A reader not too long ago emailed me to ask how one can mirror an Apple TV on a Mac. There are two fundamental causes you would possibly need to do that: to seize screenshots or video for documentation, or so that you may give a distant presentation that entails the Apple TV.

After I wrote the primary version of Take Control of Apple TV, I had to make use of an costly and awkward Elgato seize field to take screenshots. Apple subsequently constructed this functionality into QuickTime Participant. With the Apple TV HD (also called the fourth-generation Apple TV), you needed to join it to your Mac with a USB-C cable, however the Apple TV 4K lacks a USB-C port. These days, all that’s essential to seize the Apple TV’s output in QuickTime Participant is that the Apple TV and the Mac be on the identical Wi-Fi community.


Comply with these steps:

  1. Open QuickTime Participant.
  2. Select File > New Film Recording. In macOS 10.14 Mojave and earlier, a window opens displaying your webcam by default. In 10.15 Catalina, you’ll want to offer QuickTime Participant permission to entry the digital camera in System Preferences > Safety & Privateness > Privateness > Digital camera.
    macOS camera privacy settings
  3. Put your mouse pointer within the window to disclose the controller.
    QuickTime record button
  4. Click on the arrow subsequent to the document button.
    QuickTime camera menu
  5. Select your Apple TV from the menu.
  6. The primary time you hook up with your Apple TV, it shows a code that it’s important to enter on the Mac. If the Apple TV is in one other room, this can be a little difficult to do by yourself as a result of the request instances out pretty shortly.

When you choose a “digital camera,” you even have the choice to pick a “microphone,” and any Apple TV you’ve may even present up in that part. Nonetheless, I’ve by no means efficiently routed audio from an Apple TV to my Mac. In the event you’ve had higher luck, let me know within the feedback.


When you’ve run by way of these steps, the Apple TV’s interface is mirrored to the QuickTime Participant window, making it straightforward to seize a screenshot or, for those who’re doing a presentation, to share like every other window on the Mac.

Fortunately, as a result of the Siri Distant works over Bluetooth, you should use it to manage the Apple TV within the QuickTime Participant window even for those who’re in one other room. You may additionally use the Apple TV controls in Management Heart in your iPhone.

The Apple TV Home screen in QuickTime

As you’ll anticipate, Apple gained’t allow you to seize screenshots or video from motion pictures or TV reveals. Everytime you attempt to play a protected video in any app—Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime, CBS All Entry, and many others.—QuickTime Participant prevents such conduct by displaying a black display. (With bought motion pictures, you’ll get an HDCP error.) Navigate out of the video by urgent the Menu button and you may as soon as once more use the Apple TV interface. Video games and different non-video apps aren’t blocked on this manner, neither is YouTube blocked.

Apple TV HDCP error

Nonetheless, QuickTime Participant is a good way to seize screenshots and video of the Apple TV interface. You should utilize the usual macOS screenshot instructions. To take a clear screenshot with out the management bar or any Mac window trimmings within the shot, comply with these steps:

  1. Resize the QuickTime Participant window as you see match.
  2. Transfer your mouse pointer outdoors of the QuickTime Participant window.
  3. Press Command-Shift-Four adopted by House bar to specify window seize.
  4. Hover the digital camera pointer over the QuickTime Participant window.
  5. Possibility-click to seize the window with out its drop shadow.

In the event you’re serving to somebody learn to use the Apple TV interface remotely or in any other case giving a presentation about it, you’ll be able to share the QuickTime Participant window simply as you’ll every other Mac window utilizing Skype, Zoom, or the like. Video gained’t be easy, however will probably be greater than ample to demo utilization.

I talk about taking screenshots and plenty of different ideas in Take Control of Apple TV, which I not too long ago overhauled to make it simpler to comply with and higher match Apple’s present TV technique.

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