So I have this setup:

MacbookPro, external DELL monitor and Samsung TV that is connected to Apple TV. I study at home at the moment and use the laptop extensively. Sometimes I play movies to my flatmates via my Mac, but I want to keep the ability to watch my study videos on a Mac too.

So for example:

Playing a movie via Apple TV and have the audio output on the Samsung TV, at the same time having videos playing on my mac and have the sound coming from the headphones connected directly to my Mac.

I have looked at Aggregate Device in Audio MIDI setup on OS X, but I can't seem to figure out how to set it up properly.

I hope it is possible to do what I am looking for and I would really appreciate any advice.


1 Answer 1


An aggregated device is intended to play the same audio on multiple devices. As you want to play different audio on multiple devices, I can recommend several methods.

  • Use iTunes to play the video file on your Apple TV. You can choose the Apple TV as a playback device in iTunes, and stream the content to it without having to change your system audio device. That means, audio produced by other applications is still processed by your Mac (and therefore by your headphones, if they're plugged in)
  • Use VLC and another playback application of your choice in combination. Use screen mirroring to display the content on your Apple TV. Obviously, this will change your system audio device to the Apple TV, and any other audio will be played on the Apple TV, as well. But that's okay, because with VLC you can choose which device to play the audio on - seperated from the system audio device. So setup any playback application on the Apple TV, and choose Headphones in VLC audio menu for playing your video.

Obviously, the first method will work best, because streaming the video content from iTunes will require less bandwith than mirroring your desktop, resulting in less latency or connection drops.

  • Thank you! After some tinkering, I have made it work and actually without the Aggregate Device. I used Apple TV as a 3rd display and not mirror - moved the VLC window there and select the Apple TV as an output device. Then I change the system output to headphones and I can watch all my video in the browser while the movie is being played on the Apple TV :) May 27, 2016 at 9:48

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