Airplay great from within apps, but streaming the whole desktop is laggy, computer too old/slow?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by theLemur, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. theLemur macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #1
    I'm trying to stream netflix, and it doesn't have an in app/website option to airplay so I have to airplay the entire desktop, and the end result is a slightly laggy video on my tv. I tried using an in app airplay option, like in youtube, and it streams just fine. Is my computer just too old? 2011 MacBook air 1.8ghz i7.

    I thought a good alternative would be to stream from netflix on my phone but it gives me an error when trying to airplay the content. It could be related to me being out of the country, but services like amazon clearly tell me the content is restricted.

    Would love to hear thoughts..
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    My understanding is that when you use an airplay-enabled app, it just sends a compatible video stream to the AppleTV which does not involve much processing on your Mac. However if you airplay the desktop, your Mac basically takes a screenshot and compresses it in realtime which involves a lot of processing on the Mac, hence the lag.

    Now the 2011 MBA is getting old and there are some things that could make this worse. For example, it has the old, slow wifi This might not make as much difference on the Apple TV3, which also has slow wifi though. The processor and graphics chips are also going to be slower on a 2011 MBA so that might be a factor. I don't know how much better a newer computer would be, but I have a 2013 MBA and I also see some lag airplaying the desktop.

    If you have an ethernet adapter, try using it as an alternative and that might give a little better performance. I have two Apple TV 3's and they are on ethernet, however they only support 100baseT which is pretty slow, although still faster than wifi on the ATV3.
     
  3. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #3
    Well the wifi is slow by modern day standards, but can still do 300Mbps which is no slouch. Since I can airplay other content with no problem I don't think it's a wifi issue. I'm making the assumption that it's CPU, but I want to make sure before I start shopping for an upgrade.

    Ethernet is not an option, I'm not actually using an apple tv, its a knockoff chrome cast while I'm traveling, but when i had an apple tv i had the same issue.
     
  4. ob81 macrumors 65816

    ob81

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #4
    I had a problem like this with my 13” MBA. It would lag when displaying media when streamed from the desktop. It sucked. We had a rMBP in the house that wouldn’t lag. I figured it was cpu power related.
     
  5. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #5
    So it sounds like it's probably just my computer being old. If I had a way to stream just one application it would probably be OK. I downloaded Airparrot 2 which can do that, but it's giving me an error unfortunately.

    Does anyone know of any web browsers that can airplay or other apps like air parrot that can isolate just one application?
     
  6. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #6
    Has anyone experienced lag with a 2012 or newer retina MBP? I think I might just make the upgrade to something a few years old..
     
  7. ob81 macrumors 65816

    ob81

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Beach
    #7
    We had a 2013 mbp that was fine. We had a 2014 that was fine as well. I think if you get a decent 2013 MBP and up, you would be fine. Some browsers are better than others as well. Chrome was hit or miss but performed better than safari from my short frustrated experiments trying to watch some live TV.
     
  8. HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #8
    Before you blame your Mac, did you look at Activity Monitor to see if you actually have a CPU issue? The history graph at the bottom will give you an idea of what was happening when you were running full screen

    Screen Shot 2017-10-06 at 16.32.12.png

    You can similarly check out the other resources that activity monitor manages.

    If you watch a YouTube video on your Mac full screen does the same thing happen?
     
  9. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #9
    It plays youtube videos wonderfully, and even airplays them wonderfully, but if I airplay the entire desktop that's when things get choppy. Any app/website that has an airplay function built in seems to stream well, but when that entire desktop option is selected from the top bar that's when things get weird. Here's a screenshot just after streaming the entire desktop:
    --- Post Merged, Oct 6, 2017 ---
    Normally I'd just find another solution not involving airplay, but I'm traveling for many months through Asia and my options are super limited.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. wlossw macrumors 6502a

    wlossw

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    #10
    It was laggy when I extended my desktop with rmbp 2012 over AirPlay. I haven’t tried with my new machines.
     
  11. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #11
    AirPlay sucks when you use it to extend your desktop. It's laggy even with my late 2015 i7 5k iMac when using Chrome.
     
  12. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #12
    oh crap, i hope that's not the case, i almost went out to today to buy a newer one! i'm going to get stuck with a thai keyboard though lol.

    Does anyone know how to stream netflix without having to airplay the entire desktop? That's really my end goal here, that and amazon prime tv while I am backpacking asia. Just those two and I'm happy. Even just netflix is enough.
     
  13. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

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    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #13
    Buy a $30 Chromecast and cast Netflix from the chrome browser. Much better experience than Airplay.
     
  14. theLemur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jan 6, 2008
    #14
    Well I bought what I thought was a chrome cast but it was some kind of knock off Miracast, it does airplay though, or miracast.

    If you chrome cast netflix from the chrome browser does it only send the browser and not the whole desktop? Can chrome airplay itself?

    I would buy a legit chrome case/fire stick/roku stick but they just don't have them in Thailand. I went all over the city looking and everyone thought I was crazy.
     
  15. Fancuku macrumors 6502a

    Fancuku

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Location:
    PA, USA
    #15
    Yes, you can cast Netflix only from the chrome browser to the Chromecast device without the desktop.

    sn35.jpg

    On the bottom right corner of the screen you see the Cast-to icon. You click on it and choose to cast it to your Chromecast device.
     

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