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How to Connect and Stream Mac to TV

There are many different reasons why you might want to stream media content from your Mac to television via screen mirroring or casting. There are multiple ways to connect Mac to TV, and while it is nice to have options, it can leave you needing a bit of guidance regarding which method is right for you.

In this guide, we explore how to stream videos from Mac to TV seamlessly and with minimal hassle.

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How to stream from Mac to TV

Mac to TV Connection Methods: Wirelessly or with a Cable

There are many ways to show the contents of your computer or cast specific videos to a bigger screen via your Mac.

Mirroring methods include simply using a wired connection to effectively turn your television into an extra display or monitor for your laptop. There is also the option to cast Mac to TV, with some apps having an inbuilt method of doing so or third-party software opening up the casting functionality of your Mac.

Wireless Options

Wireless options may vary depending on whether you want to mirror Mac on TV, sharing the whole contents of the screen, or just display an individual media item like a video.

A lot of smart televisions are AirPlay-compatible and will allow you to use the AirPlay function already built into your Smart TV. It allows you to broadcast videos from your macOS to your TV wirelessly. AirPlay-enabled or DLNA devices make it possible to screen share and connect Mac to TV along with Roku and Chromecast but require additional apps to be installed.

Stream from Mac to TV using Elmedia Player

Elmedia Player can open and stream any format through AirPlay 2 or DLNA. It is also compatible with Chromecast and devices like Roku, so you have options for how you wish to stream.

It has numerous settings for better streaming compatibility, such as resolution adjustment (to help with low bandwidth), subtitle encoding and burning, and more. Also, the additional settings come in handy too - for example, external audio and subtitle tracks, and subtitle search which allows you to find specific ones for the video you are watching in many languages.

You can learn how to stream Mac to TV in the free trial version. The streaming feature can be tested for free - you get 5 minutes to try it out.

Stream from Mac to TV using Elmedia

icon pros Pros

  • Resolution adjustment to give you control of your display (and adjust for bandwidth
  • Cast to a variety of devices.
  • Subtitle support and search function.

icon cons Cons

  • Only a five-minute free trial, enough to check if it is working.
  • No option for full-screen mirroring.

How to Stream from Mac to TV via Elmedia Player

1. Download Elmedia Player and activate the PRO version. Or you can purchase it from the Mac App Store.

Stream from Mac to TV with Elmedia

2. Make sure that your Mac and television are both turned on and linked to the same Wi-Fi network.

3. Open Elmedia Player from your dock or applications and play a video.

How to Stream from Mac to TV using Elmedia

4. You’ll see a Streaming icon in the bottom right, next to Settings and Playlist. Click it.

Stream Mac to TV wirelessly with Elmedia

5. Select the device or smart TV you want to cast to from the list and wait for the content to begin. You may have to allow access on your television.

Mirror Mac to TV with JustStream

Stream Mac to TV wirelessly without any unnecessary features. JustStream is a specialized streaming player with a simple and user-friendly interface. It’s compatible with any format, most network media devices (AirPlay, DLNA, Chromecast), and even external subtitles.

Stream media or mirror, enable or disable your mouse pointer, or adjust the streaming resolution - there are many features of JustStream that can’t be found in the default Mac AirPlay functionality.

Stream Mac to TV using JustStream

icon pros Pros

  • Includes an option to mirror Mac on TV.
  • Easy controls within the menu bar.
  • Compatible with many streaming devices.

icon cons Cons

  • The free version interrupts playback regularly.
  • May use a lot of your Mac’s CPU.

How to Screen Mirror Mac to TV Using JustStream

  1. Download JustStream from the Mac App Store.
  2. Click the JustStream icon on the Dock or from Applications to open the interface.
  3. Click the WiFi icon at the bottom and choose your receiving device.
  4. Click the + and select the files or folders you want to play.
  5. When the list comes up showing playable files, double-click one to start streaming it.

Stream from Mac to TV with AirPlay (Apple TV/Airplay 2-enabled Smart TVs)

AirPlay is a built-in option for those looking to cast and screen share. To AirPlay to TV from Mac, you need to make sure your devices are compatible and AirPlay-enabled.

You can use an Apple TV device, but there are also many Smart TVs that come with AirPlay support already, so you don’t need to buy anything extra. Just check if your television will work before you try to hook up your Mac.

What is AirPlay?

AirPlay is Apple’s inbuilt technology to stream to TV from Mac. It works on iPhone or iPad too. AirPlay uses the internet connection to send data from one device to another through the network and display it on your target television.

