Apple’s MacBook screens have become more and more high resolution in the past decade. However, despite this progress in screen resolution, there’s still no viewing experience quite like that of a proper TV. That’s why people choose to learn how to cast from MacBook to TV to get the best of both worlds. Are you one of those people? Here’s what you must understand about the process regarding how to cast from MacBook to TV.
What Is Screen Casting/Mirroring?
Before we learn how to screen mirror our devices, we must first understand what screen mirroring or casting is. If you’ve never heard of the term before, don’t worry. The principle behind it is quite simple so it shouldn’t be too hard to grasp even if you’re not tech-savvy.
Screen mirroring is essentially repeating or copying your device’s display onto another screen. Doing so will project whatever you’re doing on one device to another the way traditional projectors often work. Through this, the second display will showcase whatever’s happening on the source device.
The screen mirroring or casting source can be almost anything with a capable processor and operating system. Hence, you can not only use AirPlay from MacBooks to cast screens but also mirror your iPhone or Android smartphone. You can even do so on tablets, provided the OS supports it.
As for the second display, it could be anything that has proper support. In the past, people would traditionally accomplish this by using a VGA or HDMI cable. This is also still a viable approach today if your TV doesn’t have built-in screencasting software.
However, TVs have become smarter these days, hosting operating systems where you can access apps and streaming services. Sure, you can still hook up your MacBook to your smart TV via cable.
On the other hand, most people prefer to do it wirelessly through the screencasting technology that comes with these displays. Some people also use streaming sticks or TV box sets for screen casting onto regular TVs.
How to Cast From MacBook To TV
There are many ways you can learn how to cast from MacBook to TV sets. We’ll tackle all of them below, including how to do so with a wire and via Chromecast.
How to Cast From MacBook to TV With a Wire
Learning how to mirror a MacBook to a TV with HDMI or Thunderbolt shouldn’t be too difficult. After all, unlike wireless connections, you only need the proper cable to hook them up. You don’t need to pair devices or anything like that.
However, we would advise you to use HDMI if it’s available to you. Thunderbolt can also work well, but you may require a cable that converts your data to HDMI. This is because most TVs only use HDMI and don’t come with a built-in Thunderbolt port. With that said, let us begin. Just follow these guidelines to get started:
- Plug your MacBook into the TV via the proper cable
- Turn on the TV
- Click the “Source” button on the remote and choose the right port
- Note: most TVs have multiple HDMI ports so make sure to choose the one you used to connect your MacBook
- Open your MacBook and hit the Apple logo on the upper-left edge
- Choose “System Preferences”
- Hit “Displays”
- Select “Display Settings” on the lower-left area
- Tick the option that says “Default for Display” to ensure you’re casting with the proper resolution
- Go back to the “System Preferences” screen
- Choose “Sound”
- Pick the connected TV’s name
With that, you’ve learned how to cast from MacBook to TV using a wire. Remember that this method works for most modern TVs with an HDMI port. However, older TVs with VGA or a display port may not automatically play the sound with just one cable. Hence, you may need to separately connect the TV using a cable to your MacBook’s headphone jack to produce sound.
How to Cast From MacBook to Apple TV
If you have an Apple TV, then you can easily use AirPlay mirroring to establish a connection. This eliminates the need for wires, allowing you to mirror TVs without complications. Simply follow these guidelines to AirPlay MacBook to a TV using your Apple TV:
- Connect your MacBook and Apple TV to the same WiFi network
- Navigate to the Control Center in the menu bar
- Choose the “Screen Mirroring” option (two rectangles stacked together)
- Select the Apple TV
- Key in a four-digit code on your MacBook given by the Apple TV
- Hit the “Screen Mirroring” icon once more
- Choose “Mirror Built-in Display” or “Use As Separate Display”
- Note: the former copies whatever happens on your MacBook while the latter extends your screen
With that, you’ve learned how to cast from MacBook to TV using an Apple TV. It’s one of the easiest methods in existence because it requires little-to-no setup on either device.
How to Cast From MacBook to Samsung TV
Apple TVs are great for screencasting because both devices belong to the Apple ecosystem. However, if you don’t have an Apple TV, things might not be so easy. With that said, how do I mirror my Mac to my TV without Apple TV?
