Hollywood’s worst nightmare: OS X Mountain Lion’s AirPlay Mirroring

“One of the features that immediately caught my eye about Mountain Lion was AirPlay Mirroring,” Ryan Faas reports for Cult of Mac.

AirPlay Mirroring is “a great entertainment solution and one that has some dramatic advantages over AirPlay Mirroring on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S,” Faas reports. “Those advantages are likely to set the stage for a showdown between Apple and the entertainment industry.”

Faas reports, “Want to watch on your TV but not feeling so invested that you want to shell out the handful of cash to buy it via iTunes? No problem, fire up CBS.com, turn on AirPlay mirroring and watch the episode on your TV for free. The same approach will work any broadcaster’s website as well as with Hulu.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Our collective gut tells us that the announcement of AirPlay Mirroring is intended to send a strong signal to Hollywood: Finally get serious and negotiate with us in good faith or we’ll go around you and, ultimately, right over top of you. It strikes us as a classic Jobsian tactic, virtually guaranteed for success, and one that Tim Cook could have easily deployed yesterday.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. I like it. We still need to fix the Internet providers lock on bandwidth usage, throttling and ridiculous cost. They are looking to start charging users similar to liquid volume. Since when did packets of data become monetarily valued like gallons or liters?

    1. Because A) the copper or fiber, equipment and other support infrastructure required to deliver those packets of data is very expensive – and like water, not unlimited, and B) the bandwidth itself – the system capacity – is not unlimited.

      Throttling, bandwidth caps, and usage fees are how the providers keep the service affordable for ALL users.

      How do you figure the cost is ridiculous? What do you think it should cost, and upon what do you base that opinion?

      I don’t like the pipe providers any more than anybody else, but this notion that they’re “ripping people off” or that the cost is “ridiculous” is childish and ignorant. These companies are in business to make money, and if they can’t make money, they won’t offer the service and you won’t have any service.

      1. Bingo

        I have tried to explain this exact thought in other posts and it is amazing how utterly ignorant people are.
        (if you don’t understand, go research and make yourself smarter)

        It’s as if they think you can just push more and more data thru the phone lines with out any worries or “costs”.
        Love to see some of them pay for one month of a OC3 line.

        In case you were wondering?

        OC3 – 155 mbps fiber
        Pricing – between $10,000 and $50,000 monthly

        So if you want to guarantee everyone gets 6 mbps download all the time, that would be 155 divided by 6 = 25.83.

        Let’s just round that down to an even 25 users.

        Now take that $10,000 and divide by 25 users = $400

        Correct me if I am wrong, but that’s $400 a month for each user.

        I now this is oversimplifying it but it’s to make a point.
        FAT pipes cost lots of money.

        1. First of all the price of NEW technologies always is high.
          OC3 at 155 runs on Fiber lines and those lines need to be installed. The prices reflect those lines and keeping them + the technology. There will always be higher options and better speeds…

          I understand what you are say and I believe in your point…
          but speak to the owner on this he will straighten you out.
          HE basically says the BANDWIDTH IS THERE – there is no reason to be charging internet like water.

          YET, I do understand your point. SInce NETFLIX arrived in CANADA – Bell and Rogers raced to the CRTC to ask to place a cap on data – and bill it like water. YES, some peoepl have been abusing the usage… but now data has a set price.


          1. I don’t really mind being charged according to bandwidth usage, but what bothers me is when one set of data (YouTube or FaceBook use) is considered “free” while text messages (a mere few KB of data) are charged extra. It’s pure insanity. Data is data, Youtube is a bandwidth hog, texting is not.

          2. “HE basically says the BANDWIDTH IS THERE – there is no reason to be charging internet like water.”

            You get it. The others…hello, thats what I’m trying to say. I’m not talking faster or larger pipes….duh

        2. That’s all horseshit. They are providing a service and are gouging people,with the prices they charge to maintain incomes not services. Anyone thinks otherwise is just fooling themselves…or being totally dishonest. Fair? F*#k fair. I’ll just do without.

          And by the way, the Nets don’t all show complete episodes online. And they don’t like ‘mirroring’ as if that were a different outlet. Just ask TWC and Comcacst no got bitten for allowing it on iPads.

        3. In America they can get away with gouging.
          In England, less than $100 a month gets you landline phone service, 100+ channel TV and 100Mb broadband-soon to become 120Mb-with no cap.
          Americans put up with gouging when others will not.

      2. Or your town can form a public utility, put in the service the “free market” refuses to provide and let the cable and telcos kiss their patooties. For reference, see Lafayette, LA.

  2. I don’t get it. What’s the big deal? Why would Hollywood care what screen their content is playing on? If they are giving it away to the Internet via computers, then they’re giving it away, period.

