How To Mirror a Mac to a Smart TV

The great news is that more and more Smart TVs are now compatible with Apple devices. They natively support wireless screen mirroring from a Mac and many other Apple gadgets.

How To Mirror a Mac to a Smart TV

The bad news is not all TVs are compatible with Apple. But if your TV isn’t compatible, you can mirror your Mac to the device via a cable or a third-party app.

The following sections explore different methods of screen mirroring from an Apple device for some of the most popular Smart TVs.

Mirror a Mac to a Samsung Smart TV

Newer Samsung Smart TVs support AirPlay 2, a specific Bluetooth protocol Apple uses to wirelessly send audio and video signals to external devices.

As for Macs, devices that came out in 2009 or later all support AirPlay2, and that applies to MacBooks, Mac Minis, Mac Pros, etc. However, you should update your OS before attempting to mirror the screen to ensure a seamless connection.

Assuming your devices are compatible and updated, here’s how to mirror your screen.

  1. Find the AirPlay icon in your Mac’s menu bar (it looks like a monitor).
  2. Click the icon and choose your Samsung Smart TV from the pop-up window.
  3. Your Mac’s desktop should appear on the TV in a second.

Also, many streaming apps support AirPlay and feature the icon within the playback window. So, you just click on the icon to mirror the video to the TV.

But what should you do if you can’t see the AirPlay icon?

  1. Launch System Preferences and click on Display.
  2. Click on the drop-down menu next to AirPlay Display.
  3. Select your TV from the menu, and the mirroring starts.

Note: These actions were tested on a Mac with macOS Big Sur 11.6.

Alternative Methods

If you have an older Samsung Smart TV, it might not support AirPlay 2. In this case, your Mac won’t recognize the TV automatically.

To mirror your screen, you’d need to use an HDMI cable or a third-party app. Generally, mirroring via a cable is more stable – albeit not as convenient – as using an app.

Truth be told, it’s hard to find a free app that provides stable seamless mirroring. The main problem is that there’s some lag between the computer and the TV. That might not be a big thing for streaming videos, but it’s an issue if you need a bigger screen for productivity.

Important Note: Your Mac and Samsung TV need to be on the same network for the AirPlay to work.

Mirror a Mac to an LG Smart TV

Apple has had a long-standing relationship with LG, and most devices from the South Korean manufacturer support AirPlay 2. This means that you won’t need to use a cable or third-party apps unless your TV is more than a decade old.

However, you should still ensure that the TV’s firmware and macOS are updated. Here’s how to mirror your LG.

  1. Click on the AirPlay icon in Mac’s menu bar.
  2. Select your LG Smart TV, and you’re good to go.

To disconnect from the TV, click on the AirPlay icon again and select Stop Mirroring.

But what if there’s no AirPlay icon? Then follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your MacOS is up to date. If not, update it first.
  2. Go to System Preferences and choose Display.
  3. Click on the drop-down menu next to AirPlay Display.
  4. Select your LG Smart TV.

Tip: Mirroring on LG Smart TVs also works seamlessly with all other Apple devices.

Mirror a Mac to a Toshiba Smart TV

In mid-2020, Toshiba introduced AirPlay 2 support so you can connect the two devices wirelessly without third-party apps. But if you don’t have the latest Toshiba Smart TV, you need to use third-party apps or an HDMI cable.

The following section gives you general directions on how to use third-party apps because most of them follow the same methodology.

  1. Download and install the mirroring app on your TV and Mac.
  2. Run the app on both devices.
  3. Enter a code or scan a QR code to start the connection.

Note: The last step may need to be applied only once for certain apps. Otherwise, you’ll always need to enter the code to establish the connection.

Apple TV Method

If you have Apple TV, you don’t need third-party apps, cables, or anything else. Your Mac will recognize the streaming device automatically and establish a seamless connection. Here’s how to use it.

  1. Make sure your Mac is on the same network as Apple TV.
  2. Click on the AirPlay icon on your Mac’s menu bar.
  3. Choose Apple TV from the pop-up menu, and that’s it.

HDMI Mirroring

Despite the wired connection, HDMI mirroring is simple and stable. Take the following steps to establish the connection.

  1. Hook the TV to a Mac via the cable.
  2. Select the correct source input using the TV’s remote.
  3. Choose Display Preferences on your Mac.

Depending on the OS you’re using, your Mac will automatically ask you if you want to mirror the screen or use it as a secondary display. The latter allows you to basically have two different desktops and switch between them with swipes.

Important Note: Some newer Macs don’t have an HDMI output. If so, you’ll need to use a Thunderbolt to HDMI converter to establish a wired connection.

Mirror a Mac to a Philips Smart TV

Unfortunately, Philips Smart TVs don’t come with native support for AirPlay 2. So, you need to use third-party apps, wired connections, or Apple TV to mirror your Mac. The following sections give you a quick tutorial for each method.

Third-Party Apps

This is a general tutorial that applies to most third-party apps.

  1. Download and install the mirroring app on your TV and Mac.
  2. Run the app on both devices.
  3. Go to AirPlay on your Mac and choose your TV from the device list.

Tips: Sometimes, there’s an intermediary step asking you to enter a passcode to establish mirroring. Don’t install the apps that require you to download and install additional codecs for video or audio.

Wired Connection

  1. Connect your Mac and Philips Smart TV via an HDMI cable.
  2. Select the correct HDMI input on your TV.
  3. Choose Display Preferences on your Mac.

Note: Wired connection is also possible via a Thunderbolt connection so long as your TV supports it. And the mirroring method is the same as HDMI.

Apple TV

Mirroring via Apple TV is super simple, and you don’t need additional apps or cables. Just click on Airplay in Mac’s menu bar, select Apple TV, and that’s it.

Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

The great news is that a lot of manufacturers are including AirPlay 2 support with their Smart TVs. And it wouldn’t be wrong to assume it’s going to become a stock standard soon.

Be that as it may, this article has given you all the methods to effectively mirror your screen regardless of the Smart TV make and model. But keep in mind that it’s better to use a cable than an app, if for nothing else than connection stability.

Did you encounter any problems connecting your Mac to a Smart TV?

Give us the benefit of your experience in the comments section below.

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