Apple TV 4: Using AirPlay

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You can turn on AirPlay at any time, but it’s best to do it prior to playing content. First, turn down the volume on your TV or any external speaker systems. This will prevent any surprises or speaker damage. Next, slide your finger up from the bottom of any screen on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Control Center will appear. Tap the AirPlay button and then select the target, which is typically Apple TV. All AirPlay compatible devices will be displayed in the list. AirPlay is now connected. Anything you play on your iOS device will be beamed to Apple TV, if the app supports it.

You can adjust the volume on your iOS device, but I recommend setting it to the maximum level. It’s better to adjust the volume on your TV or connected stereo. Adjusting the volume level on your iOS device won’t greatly affect the sound quality, but it will prevent a nasty surprise. If you turn down the volume on your iOS device, you may experience louder than expected sound levels when you resume using your Apple TV. Also, if the volume on your AirPlay beaming device is turned down, you may experience amplifier hiss, as you will need to turn up your sound system.

It’s often easier to launch AirPlay within a specific app. Most apps will display an AirPlay icon on their media player controls. Spotify integrates AirPlay into their Connect feature. Tapping the icon will display the AirPlay target selection panel. Just tap on the target and it will be beamed to your Apple TV or other AirPlay enabled device. You can turn on AirPlay at any time, even while a video is being played. You can also turn off AirPlay whenever you want.

Since AirPlay is part of the iOS application programming interfaces (APIs), it is easy for developers to add it to their apps. Virtually every app that plays audio and video supports AirPlay. In some cases, developers have implemented custom video and audio players that don’t support AirPlay. Other apps have AirPlay disabled. Most apps that don’t offer AirPlay support will work with AirPlay Mirroring. In a few cases, the apps have disabled all AirPlay support. This is sometimes done because they want to prevent you from watching the content on TV. For example, a TV network may disable AirPlay so you watch their show on cable or broadcast TV, increasing their ad revenues. It’s very rare that AirPlay is completely disabled, and sometimes the developers change their mind and enable it in an update.

You can turn on AirPlay screen mirroring mode using Control Center. Slide your finger up from the bottom of any screen on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Tap on the AirPlay button and then select a target device from the list. Next, turn on the Mirroring switch. Your iOS device’s screen will now appear on Apple TV. Virtually any app you use will appear on your TV, unless the developer has intentionally disabled AirPlay Mirroring support.

Standard AirPlay can be deactivated by turning off AirPlay using Control Center or tapping the AirPlay icon within an app. This displays the AirPlay device panel. Simply tap on your source device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and AirPlay will be disabled. You can also press the Menu button on your Apple TV remote to turn off AirPlay. AirPlay Mirroring can only be turned off using Control Center or by pressing the Menu button on your Apple TV remote.

AirPlay is enabled by default on both your iOS device and Apple TV. If AirPlay isn’t working, first make sure that your iOS device and Apple TV are on the same WiFi network. If that doesn’t fix the problem, it’s possible that AirPlay has been disabled on your Apple TV. Click on Settings > AirPlay on your Apple TV to display the AirPlay settings screen. Make sure that AirPlay is turned on and the security features are turned off. If you want to keep the security features enabled, consult with the owner or administrator of the Apple TV unit. Apple TV can be secured by requiring device activation or a security code. (continue…)

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