Maybe you're like me and you have a relatively modern Mac. I bought mine in the Spring of 2011, but as you can see it was a late model 2010 MacBook Air. It lacks a few features the newer MacBook Airs currently sport: back-lit keyboard, new Intel iCore-series processors and a limit of only 4GB of RAM. But it works — matter of fact It works really well, however, one feature it lacks has bothered me since the day Apple released OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: It can't use Airplay.
According to Apple, Airplay only works when running Mountain Lion if:
- 2nd Generation or newer AppleTV
- iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
- Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
- MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
- MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)
So if you're like me, you're out of luck, and that's a lot of Mac users... I hunted around to find a workaround, and then ran into a suggestion to try a cool product called AirParrot.
AirParrot to the Rescue
AirParrot magically lets you do what Apple wasn't able to do (supposedly due to Intel vs Hollywood DRM issues) with your older Mac — use Airplay to mirror your monitor through AppleTV. AirParrot costs $10 USD, but to ensure it works for you there is a free 20 minute trial. This technology must not be rocket science, as the app weighs in at only 4.9MB. AirParrot runs as an app, becoming an icon in the top right of the OS X toolbar, settling in next to Spotlight, WiFi, Bluetooth, Time Machine and Messages.
I usually have my MacBook Air connected to a second monitor and AirParrot lets me choose which monitor to Airplay and also let's me choose whether to send audio to AppleTV or not. A fantastic feature is AirParrot allows an app to go full-screen to AppleTV while not doing so on your monitor. What's more is you can use your TV as an external monitor, they call it Extend Desktop (meaning you don't have to mirror), — which is great for apps like Keynote.
If you have an older Mac, and are running Mountain Lion or earlier, and wish you could AirPlay to your AppleTV, you used to be out of luck. But now there's a great app that let's you do what the newer Macs can do, and it only costs $10. All thanks to the fine folks at AirParrot for fixing this glaring hole.
Note: I was not paid for this review of this product. It's just something I found and it's turned out to be a great app. It does all, and probably more than, Apple was supposed to do for me with OS X Mountain Lion.
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