Disappointed in Mountain Lion Airplay Mirroring

Discussion in 'OS X Mountain Lion (10.8)' started by santos., Jul 25, 2012.

  1. santos. macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    Though I have the hardware to support Airplay mirroring, I haven't been too impressed by its performance. I don't believe I am doing anything wrong, but my experiences have not matched those of the early reviewers I have read.

    First of all, there is noticeable lag. The iTunes visualizer struggles to produce fluid motion, and there is a half second delay in input from my trackpad. My network is wireless N and everything connected has full bars.

    Perhaps more frustrating are my resolution issues. I am running an i5 mid 2011 mini and an ATV3. My monitor's native resolution is 1680x1050, and the TV I have the ATV hooked to is a 55" 1080p LED Samsung.

    When I enable Airplay on the mini, I have the option to match the mini's resolution or the ATV's resolution, and there is also the scaling option. No permutation I have found will allow me to select 1080p, however. The most logical option, selecting the ATV resolution, seems even lower than my monitor's native resolution (720P? it does not specify). The only times I get specific output resolutions to choose from are when I select match monitor, but then it maxes out at 1680x1050. It seems my monitor is limiting what the mini can output to the ATV, but that doesn't make much sense to me, and I could swear I saw someone running 1080p from a macbook with a much lower native resolution than 1080P. And when I unplug the monitor it (literally) freaks out, flashes green garbled screen on the ATV until I plug it back in.

    So two main issues I suppose. Any insight would be great. As I said I am a bit disappointed thus far, I thought I had everything I needed besides Mountain Lion to be able to cease moving my mini back and forth between my TV and monitor, but alas.

  2. santos. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    Could it have anything to do with not running iOS6 on the ATV?
  3. otech macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2012
    As far as scaling goes, you can only display UP to what your connected monitor can display.

    Otherwise, you would be trying to display 1080p on a 1280x800 screen were you using a Macbook Pro 13".

    Essentially, if you select 'Match Desktop Size: Apple TV', it will snap down to the nearest HD resolution, 1080p, 720p.

    If you select 'Match Desktop Size: This Mac' it will output the screens resolution.

    LCD's do not scale up well (ie showing 1080p on a LCD with lower native res makes it hard to read).

    As for the jaggy/stuttering - I have experienced this on some OpenGL rendered games etc - but whats it like with video?

    You will probably find that your processor is going to get pretty hot rendering stuff in OpenGL, then encoding it on the fly - but try video - thats what its really for.

    There is always going to be a lag with realtime transcoding - I dont think games or intensive graphics are an intended use case for Airplay Mirroring - at least with anything less than the latest quad core i7's.
  4. andersonmattt macrumors member


    Jun 11, 2008
    Do you have the newest Apple TV? I know that the first of the new Apple TVs (small black kind) only outputted to 720p. The ones they sell now do full 1080p
  5. thomaspurchas macrumors newbie

    Jul 26, 2012
    Think you miss read his post he said

    Thats a mac mini not a macbook pro. Also selecting match Apple TV results in it using the resolution of the Apple TV on the Mac, rather than the highest resolution of the same aspect resolution (it also uses black bars rather than scaling, which is a good thing).

    Whats really odd is that the first time I use Airplay mirroring it did exactly what I expected it to do, which is match my Macbook Airs screen to the highest res support with the same aspect ratio as my TV (16:9), and I'm running old Apple TV (i.e. only support 720p).

    Then I fiddled with the screen preference's and now it will only display both screens are 720p or whatever the native res of an Air is. Very frustrating.

    Oh finally because I'm having a go at otech, I feel I should point out to santos. that a half a second delay is pretty darn good when you consider the amount of work required to pull of Airplay mirroring, also its called mirroring, or Airplay display extension, you should be looking at yours mini's screen not your TV when using a mouse.
  6. santos. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    I suppose I let the early reviews get my expectations up ("no lag!"), because from a technical standpoint I definitely agree that it seems like a difficult feat. Nothing will match plugging the mini directly to my TV. Shame.

    The resolution, however, is something that seems fixable. In case it wasn't clear, I have the latest ATV, which is capable of 1080p. I have seen from numerous sources, even Apple themselves, that ML airplay should support 1080p streams.
    It doesn't state it should be limited by the resolution of the monitor it is directly connected to, and I wouldn't have imagined that (despite the clarity issues you mention, otech) it wouldn't be able to figure something out, upscaling etc. And I am pretty sure I've seen laptops with lesser native resolutions outputting 1080p, but maybe I'm wrong. I will have to find a 1080p monitor to plug directly into and see what happens when I mirror that to my ATV3.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.
  7. BadaBing!! macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2010
    Is there a way to set the AirPlay as a 2nd monitor instead ? Would be awesome
  8. santos. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
  9. wickedny5 macrumors member

    Jan 28, 2010
    Airparrot allows you to set it as a 2nd display and at its native resolution which is 720p or 1080p for the newer Apple TV.

    I had to to buy airparrot (its only 9.99) because i have mid 2010 macbook pro. Sorry apple, even if you think my 2 year old macbook pro is obsolete I sure as hell don't think so.. I spent 2,700 for my system (max upgrades), i rather buy a third party software for 10 bucks than upgrade a perfectly running 2 year old system.

    ML + airparrot cost me $30 together, but thats what i paid for Lion so i didn't feel that bad.
  10. santos. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2012
    Airparrot looks nice, and seems to actually give the user some options rather than play the "too simple" game Apple does. How is the responsiveness? Any perceivable delay between trackad input and output? How about things like the iTunes visualizer?
  11. dave dave macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2010
    I wouldn't mind the lag in the display if the mouse pointer would at last keep up.
  12. chrisherbert macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2012
    Lag, whether it's using Airplay mirror or Airparrot, is going to be all about the quality of your network. If you don't have a really, really solid connection on both ends, if there's a lot of other wireless networks around, etc., it's not going to work perfectly. That's unfortunately the reality for wireless anything right now.
  13. rdowty macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2008
    In my experience it works much better if you have at least one of the devices on a wired connection.
  14. newagemac, Jul 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012

    newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010

    Airparrot works but it uses the CPU so it is slower and laggier. Apple's Airplay implementation instead uses hardware acceleration from the GPU through Intel's new Quick Sync technology. Intel's Quick Sync technology is only available on Sandy Bridge architecture and up so Macs without Sandy Bridge hardware is not supported.

  15. MTShipp macrumors 6502a

    Mar 25, 2009
    Raleigh, North Carolina
    I hate that on my rMBP, when switching to AirPlay, it changes my display out of "retina" mode and does not put it back when I switch away from it.

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