Long story short, my question is - is there a known quality issue using Airplay from a MacBook? And is there a way to improve quality?


I have an HDTV here that I'm using for Airplay mirroring. We have Comcast internet, using Comcast's wireless router. The AppleTV is connected directly via an ethernet connection. The MacBook Pro is a mid-2012 retina model.

Whenever I use Airplay from the MacBook, the video is always extremely choppy. The audio keeps up okay, but the video constantly freezes. The thing is, I can use Airplay from my iPhone 5 or my iPad 2 without any issue.


To compare, say I open up the YouTube app on the iPhone or iPad. I can mirror videos from those devices without any issue - clean playback, no pausing. If I open a YouTube video on my MacBook, the video will constantly pause and "jerk". If anything I would have expected the iPad to have the most issues, as it's the oldest device.


I had hoped that the problem would get better after upgrading to Mavericks yesterday, but no luck. When attempting to use the AppleTV as a "second monitor", the performance is so bad that even moving the mouse cursor around causes pausing, so it's just not usable.

FWIW - I'm an IT guy, consider myself pretty knowledgeable about this stuff... so ask any follow up questions you may have. I'm really frustrated that this is a non-issue with iOS devices, but seems to be impossible to get working correctly from the $2000+ MacBook LOL.

Additional Info

Unfortunately, there hasn't been any interest in the question today. But I thought I'd add some additional info. Both my Macbook and router are operating at 802.11N, so I would think wireless network speed should not be a problem here. From what I can tell, the issue keeps pointing to my Macbook (based on all the above)... I'm just not sure what else to check.

1 Answer 1


Okay, after dealing with this for quite some time, I finally found a solution that worked for me. I figured I'd come and share for others as well.

In order to resolve the choppy playback, I ultimately went in to Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset All Settings. After resetting, the device downloaded the very latest OS for the Apple TV, and after everything was done, the Airplay quality between the MacBook and AppleTV is actually pretty decent.

In testing, I was able to mirror my display without any noticeable choppiness. I was also able to extend my desktop on to the TV, and this worked surprisingly well. Even playing YouTube videos was of decent quality, with almost zero choppiness during playback.

What I have not tried yet... and will update this answer later on, is reconnecting my photo streams. As it's common to have 1000+ photos in my shared streams, I'm concerned that this may have slowed the device down (just a guess, honestly). I'll do some more testing today, mirroring as is, then adding the photo streams and comparing, to see if that causes any issue. If it does, I can always reset again.

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