Posts Tagged airplay mirroring

iPhones are great. iPads are great too, what with their big screens. They can play all sorts of music video, and games from many different sources. But don’t forget about the big TV screen when using these devices. Yes, there are ways to take the picture from your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad, and put it on your TV. Here’s how to do that either through the Apple TV or through direct output cables.

Apple TV

The benefit of using an Apple TV is simple: no need to plug in a cable when wanting to view a video on TV, not to mention no wires getting in the way of holding the device when displaying photos or games on TV.

To start viewing your device on TV, set up your Apple TV, have it plugged in, and on the same network as your iOS device. It does not necessarily need to be actively on, with the front light glowing. Now, on your iOS device, call up the multitasking bar by double-tapping the home button. Swipe to the left until you see the AirPlay icon, which looks like this:. You will need to swipe twice on the iPhone and iPod touch, and once on the iPad. Tap the AirPlay icon. Choose your Apple TV. If you have multiple Apple TVs in the same network, it may help to give them custom names in each box’s settings.

For those with an iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch 5th Generation, or any iPad except the very first model, AirPlay Mirroring for displaying your whole screen on TV is available. By default, mirroring will be off, which means that only audio and apps that support AirPlay video output directly will be displayed. Enabling it will send the entire contents of your screen to your TV. Apps that support video ouput will switch over to that mode instead of using mirroring.

Note that the big drawback to AirPlay Mirroring is that for gaming, it has a noticeable amount of latency; use our previous guide for reducing latency to help out with this.

Video Output Cables

Apple also sells video output cables for those who prefer direct connections, need to output to analog video connections, or want to save some money by not buying a $99 Apple TV.

Simply plugging the cable in to your device, and then plugging the necessary video cable(s) in to your TV will do the trick. HDMI adapters carry audio, analog video adapters have RCA audio outputs, and the VGA adapter requires using a separate audio cable to output through the headphone jack. Digital video connections and VGA will not offer resolution options, though the device will generally output what the TV reports back as the maximum possible resolution.

If you have a device with a Lightning connector and a video output cable with the dock connector, it will not work with the lightning-to-dock adapter currently available. In general, these should lead to better results with gaming due to less video latency.

By following this guide, you can now easily display all the content available on your iOS device on your TV easily.

AirPlay Mirroring is great – in theory. Beaming an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch screen to an Apple TV without having to fuss with cables at all? Wonderful! However, apparently beaming HD video across a wireless network is not easy! For those getting blurry video, or latency so slow that it feels like communicating with the moon would be faster, here’s some tips to make AirPlay Mirroring work far better.

Get close to the router

Rule number one of wireless communication: the closer you are to the wireless source, the better the signal. In this case, video will look a lot better. What may help is to set up a second router near your TV as an access point, using a physical ethernet run to the main router. This may be most easily done via powerline ethernet adapters.

Plug the Apple TV into ethernet

Look, the great thing about wifi is that there’s no cables to fuss with. However, because wifi is essentially sound waves traveling through walls and and other waves, as opposed to beams of concentrated light sent on a direct path like with ethernet, a lot of issues can come up because of this. So, if possible, plug the Apple TV in to the router via ethernet. Performance will get better instantaneously as only one the iOS device will have to be wirelessly communicating to the router.

Upgrade that old router

That old Linksys router with the curious blue front and black body may still work fine for many tasks, but even wireless-G is something of a speed and latency dinosaur. Upgrading to a wireless-N router will find video quality and latency much improved. A dual-band router, one that uses both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz bands, may find improved performance all around.

Upgrade that old Apple TV

The 2nd generation Apple TV, released in 2010, can decode 720p video sent by AirPlay. Just not very quickly. Upgrading to the newer Apple TV, bolstering an A5 processor, can help. But really, there’s one step for getting high-quality, low-latency AirPlay Mirroring:

Get a Mac.

It’s not an officially-supported feature, but there is a third-party app that can do AirPlay Mirroring on the Mac, called Reflection. It’s $15 with a free trial, and it leverages the powerful processor in a Mac (generally more powerful than the ones in Apple TVs) to provide AirPlay Mirroring at probably the lowest latency possible. I was able to get six-digit scores on Punch Quest, and while some latency is definitely noticeable still, it’s the best possible experience. Just get an HDMI cable and plug that bad boy in to the flatscreen!

AirPlay Mirroring will never be perfect because wireless communication is inherently imperfect, but these tips will make the experience far better!

N.O.V.A. 3 Review

N.O.V.A. 3 Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
N.O.V.A. 3 is Gameloft's latest first-person shooter, and it's quite a looker, but does the technical expertise lead to a fun game underneath?

Read The Full Review »

In one of the smaller announcements today, Apple announced that iOS 5 on the iPad 2 will support a feature called AirPlay mirroring. This feature is something that I’ve been telling people would eventually come to the iOS world and basically backdoor Apple into the console market.

If you aren’t familiar with HDMI mirroring on the iPad, it’s a feature that lets you plug in an cable into a special adapter on your iPad 2 and display your screen on an HDTV. This feature is great for use in classrooms and has even seen some play in games as well with Firemint using this feature to allow 1080p output on your TV from their Real Racing 2 HD via mirroring. But, you are tethered to the TV with a cable.

So, what’s AirPlay mirroring then, you ask? According to Apple, “AirPlay® Mirroring to wirelessly display everything you do on your iPad 2 right on your HDTV through Apple TV®.” To me, that means with an iPad 2, you’ll be able to do that mirroring without a cable. That means anything you see on your iPad 2, you will be able to see on an Apple TV. Let that sink in and then think using that feature for games.

This means that any game you play on your iPad 2, you’ll be able to play on your TV, wirelessly. Yes, wirelessly. You launch Angry Birds on your iPad 2 and the Angry Birds screen will show up on your TV. Boom, instant game console with $0.99 game downloads.

To control the game, you would use the iOS device as the controller. The Apple TV becomes the cheapest console out there at $99 with the largest game library at nearly 100,000 games. Your iPad 2 becomes your controller, albeit a very expensive one. We can assume that this feature will also be available in the next iPhone and iPod touch, once their processors and memory are upgraded and on parity with the iPad 2.

Let’s wrap that all up together, and it means that you can consider the Apple TV to be firmly in the game console market now. This is huge! I can’t stress enough how much of a game changer this is for the gaming world.

Sony, Nintendo, or Microsoft should be worried. They have all been rather slow to adopt downloadable games, now Apple has gone and made it easy and cheap. If Apple does to the console market what they have done to the mobile software market, they should be very worried. The Apple TV, which started out as Steve Jobs hobby, could turn out to be the most popular home game and entertainment console around.

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