple TV you wish to mirror to. And the final option in the screen is Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available. Switch this off and you won't see AirPlay Mirroring in the menu bar. So, what good is Airplay Mirroring? Well there are couple of useful ways to employ it.
The first is that it's an easy way to stream content to your TV that isn't supported by the Apple TV or some other set-top box. For example you can call up HBO GO on your Mac and then stream the content of the TV attached to your Apple TV. You see, on IOS devices, developers can limit what can be streamed over AirPlay. With a web browser running Mountain Lion that is impossible, so you have access to a lot more content. The other advantage is that it's a great way to give presentations. If you have access to television with an HDMI connector but not a projector, just bring along your Apple TV, connect it to the TV, put the Apple TV and your Mac on the same network, and you can mirror your presentation to the television.
And that's AirPlay Mirroring, simple and useful if you have a compatible Mac and a compatible Apple TV.
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