Moreover, is there any way you can try screen mirroring Macs to a Samsung TV or another brand? Fortunately, Apple doesn’t add too many obstacles to screen mirroring on different TV brands. The steps are somewhat similar and are relatively painless:
- Turn on your MacBook and Samsung TV
- Connect each device to the same WiFi connection
- On your TV, open the “Settings” menu
- Navigate to “General”
- Choose “Apple AirPlay Settings”
- Turn on AirPlay to make sure the Samsung TV is ready to pair via AirPlay
- Note: you can also choose to require a code every time or only for the first time AirPlay connects
- Open your MacBook and press the Apple logo on the upper-left
- Choose “System Preferences”
- Go to “Displays”
- Hit the dropdown menu that says “AirPlay Display”
- Select the Samsung TV’s name
- Enter the four-digit code you see on the TV
- Confirm your connection
Alternatively, you can also open the content you want to AirPlay first before you connect your MacBook:
- Open your desired content (whether photos or videos)
- Press the AirPlay icon (rectangle with an arrow up at the bottom) on the playback menu
- Choose your Samsung TV’s name
- Type in the four-digit code you see on the Samsung TV
- Hit “OK”
With that, you’ve learned how to cast from MacBook to TV using a smart Samsung television set. The process may be a bit more complex than on the Apple TV. Nonetheless, it should work well once the setup process finishes.
How to Cast From MacBook to LG TV
Learning how to connect a Mac to a TV wirelessly without an Apple TV is slightly more complex. We’ve already seen how complicated it can get on a Samsung TV and LG TVs are not that much different. That’s because the setup process is similar provided your LG TV already has AirPlay built-in:
- Connect both the LG TV and MacBook to the same wireless network
- Open your LG TV with the remote
- Press the home button
- Go to “Home Dashboard”
- Select the up arrow and then choose “AirPlay”
- Choose “AirPlay & HomeKit Settings”
- Turn on AirPlay
- Note: you can also choose whether to require the code for the first time or every time AirPlay connects
- Open your MacBook and hit the Apple logo
- Click “System Preferences”
- Go to “Displays”
- Select the AirPlay Display dropdown menu
- Pick your LG TV
- (Optional) Choose “Default for display” under the “Resolution” option
- Hit the “Arrangement” tab
- Check or uncheck the “Mirror displays” option to mirror or extend your screen
With that, you’ve successfully learned how to cast from MacBook to TV using an LG television set. However, remember that these steps are only applicable if your LG TV is compatible with AirPlay. Most modern LG displays are, especially those made from 2016 onwards. However, if you have an older device, it may not be capable of screen mirroring.
How to Cast From MacBook to TV via Chromecast
Learning how to cast from MacBook to TV is easy if your TV is a smart one. However, if you have a “dumb” television, the process may require additional steps. That’s because your only option to do so wirelessly is by using a separate streaming stick or casting device.
In this scenario, we’ll use Google’s Chromecast to learn how to cast from MacBook to TV without a smart TV. How do I cast my MacBook to my TV with Chromecast? Here are the instructions you must follow:
- Open your Chromecast-compatible TV
- Plug in your Chromecast
- Launch Google Chrome on the Chromecast with your remote
- Open the Chromecast setup link
- Press “Start” and follow the instructions
- Click “Finish”
- Open your MacBook
- Connect the MacBook to the same WiFi network the Chromecast is hooked up to
- Launch Google Chrome
- Choose the content or window you want to project
- Note: almost anything is applicable including web apps, music, videos, and presentations
- Select the “View” menu on the taskbar above Google Chrome
- Pick “Cast” from the list
- Hit the remote screen to share your whole display with the TV
- Adjust the volume using the slider to increase or decrease the loudness
- Note: your TV will also have a separate volume control on the remote
With that, you’ve learned how to cast from MacBook to TV using a Google Chromecast. However, remember that this method only works if the content you want to display is accessible on Google Chrome. Otherwise, you may need to use a different device to mirror your MacBook screen.
