Airplay video from new retina Macbook

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by zhenya, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #1
    I have recently picked up a new Macbook which I love, but I have one question - I commonly use Airplay from my iPad to watch video on my tv - especially video I download on my iMac and then manage via Air Video. If I download those files directly on the Macbook, it seems that the only way to play the video on the ATV is via the Airplay command in the menu bar - either by mirroring or extending the desktop? This doesn't work terribly reliably, and is far more difficult to navigate. Is there no way to play it smoothly and simply the way I do from the iPad?
     
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #2
    airparrot will let you drop files on it.

    another option, if you keep your media around, It's slightly more complicated, but a lot smoother interface
    Plex + PlexConnect

    Plex is media manager software, it scan and tags all of your movies and TV shows,
    PlexConnect is a small server that runs on your computer, you then setup your appleTV (no jailbreak necessary) and the trailers app on the aTV now contains your Plex library.
    There is also a Plex app for iOS that lets you watch your library at home or away (quality depends on your internet connection) and if you sign up for Plexpass, you can also sync media to your phone for offline watching

    The forums at Plex are a great place to figure out the setup, unfortunatly they got hacked a couple days ago, and are currently offline while they fix everything up.
     
  3. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    Thanks. I'm familiar with Plex - not really what I'm looking for here. I could in fact just install the Air Video Server software on the Macbook and Airplay them from the iPad. Right now I'm just transferring the files to the iPad. Just was hoping that I was missing something and that I could in fact Airplay at least MP4 video directly without having to do the full screen. I understand this is coming to El Capitan, but only for Safari?

    Somewhat odd that iOS is significantly more advanced than OS X in this regard.
     
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #4
    that will let you select a file and stream it over airplay to the aTV
     
  5. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    I'm not quite sure what you mean about it being easier on the iPad? Not saying the current system couldn't be improved, but what's so troublesome about: 1. Select the AppleTV using the AirPlay menu icon. 2. Start playing a video in full-screen mode.

    However, I mostly just use iTunes sharing to make my computers' libraries available to the AppleTV directly, then watch them using the AppleTV interface. (though that obviously isn't a solution if you don't want to add the video to your iTunes library, or it's not a iTunes-compatible format).
     
  6. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #6
    Full screen casting isn't as reliable or as smooth, and requires you to mouse over between screens to control things. Sometimes just getting the audio to the right place requires extra steps in OS X. On an iOS device, you send it via Airplay, it transmits only the video, it's nearly 100% reliable in my experience, the controls remain accessible directly on the iOS device, you can use the AppleTV remote for control, etc. It's just simple and it just works.

    I guess adding to the library might be a decent solution, but on a laptop it feels like extra steps. It feels like Quicktime needs a dedicated Airplay button the way the video player has on iOS.
     
  7. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
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    #7
    Ahh, I think I see what you're saying. It confused me because they're both using "AirPlay", and they both can do mirroring ("screen sharing"), but I think what you're saying is you typically only see iOS apps that use AirPlay to stream directly without mirroring.

    I've run into inconsistencies with video and sound using mirroring on both platforms. But apps that are designed to use AirPlay to stream directly work pretty well. Unfortunately there just aren't many OS X apps that allow for that (iTunes being one of them that can stream without mirroring). I don't know how much that's AirPlay's fault and how much that's software developers and how much that's DRM protections on the source stream.
     
  8. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #8
    Yes, exactly. I use 'Airplay' on iOS almost exclusively just to sling video (or audio) directly without full screen sharing.

    I do see that if I add an mp4 video to my iTunes library, I can do exactly what I want, and it seems to work similarly well to iOS (well, maybe...it's quitting periodically on me, and if I use the play/pause controls from the Macbook, it's slow to react, and may not start playing again). I guess on iOS I've just become accustomed to being able to do this from virtually any app, and most of them have worked quite well for some time now.
     