AirPlay-Compatible Apple Devices

If both of your devices support AirPlay2, the latest offering from Apple, then you should be able to screencast from Mac to TV without third-party apps. For example, macOS has a built-in screen mirroring feature. It isn’t perfect by any means, which may lead you to seek out better apps.

The following Apple device models are AirPlay-compatible:

  • iMac after 2011
  • iMac Pro after 2017
  • Mac Mini after 2011
  • MacBook after 2015
  • MacBook Air after 2011
  • MacBook Pro after 2011
  • Mac Pro after 2013

The latest version of AirPlay, AirPlay 2, will allow you to stream Mac to TV from any Apple device made in the last seven years.

List of AirPlay Compatible TVs

To help you to work out if you are going to be able to broadcast or project videos using AirPlay directly to your TV, check out the list of the AirPlay-enabled Smart TVs:

  • Philco Roku
  • Philips Roku
  • Polaroid Roku
  • LG FHD and Micro LED televisions (2022, 2023)
  • LG Life Style (2021, 2022, 2023)
  • LG NanoCell 4K and 8K (since 2018)
  • LG UHD, OLED 4K, and 8K (since 2018)
  • LG QNED 4K and 8K (since 2021)
  • Samsung Crystal UHD Series 6, 7, and 8 (since 2018)
  • Samsung The Frame Series (since 2018)
  • Most Sony models since 2021
  • Hisense A6K Series (2023)
  • Hisense A7H Series (2022)
  • Hisense A7K Series (2023)
  • Hisense L5 and L9 Series (2023)
  • Toshiba C350 Series (2022, 2023)
  • Toshiba E330 Series (2022, 2023)
  • Toshiba M550 Series (2022, 2023)
  • Xiaomi 4K UHD
  • Vizio D-Series, E-Series, M-Series

See the full list of models on the official Apple website.

How to AirPlay from Mac to Apple TV

  1. Connect your Mac and your Apple TV to the same network.
  2. Open a video you want to stream from Finder.
  3. Click the AirPlay icon in the top right.
  4. Select the Apple TV from the list of devices. Your stream will start.
  5. To stop AirPlay, you can tap the AirPlay icon and choose "Turn off AirPlay."

Connect Mac Computer to a TV with a Cable

This is still one of the most reliable Mac to TV connection methods. It should work in most cases unless either of the devices is damaged.

You can use Thunderbolt, DVI, or HDMI cables to hook your Mac to the television. Keep in mind that you may need an adapter, such as a Thunderbolt to HDMI adapter, in order for this to work.

Use System Settings - Monitors and System Settings - Sound to start using the wired connection. After that, your desktop will be projected directly to the other screen. Just choose a file and start streaming the video from Mac.

Step-by-step Guide:

  1. Connect your Mac output to your display using an HDMI cable. Put this into the HDMI input on your TV. This may require an adapter.
  2. Go to Monitors and System Settings to set up the screen as an additional monitor. Choose from the Monitors tab.
  3. You should see the whole desktop projected onto the screen, so you can open a video and begin watching.

Comparison Chart of Mac to TV Connecting Options:

Here is a comparison of a few things you should know before choosing a way to connect the Mac to your television in a simple table form.

Option Feature Compatibility
Cable Can connect to a variety of devices with no internet needed Devices with HDMI input
Elmedia Player Huge amount of control and compatible devices Roku devices, Chromecast, TVs including Samsung, Roku, LG, Sony, Panasonic, and other DLNA-certified devices
JustStream Includes a screen mirroring option to share Mac screen with TV DLNA-certified TVs and devices
AirPlay Included with your Apple device. But not all external devices are compatible. AirPlay and AirPlay2 compatible Macs, Apple TVs, and some Smart TVs


If you are having trouble using AirPlay on your television from your Mac, check that both devices are compatible with AirPlay and connected to the same network, as this is required to allow them to connect. If you still have problems, you may wish to try a third-party app to stream your Mac.
If you don't have an Apple TV, you can still broadcast over your network directly.
  1. Check if your Smart TV and Mac computer are connected to the same WiFi network.
  2. Next, decide which connection method to use: native Screen Mirroring or a third-party media app (e.g., Elmedia Player).
  3. If you choose the Screen Mirroring option, click the Control Center icon and continue with the selected method.
  4. If you prefer to connect your Mac to the TV wirelessly for streaming a single local video to a bigger screen, it's better to proceed with a third-party app like Elmedia Player.
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