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I have a mid-2010 MacBook Pro with macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 installed.

I have just found out that my Smart LG TV with webOS has AirPlay incorporated so, I would like to mirror my MacBook Pro screen on my TV.

However I can't find AirPlay on my MacBook. Already searched for some solutions on Google but the only option that I found was to go to Screen Settings on System Preferences and turn on "Show mirroring options in the menu bar when available" which it is. However the AirPlay icon doesn't appear in the Menu Bar.

Does anyone know how to solve this? Is my MacBook too old to support AirPlay?

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  • It's new enough to use AirPlay (1). See support.apple.com/HT204291 for troubleshooting.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 12:17
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    Have you made sure to enable AirPlay on the new TV? Your new TV also has to be on the same WiFi network as your laptop.
    – IconDaemon
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 14:39
  • @IconDaemon yes, AirPlay mode is enable and yes they are on the same WiFi Network Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 16:19

2 Answers 2

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I have some insights on this subject I want to share, because many don't realize that older Macbooks and iMacs have alder bluetooth and wifi modules.

The second factor that goes into play here is HDMI 1.0, 1.1 & 1.2 which are just versions. 1.0 can go up to 1080p, 1.1 can stream up to much higher, and I believe you need a HDMI 1.2 capable device to display 4k and such.

The point of HDMI versions is often overlooked, but describes the MAX-output your monitor can support. I have HDMI 1.0, and an Apple TV (2) that supports up to 1080p.

Check what kind of resolution your monitor support, check the version of your HDMI cable, and check the resolution of your Mac's monitor. If you see the obvious "out of bounds resolution" in either of these devices, this is why it can not make that bridge to steam the resolution to begin with.

These can only process certain bandwiths and speeds, like the wifi modules only pick up 2,5ghz, and use 300MB (I believe), not the 1200MB on 5ghz.

So my iMac 2010 can stream to a device, but only up to 1080p, which my TV will support since the Apple TV reaches it's MAX, and the TV too. Done.

But it will not mirror my desktop to my TV, since it uses a higher resolution that the AppleTV or the TV itself will support. This doesn't stop me however.

You change your monitor's resolution in the display settings right? Try that and match the resolution to your streaming devices and monitor's MAX resolution.

But I tried it and it doesn't yield the result you want; to stream your desktop.

Funny enough it does work on a 21,5" iMac 2011 or 2010; they both have a native-resolution of 1080p and will stream without problems. But Apple capped the 27" probably because that way you "need" a better device.

Airplay also doesn't show in the menu-bar, and I'm on an iMac 27" that has a resolution of 2560x1440. But it does detect AirPlay in Quicktime and other apps that use it's functionality natively.

Simply click the "share" icon in Quicktime when you're playing a movie, and you'll see that you can actually stream to your AppleTV if the resolution of the movie can actually fit on it.

So in short; you can download a 1080p video clip, and a 2k video clip in .mov format, open them with Quicktime, stream them to your device, and see if my science sticks or makes you sick about Apple's practices, too.

The 21,5" has the same WiFi and Bluetooth specs as the 27", so it's capped by native resolution, not by actual display resolution set by the user agent.

Yet the internal resolution is also MAX 1080p which is why it did show the menu-bar icon on a 21,5" iMac, but not mine; the 27" 2560 x 1440 MAX resolution (out of bounds of 1080p) natively to stream.

Because I just use Quicktime to stream certain content, your desktop will not since the content is on top of it, and thus is a much higher resolution to stream than your HDMI or AppleTV version can handle.

Plain & simple. AirPlay works with a native resolution that it can support from start to finish by the compounded effect of all it's parts. One on one.

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  • You are sharing a lot of information here, which makes it a bit hard to find the solution steps between all the details. Could you summarize the steps to take to get Airplay to work in the setup the OP has, at the beginning of your answer?
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 14:13
  • This is not about reproducing the steps, this is about making sure you check all your equipments specifications that you can find on the back or just know.
    – Guus Hoeve
    Commented Jan 31, 2022 at 20:20
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The second reason why you cannot use AirPlay on some of the 2011 models is for the size of their GPU memory. You can check how much your GPU has by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left of your menu-bar and clicking "About this Mac", then select the tab display.

Mine has the 2GB AMD 6XXX series, but some from 2010 have the AMD 5XXX model with only 512MB. That's enough for one display of 2560 x 1440, but not more.

I know this for certain because I sold the one I had for exactly that specific reason; it has only support for 1 monitor due to the lack of memory to support another.

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