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How to Mirror Mac to TV: Best Solutions in 2021

What are the different ways to mirror a Mac desktop to a TV screen? Simply put, it’s a wired or wireless connection. Different methods are more useful for certain situations - for example, HDMI cables are better for gaming, since they don’t have streaming delay. But generally, if your Mac and your TV are too far from each other, WiFi with third-party apps is the way to go. We’ll take a look at both methods below.

Top choice
JustStream
4.5 Rank based on 23+ users, Reviews(5)
 
screen mirror on Mac to TV

Solution 1 to Mirror Mac to TV Wirelessly: Third-party Apps

Third-party apps are incredibly helpful when you want to mirror Mac to TV wirelessly and effortlessly. But with so many different apps to choose from, which one is the best for you? How do you decide between price, functionality, interface, etc.? Thankfully, we were able to do all the heavy lifting for you and compile a list of the best, reliable, and effective third-party apps for you to try.

1. JustStream App to Screen Mirror Mac Content

JustStream logo
JustStream
Requirements: OS X 10.12+. 38.5MB of free space. Version 2.1(390). (4 May, 2021). 4.5 Reviews(5)
Category: MultimediaApplication

This lightweight screen mirror Mac application tops our list of third-party apps. It enables you to mirror Mac to Chromecast, smart TVs which support Airplay, Airplay 2, or DLNA protocols without conversion, complex setup, or additional hardware. Once you have added your files to the app, it automatically picks the available devices on the network.

How to mirror Mac to TV with JustStream

JustStream is capable of mirroring a wide range of files, including videos, audio, images, and software. It also supports many TV brands, including Samsung, Roku, Panasonic, LG, Sony among others.

Mirror MacBook to TV app with advanced features:

  • You are able to see and capture cursor movements and mouse clicks.
  • You can easily adjust the quality of the video and display.
  • You are able to control the scopes of the mirrored file to make sure it fits the screen.

icon pros Pros

  • Streams to AirPlay, Chromecast, or DLNA-compatible devices.
  • Create playlists even with videos if unsupported by receiver formats.
  • No need to adapt to the target display when mirroring the Mac desktop.
  • Able to mirror with sound.

icon cons Cons

  • You can only stream or mirror for free for 20 minutes.

How to Screen Mirror on Mac to TV

Get started in JustStream with these easy steps!
1
Get JustStream installed on your macOS device.
2
Open it and click the JustStream icon on the Menu Bar.
3
Select the source monitor.
4

Push the AirPlay icon and select the receiver. This could be a TV or a WiFi dongle.

 mirror Mac to smart TV
5

Push Start Streaming. If you want to stop the stream, push Stop Streaming.

 How to stream from macOS to TV
Things to note:

By default, the sound from your Mac won’t be broadcasted. Follow the instructions here to enable it.

By default, the first available device will be selected for mirroring.

If you cannot see the receiving device on the list, make sure that it is turned on and connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac. Then try refreshing the device list.

The screen mirroring settings are accessible through Preferences > Mirroring

2. AirbeamTV - a Macbook Mirror Alternative App

AirbeamTV offers you a variety of apps. You can either buy software specifically designed for your TV or obtain a smart TV mirroring package with apps for various TV brands.

These apps usually have a latency period of up to 3 seconds, which makes it impossible for you to mirror real-time gaming. They work best when mirroring movies, presentations, photos, browsing, etc. Whether you are using macOS or iOS devices, the AirBeamTV app enables you to screen mirror Mac to Chromecast, Amazon FireTV, or Roku. What’s more, you do not need cables or other additional equipment to share your MacBook screen. It makes the mirroring process simple and quick.

mirror Mac toTV wirelessly

icon pros Pros

  • Supports a wide range of TV brands.
  • Offers a simple and easy-to-use user interface.

icon cons Cons

  • Audio casting can be problematic.
  • When casting audio, you can’t connect the device before you open the program.

3. AirParrot3 - Simple Solution to Mac Mirror Display

If you want to share your phone, tablet, or MacBook’s screen to a bigger screen without using cables or doing complex setups, then you should consider AirParrot3. With this app, you are able to share media content from a variety of devices wirelessly. This app is compatible with macOS, Windows, and Chrome OS. If you want to mirror presentations in the classroom, auditorium, boardroom, or transmit movies in just a few clicks without adapters and cables, you need a third-party app like AirParrot3.

This mirror Mac app also allows you to mirror either the whole screen or just a specific program. Furthermore, there are no distractions when adjusting display settings. Once it’s installed, this app searches for and displays the available receivers on your network automatically.

how to screen mirror Macbook to TV

icon pros Pros

  • Simple interface.
  • Supports the sharing of desktop, app, and media.
  • Multi-platform.
  • Ideal for Windows, iOS, Android, and macOS.
  • It’s cheaper than some alternatives.

icon cons Cons

  • Restricted video-playback panels.
  • Ideal for local networks only.