  9. Fritz5484 macrumors newbie

    Fritz5484

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    I've noticed several of these iOS/OS X Airplay threads that gloss over one of the most important aspects of Airplay - audio playback. I prefer the "OS X based" iTunes-ATV-Home Sharing option and audio is one of the most important reasons. All of the A/V files I own have: (1) a 2-Channel AAC Audio Track; and (2) a 5.1 Channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound Track. Apple conveniently sells iTunes A/V files with the same audio track set-up, but creating a 2.0/5.1 track arrangement is trivial after ripping a BR. My "primary" ATV is hard-wired to an Airport Extreme via ethernet. That ATV plays video on my Home Theater set-up, and the receiver decodes the 5.1 Dolby Digital track. Notably, I do not have a a true "NAS." The vast majority of the A/V files in my iTunes library are stored on a USB 2.0 drive attached to the Airport Extreme, while 20 or so newer files are stored on my MBP's SSD.

    I certainly could stand corrected -- but as I understand the airplay protocol - the only way to get 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound out of the target loud speakers is the solid-as-a rock "iTunes/ATV/Home Sharing" solution. I use my iPhone as a "home sharing remote" for 2 different "entertainment hubs" in the house. Anyway, have I missed something about Airplay, or perhaps an alternate technology, with respect to DD 5.1 audio playback?

    Several threads have discussions about streaming A/V files that are physically stored on an iOS device via Airplay to an Apple TV (which is presumably attached to a HDTV). Also, there are threads which discuss apps I have heard of, but never used -- such as Beamer, Air Parrott, and Air Mirror. But isn't a major limitation of these solutions, the lack of 5.1 DD audio playback?

    Of course, I stream 2-channel podcasts, music tracks, phone calls, etc, over Airplay every day from iOS devices. We can't expect YouTube (yet) to serve up an alternate video file with a Dolby Digital track. So I get that a lot of iOS deice Airplay streaming (of files all over the internet) is just going to be 2-channel audio. I suppose, it all depends on the "source." But that doesn't mean that there are not "better solutions" if some people will evaluate their options.

    For example, I can open the Netflix App on my iPad and stream a Movie (over Airplay) to my Apple TV. The best audio I will hear in that case is 2-channel stereo. Or, I could open the "Remote" App on my iPad, open the Netflix App on the Apple TV, and watch the exact same movie but with the audio output in glorious 5.1 Channel Dolby Digital Surround Sound. I guess "audio output" can be a matter of personal preference, but why choose the former example, when the latter is just as easy (and *could* drastically improve the Movie's audio experience)?
     
  10. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    I use Airplay from my iPad to control content stored on my iMac using Air Video and I get DD 5.1. I'd have to check if I'm ever able to get DD off the device directly. I rarely use that feature.
     
  11. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #11
    There are different processes happening between an iOS device and OS X device for AirPlay. Most AirPlay video from an iOS device is using API's between the iOS device and ATV that OS X lacks for various technical reasons. Generally when you AirPlay from your iOS device what you are actually doing is telling the ATV where to get the media from then it gets the media from the source and turns the iOS device into a glorified remote. Its doing the same thing with native video apps except its using the built in ATV software so it can buffer the video.

    With OS X 10.10 and lower Apples native video solution is iTunes. So technically it can do the same thing. However since browsers lack the API's that 3rd party iOS apps have they can't do the same thing. Imagine it this way. You are a streaming service (like Netflix) and you can write an iOS app to support AirPlay, however on a computer you utilize the browsers software. So even if it was currently possible you couldn't add the code to support AirPlay.

    Although I have no experience with it, it appears we will be seeing advancements in AirPlaying videos with OS X El Capitan.

    el-capitan-airplay-safari-video.png
     
  12. MacUser09 macrumors regular

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    UK
  13. zhenya thread starter macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    Beamer works the same way that Airplay Mirroring and other currently available options works - by transmitting the entire screen. It's not ideal for reliability, usability, or quality. What I really want is what iOS does; hands off just the video portion of the stream and effectively lets you use the device just as a remote control. This already works as I discovered earlier here if I add the video to iTunes, and will extend to Safari with El Capitan, so we are getting there...
     

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