March 3, 2012

Extended Mac Display / Apple TV mirroring

For anyone with a Mac and an Apple TV, a frustration is not being able to "beam" video, photos or presentations to a TV using AirPlay. Now using AirParrot all this is possible. If you want to jump ahead click the parrot below to visit the site, otherwise read on about the scenarios this enables:

  1. View your photos direct from iPhoto or Aperture on your TV, instead of going via iTunes and the clumsy photo browser (which is slow and a pain)
  2. Watch any video on your Mac, direct on your TV, e.g. using BBC iPlayer or the equivalent iTV, Channel 4 etc players – goes completely around the iTunes compatibility restriction
  3. Extend your Mac desktop – treat your TV as a second display – show PowerPoint on the TV and keep your Mac screen for other tasks. Brilliant for office presentations, provided you have a handy Apple TV, no more VGA cables.
  4. Play games on your Mac and watch them on your TV – it transmits sound too
Why on earth Apple didn't do this sooner I don't know – maybe Mountain Lion might solve it, but for now – I recommend getting an Apple TV and a Parrot.

UPDATE (11th March): There is a bug in AirParrot which prevents drag and drop working in any app on your Mac.Their FAQ says this:

I'm having issues with my screensaver activating or drag and drop issues Unfortunately these issues are related to a bug with Apple's Nvidia drivers on earlier MacBooks. The only way to remedy this is to remove the AirParrot driver or to disable your screensaver. The following Macs will have this issue when using the External Display driver in AirParrot: MacBookPro5,5 MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2009), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, MacBookPro5,4 MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2,53 GHz, Mid 2009), NVIDIA GeForce 9400M, MacBookPro5,3 MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009) NVIDIA GeForce 9600M GT and GeForce 9400M.

I had to uninstall the software, using this procedure:
  1. Delete the App
  2. Go to ~\Library\Extensions
  3. Delete AirParrotDriver.kext & APExtFramebuffer.kext
  4. Reboot
It's a real shame.
Ken Snyder, this post is for you. ;-)
Proof that it works, some dude in a red shirt playing his organ:


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