How to Cast From MacBook to TV via Roku
Most Roku devices running Roku OS 9.4 or newer should support AirPlay. Hence, as long as you have a compatible Roku device, you can mirror your MacBook without a hitch. Simply set up AirPlay on your Roku streaming device through the settings. Then follow the steps for how to turn on AirPlay on Mac and pair both devices:
- Open your Roku home screen
- Go to “Settings”
- Select “Apple AirPlay and HomeKit”
- Turn on AirPlay
- Note: on this screen, you can require the code always or only for the first time you connect via AirPlay
- Connect the Roku and MacBook to the same WiFi network
- Open your MacBook and navigate to the “Control Center” (icon with two sliders) on the taskbar
- Choose “Screen Mirroring” (icon with two rectangles overlapping each other)
- Pick the Roku as your display
What Apps Will You Need?
AirPlay on Mac is the easiest way you can mirror your MacBook’s screen to a TV. The feature is convenient, intuitive, and best of all, built right into macOS. Hence, you won’t need to install a separate app to use it. All you’ll require is a display that’s compatible with this software to cast from AirPlay to TV.
AirBeam TV is a decent alternative to AirPlay because it’s specially made for iOS and macOS. With it, you can easily mirror your Apple device to your smart TV to consume all your favorite content. Like most apps, it doesn’t require a cable to work.
Apart from this, AirBeam TV provides an additional feature that allows you to make video conference calls. Hence, it can not only mirror your screen but also conduct meetings and conversations. However, AirBeam TV isn’t free and demands payment to use its features.
AirPlay isn’t the only app that allows for screen mirroring MacBooks to TVs. Equally competent third-party apps also exist, one of which is AirDroid Cast, a cross-platform alternative to AirPlay.
With it, you can control almost any operating system from your MacBook. This includes Android, Windows, macOS, and iOS. Simply download the AirDroid Cast app on your MacBook, open the app, and register a new account.
Afterward, press the “Share this computer screen” option and open your TV browser. Then navigate to AirDroid Cast’s website and your TV should showcase a nine-digit code. Type in the numbers on your Mac and then allow permissions to start screen casting.
What makes AirDroid Cast special is that you don’t need to download a separate app on your TV to start casting. That’s because it only requires a browser to display the nine-digit code and mirror your device. However, keep in mind that while AirDroid Cast is convenient, you can’t use its casting features for free. You’ll need to get a premium account to get it to work.
If you’re using an Amazon Fire Stick, then chances are you can’t mirror your MacBook through AirPlay right away. That’s because Amazon doesn’t have the AirPlay app built into its OS. It only allows for general screen mirroring and this method only works seamlessly on Android and Windows devices.
Therefore, if you want to mirror your MacBook to your Fire Stick, you’ll need an external app called Airscreen. You have to install this app on your Fire TV and enable the app’s built-in support for AirPlay. Afterward, just set up screen mirroring on your MacBook and connect the two devices.
Why Should You Cast From MacBook To Your TV?
You may think that the only reason people use screen mirroring is to watch content on bigger screens. However, screencasting has many use cases apart from streaming, like:
- Showcasing photos or videos from local storage
- Conducting presentations without a wired connection
- Monitoring employee progress in the office
- Collaborating on projects with a single screen
- Conducting meetings and facilitating communication within teams
How To Connect MacBook To TV Wirelessly?
You can connect your MacBook to a TV wirelessly via Apple’s AirPlay feature. However, you will need a compatible TV to accomplish this. Moreover, the process requires that both of your devices are connected to the same WiFi network.
Why Can’t I Cast From My Mac To My TV?
Check your WiFi and make sure both devices are connected to the same network. If WiFi isn’t the problem, then make sure your TV’s OS and hardware are compatible with Apple’s AirPlay.
Can You Screen Mirror Your MacBook Via Bluetooth?
No, Bluetooth technology doesn’t have enough bandwidth to cast your screen. It cannot reliably mirror your display and stream high-quality video. As a result, most screen mirroring software requires a WiFi network to perform the cast.
Learning how to cast from MacBook to TV is fairly easy with AirPlay. You only need a compatible display and a reliable WiFi network to make it work. Moreover, if your TV doesn’t support AirPlay, you can also use third-party software to mirror your screen. Regardless, you can reap the benefits of screencasting as long as you know how to set it up.