AirPlay with Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by brickwalls, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. brickwalls macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2010
    I recently bought an Airport Extreme and (stupid of me) didn't confirm if it was possible to use it with AirPlay. I know you can do it with an Airport Express but not with an Airport Extreme... or there is?!

  2. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    There's no audio/video out on an Extreme, so no, it can't be used for AirPlay.
  3. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    You should clarify or what you're asking. The Airport express can do audio out via a 1/8" jack on it. It can handle AirPlay sharing though, from your iPad to an AppleTV.

    The airport extreme can just do the sharing.. it doesn't have any output. I have both in my house, and the extreme is the best! I use the express to connect to my extreme to give my bluray player an ethernet connection. I can still use the audio out feature though.

    I recommend using both, cause the express isn't made to be a primary wireless router.. just as a portable one.
  4. brickwalls thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 11, 2010
    Thank you both for the answers. In that case, it's okay the way it is :)
  5. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    agree with all of this, the extreme as the main router and the express to extend the wireless network and send audio to my stereo in my garage.

    airplay video, to send from mac/pc/iDevice to tv you will need an ATV2.
  6. jdmagoo1 macrumors regular

    May 5, 2010
    Does the airport extreme allow flawless airplay. I mean with my current wireless router i have to restart my ipad or iphone every time in order for the airplay icon to show. Is this the same for the airport extreme?

    Also, does the airport extreme offer better wireless performance than other wifi routers for both the iphone 4 and ipad 2?
  7. macmikey2 macrumors regular


    Jul 6, 2008
    West Chester, PA
    I have an Extreme and 2 Express units. I have never had to restart or do anything to get Airplay to work. It just works.
  8. ctaero macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2011
    I have an old Airport Extreme (g) and I'd like to know if I can join it to my wifi network (n) and then use Airplay using speakers attached to the old extreme's USB port.
  9. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    no the extreme cannot play any audio at all, plus you can only connect apple routers with other apple routers. so it would work of you set the extreme as the main router than bought an express as the one you use for audio.
  10. manu08 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    Sorry to hijack the thread but I'm curious about your setup because I'm trying to make a wireless audio solution for myself at home as well, and ended up on this thread trying to see if the Airport Extreme could do the same audio out that the Airport Express can, turns out it can't!

    Anyway, have you connected the Airport Express via ethernet to the Airport Extreme? Or, both being by Apple, is there some "seamless way" that the Airport Express can wirelessly connect to the Airport Extreme to provide internet over the Airport Express signal as well?

    I mean, my guess is, you have two wireless signals at any given point - one from the Airport Extreme & one for the Airport Express. One provides better range, and performance while the other gives you the audio out feature. Ignroe the fact that it might be a little annoying to switch back & forth, you'd want internet availability on both the signals, and that would be achieved by connecting the Airport Express via ethernet to the Airport Extreme. Or, is the setup different? Isn't there a clash between the 2 signals?
  11. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    yes all the apple routers can connect wirelessly to each other creating just one massive wifi network (this isn't an apple only thing loads of routers can do it it's just apple routers can only extend other apple routers)

    so a basic set up is you have your modem which you connect to your extreme, then you can place expresses and use them to 'extend the range of the extreme' there is no switching between networks for music or for internet. you can then use the ethernet port on the expresses to bring internet to ethernet only devices eg bluray players
    the first router doesn't have to be an extreme either it could just be an express connected with other expresses.
    it does say all this on the website
  12. manu08 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    Oh wow, that's really interesting. Pretty neat way to make things work.

    In that case; I've currently got a Cisco Linksys WRT-610N wireless router, for the time being I could extend my wireless network using an Airport Express?