    1. Because it removes the opportunity for them to have their own solution for internet-streamed non-computer screen viewing. Take Hulu for instance. They charge users money to watch content on devices other than their computer. This bypasses that altogether, so it’s reasonable to say that it would make them mad. Also it violates Hulu’s (and probably CBS’s and all the rest’s) Terms of Service to do this.

  3. Wrong. The resolution is nowhere near high enough even to go full screen on my iMac and have a good picture. Now it’s going to be blown up for my 46″ HDTV?

    It may be a “free” solution, but you just shot your HDTV back to 1976 picture quality.

    1. I early said we shouldn’t overstate Mountain Lion Airplay mirroring. Now I’ll say don’t understate this either.

      1976 picture quality? Really?

      The picture quality of a 720p Youtube video scaled to my 42″ 1080p TV kicks the crap out of the 26″ CRT I had up to a year ago, and my old roommates’ 32″ CRT before that.

      No, the 720p isn’t BluRay 1080p quality, but it sure as heck is not 1976 quality either.

  4. This is the first thing I thot of when I saw the Airplay feature on Mountain Lion. FINALLY!

    It is just so ridiculous that when I download the ESPN app on my iPad that I can’t watch ESPN 3 content unless I have a “special” cable/internet provider.

    But then I can load ESPN 3 in Safari on my MBP and watch any ESPN content I want–using the SAME cable/internet provider that did not work with my iPad app.

    Had to do this ridiculous work around for the AL – LSU game. Hooked my MBP up to my HDTV because my ESPN app won’t allow me to watch the same content on my iPad.


    But yes, Roll Tide!

  5. I like the idea of wireless video mirroring too, but let’s not overstate this.

    This is just the wireless version (which is very convenient, granted) of connecting to your TV with a VGA or DVI cable, or HDMI for any device equipped with HDMI-out… with the slight advantage of being able to output 1080p instead of Airplay’s 720p.

    The wired option even lets you output to the TV as an extended, second screen. Apple’s web pages give no indication this is anything other than mirroring, which by definition means it’s a copy of your screen, so you can’t do other foreground activities (browse the web) while the video is playing.

    1. Clarifying issues due to grammar: I mean that Airplay is limited to 720p, while HDMI-out and DVI can output at 1080p.

      And of course you *can* do do foreground activities while the video is playing, but of course that’ll cover part of the video on the TV too.

  6. it’s about time airplay comes to the mac, but it’s not good that i’m going to need to get a macbook pro that can support the new hardware requirements.

    i found airparrot.com is a great alternative, which is an app for mac that can mirror your desktop to your apple tv 2 over airplay. it works on 10.6 and 10.7, meanwhile apple’s solution later will only works on 10.8 and will have some hardware requirements even if you can install mountain lion.

    1. No, it isn’t the same thing. Not by a long shot. I have many friends with AppleTVs, MacBooks (white, air, pro) and iPads. Not a single one of them has EVER bothered to hook up that MacBook to their HDTV. They all tried and occasionally use Airplay. They’d be thrilled to use Airplay with their Macs.

      If anyone is still wondering why, they must be extremely geeky. Nobody really cares to stretch cables across their living room, just to that they can have their laptop screen mirrored on their TV. If this were done wirelessly, with a simple software solution, they’d all try it and, ultimately, use it.

      1. I have my old G5 server hooked up to my TV in the bedroom.

        I’ve been wanting to replace the TV in my living room and attach a Mac mini to it ever since the first update of the Mini, but I’ve been holding off because of the persistent Apple TV rumors. Of course in the end, I may just end up with the Mini anyway because I bet that’ll be more flexible for my needs.

      2. i use Airplay and my Apple TV when i can, but if I’ve got a live concert streaming through Safari (e.g.-Phish shows), I hook my laptop up via HDMI and audio optical out all the time. Two 9′ cords neatly tucked away in my stereo cabinet come out and quickly attach to my MBPro.

        and for fun last week, i hooked it up and ran my SereneScreen Marine Aquarium screensaver to my 52″ plasma all day. it was fun having a giant and realistic fish tank in the living room.

        some of us will still put out a minimal amount of effort to not always live wirelessly.

  7. Great been waiting for this but really its just cutting the cord and doing what many of us were doing for years a different way.

    If TV Out coming to laptops did not scare Hollywood then I do not see how this is any different.

  8. …except that I like next to nothing that’s on network TV. The majority of shows that i watch are on HBO and Showtime, or sports games that are on various “cable” stations, which still require subscriptions to a cable provider. Once I can subscribe to individual apps/stations – hopefully at a non-ridiculous rate – then I can truly “cut the cord”.

  9. Considering that we can already do exactly the same thing WIRED, I personally don’t see the big deal here. And please note that I would loooove to stick it to the MPAA parasites.

    Hollywood’s worst nightmare would be the illegalization of their oh-so-precious DRM (Digital Rights Manglement) media infection, aka my dream of freedom from MPAA abuse.

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