I've got a MacBook Pro and Apple TV, and I can search and select the movies found within the MacBook Pro's iTunes from the Apple TV's > Computers menu.

The problem is that when I try to play the movie from the Apple TV, it often freezes with the "loading" spinner, without playing the movie. If I hit the Menu button on the Apple TV remote, the Apple TV responds instantly, so it's not that the Apple TV has frozen.

If I instead start the movie from iTunes on the MacBook Pro, then display it on the Apple TV via AirPlay from the MacBook Pro's Display settings, the movie starts instantly and is shown on the Apple TV.

Why can I "push" the movie from the MacBook Pro to the Apple TV via AirPlay, but not "pull" the movie from the Apple TV's interface?

3 Answers 3


I had the exact same problem as this before. Any number restarts and reboots in any order did not solve the problem.

At the same time I had a DNS issue with the default router setup from my ISP. When I changed my routers DNS to use the Google DNS it also solved my iTunes sharing problems.

I don't know if this is actually what caused it or if it was just a big coincidence but it's been working fine ever since.


Beamer.app does want you are asking. Drag a movie file from Finder and it will start playing on AppleTV. Plus, the app supports more formats.


  • Thanks for the tip. It looks like good software, but "It works just like a regular desktop media player, but the video plays on Apple TV. Just open any movie file and press play" isn't exactly what I want to do. I don't have a problem playing from the MBP to Apple TV, but rather starting a movie from the Apple TV using the MBP's content. Sep 12, 2014 at 10:13
  • I see. Do you have an iOS device? Download the remote app. Use it to control your iTunes, then tell iTunes to airplay to appleTV. That's a workaround, at least. Sep 12, 2014 at 10:25
  • Yeah that's not a bad workaround. It's kind of annoying though - and I'd still love to know why this problem happens... Sep 12, 2014 at 10:52
  • When you select a movie in iTunes, play it, and airplay it to AppleTV, what is on display in your iTunes window? A) The movie playing. B) Black background, a TV icon, and the name of your AppleTV. Sep 12, 2014 at 11:19
  • If it's A, you are using Airplay Mirroring, a newer (circa Mavericks) and different protocol than Airplay Proper (it's my term for it). When you are ordering up movies on AppleTV, you are using Airplay Proper. There is not necessarily a contradiction. All it means is that you AM works but AP doesn't. Sep 12, 2014 at 11:44

This isn't really an answer but - the problem seems to be resolved now. I haven't made any changes, other than updating OSX, iTunes, etc. So presumably Apple did something to fix the problem in the meanwhile.

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