    That way I can purchase the Airport Extreme later, when I feel the need for it.
  13. androiphone macrumors 65816

    Dec 13, 2009
    nah only apple routers can be extended by other apple routers, you could buy a universal wifi extender but if you are wanting an express for airplay then that would be a waste if money, so you would have to buy the express and an extreme at the same time,

    also because an express can extend an express (depending on what you need from the setup) you might be able to just get 2 expresses instead of an extreme.
  14. jlasoul macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2011
    I have an airport express that gets it's connection wirelessly from a linksys router.
  15. Buff401 macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
    SW England
    Try using Devolo Plugs

    I have been struggling to get a stable wireless connection to my ATV2 for months. The connection kept dropping and required frequent re-configs which was embarrassing when showing photo slideshows etc. Then I realised that I was already using Devolo plugs to link my iMac/Router in one room to my Speakers 2 rooms away (through several thick walls) and music streamed without a problem. So I bought another Devolo plug, linked my ATV2 with a short Ethernet cable supplied and - Bingo! perfect streaming of all my photos, plus my music, plus my MobileMe stuff etc. Haven't tried Movies yet but don't anticipate a problem. It does, of course mean extra financial outlay but its worth it to escape the uncertainty of wireless connection
  16. jwarthman macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2008
    It's important to note that an Apple Airport Express has no trouble JOINING a wireless network that's established by non-Apple routers. For years I've used this configuration using a D-Link wireless router and an Airport Express.
  17. manu08 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    So how does this work? The Airport Express connects to and extends the wireless signal of your D-Link router? Or it simply connects as yet another wireless device to your D-Link router?

    Just trying to understand if an Airport Express can also help extend the wireless signal of a current wireless router while additionally giving an audio output.
  18. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    yes, and it gives you all the normal functionality (airplay and printing). you can also use the ethernet port if you have a device with no wireless card.

    it can be done, but not as easily if they are all apple devices, and it depends on your main router, and if it will run an alternate firmware. and it also depends on getting everything configured properly.

    wireless extension is not all it's cracked up to be, there is a speed drop associated with it, that's not really publicized, as the repeater has to "talk" to both the main base and your computer at the same time, it can cut your speed up to half. and you're depending on getting a good wireless signal to the repeater from the main base.

    if you can get an etherent line to the remote location from your main router, the express can be used as a second base station for your existing network. it doesn't matter what your main base station is. Once setup properly, your devices will switch to the stronger signal as you move around.
    This is a more robust setup.
  19. jwarthman macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2008
    Issues with Extending a Wi-Fi Network

    Indeed! Due the performance issues when "extending" the wireless network, I simply have my Airport Express "Join" my wireless network. This works great, even with non-Apple routers.

    For more details about extending a Wi-Fi network, take a look at this:

    Apple says, in part, "Adding Wi-Fi base stations when it is unnecessary can reduce Wi-Fi throughput because the Wi-Fi network will require more data management overhead. The network configuration also becomes more complex. In the case of a wirelessly extended network, throughput may be reduced to less than 60 percent of that of a single device. The general rule is to keep the Wi-Fi network as simple as possible. You can accomplish this by using the minimum number of Wi-Fi base stations required to service the physical network area and by using Ethernet wherever possible."


  20. dahauss macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Not true. Right now I have am airport extreme as main router and a wirless extender in the basement ... It works fine.... Altough I can't get AirPlay to work all the time with the extender... I've ordered another extreme since I want the Ethernet ports for devices that need wired access.....
  21. musiclovesmoore macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2009
    This isn't actually true at all. You can use a apple router to extend non apple networks. Just google it. It's pretty straight forward.


    I did not know this! very useful info. Thanks Jim.
  22. desmond macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2007
    Hi all

    I just wanted to see if there's been any update on this, but looking at the Apple site, doesn't appear so.

    What's the simplest way to get Airplay functionality while still having the range of an Airport Extreme? I don't want to disrupt the Wi-Fi signal by adding an Airport Express if I can help it and I really only need the one Router with a good range.

  23. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    You can switch the wifi off on the Express.
    Other options, that come to mind: AppleTV or AirPlay capable receiver/amp.
  24. desmond macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2007
    Thanks for your reply priitv8. I didn't know you could turn off the Wi-Fi on the express, or about the Airplay enabled amps.

  25. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    Also, you can use an Airport Express in client mode, essentially connecting wirelessly like a computer so it will not try to act like a router nor attempt to extend the Extreme. That's probably the easiest way to add Airplay to an existing network.

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