Airplay and Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GP-SE, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. GP-SE macrumors 6502

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    Feb 27, 2013
    #1
    hey guys, I have a 2009 Mac Pro and an Apple TV 3.
    I'm running OSX 10.9, is there anyway to get air play mirroring to work? or is my Mac to old?
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #2
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht5404

    the newer macs have special hardware that offloads the processing power from your main processor.

    there are third party apps like airparrot, but they can be processor intensive.
     
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #3
    No Mac pros have the ability to airplay. At least not using Apples solution. Apple requires an integrated Intel GPU and at present no Xeon processors have a Intel integrated GPU (I.e Quicksync)
     
  4. Mr. Zarniwoop macrumors demi-god

    Mr. Zarniwoop

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    Jun 9, 2005
    #4
    +1 for AirParrot

    There's zero performance issues on my old 2006 Mac Pro with AirParrot, so any newer/faster Mac Pro is unlikely to have this be processor intensive in any way. Plus it's actually more flexible than the built-in Mac OS X AirPlay Mirroring on my MacBook Air because I can use the Apple TV/AirPlay display as an additional display (3rd monitor in my case) or to only display a specific app.
     
  5. GP-SE thread starter macrumors 6502

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  6. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

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    Jul 25, 2011
    #6
    Its actually a feature of the newer intel processors they use to achieve this not special hardware, as you say though there are alternates such as airparrot.
     
  7. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #7
    To be precise, new Intel CPUs have special hardware called H.264 encoder, that's not present in earlier processors and that's needed for AirPlay Mirroring.
     
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #8
    No actually it is special hardware. It's built into the integrated GPU starting with the hd3000. Do a google of intel quicksync. Xeons don't have an integrated GPU on processor therefore no quick sync.
     
  9. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #9
    WE have a Mac Pro 5.1 with our entire collection of movies / documentaries etc etc. on it.

    We use Air Video HD to stream to ATV's ( 2) from any IOS device.

    I can use my 5S as a streaming device or our ipad 4. It is fast and smooth and requires no other app to run.

    I think I paid £1.99 for the IOS version and Air Media Sever is free in the app store.
     
  10. Jon-PDX macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2011
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    Pacific NW - USA
    #10
    Maybe I'm missing something but even if the Mac Pro CPU will not AirPlay, according to Apple, OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) supports multiple displays which includes using a TV that has an AppleTV connected.

    Would that not accomplish the same thing as AirPlay mirroring does?

    I am curious why even use use AirPlay mirroring when iTunes will stream the media directly to the AppleTV?

    Jon...
     
  11. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    Silicon Valley
    #11
    The Mavericks feature basically is an enhancement of the AirPlay mirroring feature. It requires an Intel CPU w/ QS.

    iTunes media streaming is just for audio and video. AirPlay mirroring and the Mavericks feature is more than just streaming music and video files.
     
  12. Jon-PDX macrumors regular

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    Pacific NW - USA
    #12
    Thanks for the reply, I still get confused by some of the terminology.

    So just to make sure I'm understanding correctly.... the multiple display feature (using Apple TV) would still require Intel CPU w/QS. But if the displays are hard wired it does not require a CPU w/QS.

    Is that correct?

    The reason I ask is there have been a few times I would like to have been able to display on my TV what I had on my Mac Pro screen and when read about the multiple display feature in Mavericks using Apple TV I thought that would work.

    Thanks,

    Jon...
     
  13. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    May 15, 2008
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    Weymouth, UK
    #13
    Yes basically the only way to display your mac screen from the mac pro onto a tv screen is to eitheruse a third party app like airparrot and the apple tv, or connect a cable from the mac pro to the tv (this is my chosen solution).

    Airplay will not work on any existing mac pro.
     
  14. Jon-PDX macrumors regular

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  15. priitv8, Oct 17, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #15
    The thing to understand here is this:
    iTunes movie streaming is a (relatively)simple affair: you just need to push your movie bits (they are already encoded appropriately to conserve space/bandwidth) out of the network link, reasonably fast. :apple:TV will receive the stream, unpack both audio and video components and send them out to display (ie RGB framebuffer) & speakers.
    For AirPlay Mirroring to work, you need to push your entire framebuffer out to network pipe. At least 24 times each second to produce a flicker-free image. Framebuffer is held in unpacked RGB format, 24 or 32 bits per each pixel. That's a huge amount of data. So it will need to be compressed in real time to reduce bandwidth and into appropriate format that :apple:TV understands to unpack (AVC aka H.264). This real-time video compression is precisely the feature that calls for hardware H.264 encoder, which happens to be built into new Intel CPU-s.
    PS Video signal is sent uncompressed over normal video interfaces (VGA, DVI, HDMI etc, all possess required bandwidth or, vice versa, max picture resolution x framerate is defined by their bandwith ceiling) so no need to compress anything in real time there.
     
  16. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #16
    If you want to use AirPlay mirroring, you must have a Mac with an Intel CPU that has QuickSync (QS). Typically that means a Mac released in the last two years or so. No Mac Pro has this to date. If you directly connect an external display, then QS is irrelevant.

    The Mavericks feature involving an Apple TV is essentially an enhanced version of AirPlay mirroring. It still involves the same kind of hardware on both ends (you + Apple TV) but it's able to use the Apple TV connected display as a separate display, not just a mirror.
     
  17. Jon-PDX macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2011
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    Pacific NW - USA
    #17
    Thanks for the replies and education about how this all works :)

    It makes sense when I think about it. Using hardware instead of software would be a lot more efficient both in speed, and the possible heat issues, by working the processor that hard with software. Which I suspect would not meet Apple's standards even if us users would be willing to accept.

    Jon...
     
  18. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #18
    Yep. That's why similar hardware is built in to Apple's newer mobile Ax chips too. And that's the reason iPhone 4S can AirPlay mirror and iPhone 4 can't.
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5209
     
  19. benji888 macrumors 65816

    benji888

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    Sep 27, 2006
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    United States
    #19
    You can AirPlay, stream video and such, but, just not mirror your main display.

    ...
    So, I have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro, plan to get Mavericks, and was thinking of using AppleTV to add a second monitor, but, not mirror. After reading this, I am wondering if this is possible, or practical (will it spin up my fans, use more processing power than a hard-wired second monitor?). The reason I want to do it this way: I can use the Apple TV for second monitor while working on my mac, and still use it as an Apple TV when I'm not (not have to use my mac for netflix and such).
     
  20. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Because it's a hardware issue, not software issue, Maverics can't help you with this. At the core of it, you still need real-time encoding of full framebuffer, no matter if primary or secondary display.
    For AirPlay Mirrioring you need a MacBook Pro, Early 2011 or newer. Full requirements: About AirPlay Mirroring in OS X Mountain Lion
     
  21. weaverra macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2006
    #21
    Why?

    If your movies and documentaries are in iTunes you can steam from your mac to ATV through Home Sharing straight from your iTunes library. Also the benefit of this is if you have 5.1 surround it has the ability to pass thru the ATV to your receiver in full surround.
     

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