How to watch a movie from your computer on Apple TV.

Apple TV

Here’s how to stream a movie from you laptop or iMac to your Apple TV.

Straight out of the box the Apple TV can connect to the internet and play movies from iTunes and youtube. But what about all the movies you have on your laptop that you don’t want to re-download from Apple? What about the DVD’s that you already own?

There are 2 ways to access such movies on your Apple TV.


23 responses to “How to watch a movie from your computer on Apple TV.”

  1. ccMac

    I did the first step with my iMac and everything “mirror” to my apple TV but i have a problem… As the movie play from my apple TV is stacking but from my iMac the movie playing perfect. What is the problem? My media player is MPlayerx.thanx

    1. What do you mean by ‘stacking’? Maybe your network is too slow. You might be better off contacting the support forum for MPlayerx.

      1. Ross

        Really? What do you mean that my network is slow? I don’t need mirroring, I need streaming, why streaming is supported by iPhone and iPad, but not supported for MacBook? I need to use 3rd party apps to stream the video with no lags, but I can’t do that with native settings. When Apple will be so kind and will allow users to watch movies using their expensive devices by providing with quality applications.

      2. Yes it’s a bit lame.

    2. Aviva Hava

      I had the same problem with my Mac, & found a solution. To prevent I do the following:
      1. You can stop the movie and restart: check if this works
      2. disconnect from APPLE TV on your Mac and reconnect, not even waiting to require a new passcode for Apple TV
      3. Disconnect from Apple TV (stopping movie, as always), wait long enough that when you connect on TV icon at upper right, you will receive a NEW Apple code to enter. Enter new code, then agin push play on your movie as seen on Mac

    3. Loukas

      turn of Bluetooth on your device and try again to connect with airplay

  2. ROD M

    how can i get my videos to play full screen on my computer and apple tv they play at about 75 % screen itunes movies will play full screen with out a problem but my movies wont

    1. Watch them in Quicktime player and zoom them (Menu item View: Fit to Screen). Or View: Increase Size (Command +).

  3. chloe

    I tried to mirror my computer onto the tv screen but it didn’t work. I clicked computers, still didn’t work. (I don’t have a mac btw.)

  4. Robin

    I have an external HDD with movies attached to a new Time Capsule and wish to use my new MacBook Pro to send the movies via Apple TV to my smart television. However I have a problem in that although the movie will play fine on the laptop (using VLC Player) it does not play smoothly on my TV – sound and vision both “stutter” slightly.
    My home network is fine and uses the Time Capsule as a bridge to wirelessly connect to my laptop. Any ideas on what may be going wrong?

    1. My GUESS is that the wifi link to the TV is not as good as it could be (distance? a wall?). Does airplay work OK from your laptop to the Apple TV? Try connecting from Time Capsule to the Apple TV with an ethernet cable and see if it works. That will show you if it’s a wireless problem.

  5. Alex

    You ever tried using instructions by yourself? If you just mirror the screen to Apple TV and try watching video from your pc, it will not work as you think and describe in the article. The video will lag, actually, even music will lag on tv. It will work well only if you transmit music/video from itunes or if you use iphone instead of mac book. Apple TV and Mac book do not work well with each other…

    1. We do this and it works fine. You might possibly have a bad network from the laptop to the Apple TV?

  6. Bea

    In the past few weeks, whenever I start watching any internet video (news clips, youtube vids) on my laptop, the video immediately freezes and mutes the moment I hit AppleTv to stream. AppleTv will only allow me to stream from my mini iPad. Very frustrating and confusing to this ol’ geezer who is about as tech savvy as an ol’ geezer. This endless morphing and upgrading or whatever is going on that keeps making us learn[BUY] a new trick every other week is downright erosive and absolutely exhausting.

  7. Tony

    Just use the Beamer App for Mac.

    1. Johan

      Beamer App actually solved the problem with lag. Brilliant!

  8. will

    doesn’t work Only plays music and home videos

  9. will

    An Error occurred while connecting to the Air play device “Apple TV” -50 but the device is powered on

  10. Vovo Dev

    Thanks for the tip got everything up and running.

  11. fausto

    Can I use my apple TV to stream a movie from my nas?

  12. Sophia

    Noteworthy, thank you

  13. Jeff

    My mac book plays videos just fine from all websites, however, the moment I connect/mirror through the apple tv the videos won’t play anymore. How can this be fixed? Thank you

  14. Firestick Apps

    Thank you, I’m using your advice and everything works

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