Solution 2: How to Mirror Mac to TV with HDMI

Instead of using third-party applications, there is another method of screen mirroring Macbook to TV that uses additional hardware.

HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) is a cable that enables you to share HD audio and video between devices. It supports many audio-visual devices such as projectors, Xbox, digital televisions, DVD players, PlayStation, etc.

How to mirror Mac to smart TV with HDMI

Here is an important guide to help you do this:

  1. Locate the HDMI port and then plug in the HDMI cable on your TV
    • The HDMI port is usually on the back or the side of the TV. Most modern HDTVs have at least two HDMI ports.
  2. Determine your Mac video output
    • Most recent iMac computers have an oval port, also known as USB-C or Thunderbolt. If your Mac has a Thunderbolt 3 port, you need a USB-C to HDMI cable.
    • On most older Mac computers, you find a squared-off port, known as Thunderbolt 2. If your laptop has it, you will need a Thunderbolt 2 to HDMI cable (or a Thunderbolt 2 to HDMI adapter and an HDMI cable).
  3. Buy the correct cable for your Mac:
    • USB-C to HDMI cable or adapter
    • Thunderbolt 2 to HDMI cable
  4. Plug one end of your HDMI cable in your Mac or port adapter.
  5. Turn on your TV and change your TV input to the HDMI input.
  6. Now you just need to wait and see your screen on your TV.

Solution 3: Mirror Mac to TV with Apple TV via AirPlay

AirPlay protocol is normally pre-installed in most MacBook devices. This makes it the most reliable and commonly used method of mirroring macOS screens to bigger TVs and other AirPlay-enabled Smart TVs. And it does so without additional hardware or software. This proprietary protocol suite is ideal for education, media, and enterprise. All you need to do is open AirPlay, choose the target device and watch.

How to mirror Mac to TV wirelessly

However, you need to make sure all the devices you use are compatible before using AirPlay to mirror your content. Here is a list of devices you need when using AirPlay to screen Mirror Mac display:

  • Apple TV 2 (2010)
  • Apple TV 4K (2017)
  • Apple TV 3 (2012)
  • Apple TV 4 (2015)

And:

  • iMac (2011 onward)
  • iMac Pro (2017 onward)
  • Mac mini (2011 onward)
  • MacBook (2015 onward)
  • MacBook Air (2011 onward)
  • MacBook Pro (2011 onward)
  • Mac Pro (2013 onward)

If you don’t own an Apple TV, you can simply use any other compatible TV screen with preinstalled AirPlay2. The good thing is that the market is full of compatible TV screens, including Samsung, Sony, and LG TV screens.

To mirror your Mac to Apple TV via AirPlay, follow these steps:

  1. Get your Mac and your AirPlay 2 Smart TV connected to the same WiFi network.
  2. Click the AirPlay icon in the menu bar. If you don’t see it, enable it from the Apple menu, by going to "System Preferences - Displays".
  3. Choose the TV from the drop-down menu. It may be necessary to put in a passcode - you’ll find it on the TV screen.
  4. Click the AirPlay icon and select "Turn AirPlay Off" to stop mirroring.

What is screen mirroring?

Often referred to as "screen sharing", screen mirroring is the process of duplicating a different display. This functionality is commonly used in conferences, classroom presentations, and video calls.

How Mirroring works

Screen mirroring on Mac can be done in two ways. You can use a cable to connect your device to the TV screen or install an app. Each method has upsides and downsides - for example, wires have limited length and get in the way, while WiFi has a delay and requires a consistent connection.

Wired and wireless solutions to share your screen

Wired mirroring

HDMI cables are used to connect devices to an external display. If you are using a device that has an HDMI port, then you only need to connect one end of the cable to the device and the other one to the display. Older devices may not have HDMI ports; VGA was common, and it requires an adapter to connect to HDMI. USB to HDMI also exists, but it’s much better to have a dedicated graphics port.

Wireless mirroring

If you mirror Mac to TV wirelessly, you’ll get similar results to wired mirroring. It’s pretty easy to work with, since most devices come equipped with built-in wireless capabilities nowadays. Not having to deal with tangling cables is another plus.

Frequently asked questions:

Our goal is to help you make the most of your Mac mirror experience. So we put together a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions for you to explore further. And if you have any more questions that may not be answered here, then you can simply comment below and our team will get to you as soon as possible.
Yes, you can Mac mirror without Apple TV. Use JustStream, which is an advanced application that enables you to stream media from your Mac, MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini to your Smart TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV, or DLNA-certified devices over the local network.
In the top right of your MacBook screen, click on the AirPlay icon and choose your preferred mirroring Macbook to TV option. Alternatively, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays, then choose "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available".
JustStream
Requirements: OS X 10.12+ , 38.5MB size
Version 2.1(390) (4 May, 2021) Release notes
Category: MultimediaApplication