One of the biggest features in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is the ability to stream content from a Mac wirelessly to an Apple TV through Airplay Mirroring. Unfortunately this feature only works with specific hardware: the mid 2011 iMac, Mac Mini, and Macbook Air, as well as the MacBook Pro model introduced in early 2011. This restriction is mentioned on Apple’s promotional website for OS X as well as the store page for OS X Mountain Lion, but it has apparently caught some Mac users off guard and annoyed others.
There is a thread within Apple’s support forum labelled “Mountain Lion AirPlay Mirroring (iMac to AppleTV) Not Working” which has received over 540 replies and 30000 views, at the time of writing. It started with a comment from a community member named jcetheredge. “AppleTV sucessfully networked with my iMac (at least where iTunes and iPhoto are concerned.) But AirPlay icon is NOT appearing in my menu bar. Any clues as to why this is?” Minutes later the original poster realized what the problem was, “My iMac is too old. Late 2009.” but the thread didn’t close.
Customers who bought Mountain Lion with AirPlay Mirroring in mind have had mixed results getting a refund from Apple’s customer Support. JCTI is an example of a successful case, though he took exception with the support staff’s reasoning that this was an unintentional purchase. JCTI feels he was scammed because “Apple lied to the consumers. Never informed that the appliance Airplay, was not going to work in Mac´s bought before 2011”. This is despite the multiple disclaimers that explain that the feature is not supported on pre-2011 Macs.
Cult of Mac interviewed Sid Keith of Airparrot, who claims that the reason that Airplay doesn’t work on any pre-2011 devices is because of a lack of on-GPU H.264 encoding in older hardware. While there may be some truth to that claim, such encoding has been available in mobile chipsets for years. The Nvidia Geforce 8600m, for example, has hardware H.264 support and can be found as early as the 2007 MacBook Pro.
Do you think its unreasonable for Apple to cut off a key feature of Mountain Lion for relatively new computers, or is there more to the limitation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
James Veselsky says
I was about to DL the new OS for that feature alone. I am running an MBP 2009 unibody aluminum case. If the OS is upgradable so should all the features. So now I am not interested in upgrading my OS. Kind of a bummer, since I have 2 MBP, 2 iphone, ipad and an Apple TV. Just completely unforgivable.
I just updated to Mountain Lion, Mirroring was one of the most reason for the update, but Unfortunately I cant use this feature because i have MacBook Pro!
I think that is not fair
I was fooled!!! I didnt read the fine print. I would have appreciated knowing what features would/would not work just prior to download (a prompt saying AirPlay will not work on your late 2010 MBA ). I have asked for a refund…we will see.
Denise Routen says
Funny that iTunes playback works fine – Apple are just trying to limit media purchase choices to Apple sources – sam thing with the poor performance issues around AppleTV3 and Netflix…
I was disgusted when i installed ML and found no airplay, my top range 2010 27″ imac is far more capable in everyway than my dad’s 13″ 2011 MBP, and yet that gets airplay… It makes no sense what so ever, there just trying to force people to upgrade perfectly good hardware, becoming really really dissapointed with apple recently, i am in the middle of trying to get a refund, airplay was the top feature i wanted.
The Macniac says
Apple DID mention Airplay wasn’t gonna work on those machines…
LV Bill says
I asked at the Apple Store and was told it would work with my machine (2010 iMac w/2.8 ghz i7 chipset with 12 gigs of Ram). It clearly doesn’t, which is the whole reason why I went to the store to ensure it would work.
it is ridiculous, what do they expect that i drop my 2000 EUR mac of 2010 which still goes very well, to bloody upgrade to a ne OS?????? absurd!!!
Apple Sux says
The ONLY reason I updated was to get mirroring and it doesn’t work with my Mac pro. F**k you Apple.
Apple Sux says
I am seriously pissed. Ugh, been an avad Apple supporter for a long time and this has tainted my opinion heavily. Just a bunch of greedy bastards.
I have updated to Mountain Lion, Mirroring was one of the most reason for the update, but Unfortunately I cant use this feature because i have IMAC from end 2010!
I think that is not fair
I am absolutely disgusted with how Apple has approached this both from a feature standpoint and consumer awareness. I think it’s not fair to provide higher visibility to such a rich feature not compatible with older mac….especially mine that’s only mid 2010 Mac Pro. I think this is robbery in daylight which they will get away with.
this is a waste of 20usd! they want us to buy the new imac and spend another 2-3k for one feature… rip off
BVunalicious Vernites says
I just went to the Uptown Apple Store yesterday to check out Apple TV. Most importantly I did not want to buy Apple TV unless it would work with my MacBook Pro. I told the genius I bought my computer in 2010. He told me all I had to do was purchase Mountain Lion and airplay would work. After a couple hours of downloading/setting everything up I came to this forum. I am so very disappointed.
People they are using Airplay to show their presentations on TV’s and Projectors. now all PHD’s, Doctors, Professors, Teachers have this Big problem and that APPLE does NOT care at all. it’s been a long time and with 10.8.1 updates all we’ve got surprised that this issue still not resolved!!
We should go with Samsung, for real they are beating Apple with Phones and very soon with Laptops SamsungSeries 9. so next time Apple has to resolve their Stupid BUGs ASAP, the only word I can say for now is….F#ck Apple Administration after Steve Job left, and Apple will be gone within 10 years, remember my words! Period.
Users who are using Airplay to show their presentations on TV’s and Projectors. now all PHD’s, Doctors, Professors, Teachers have this Big problem and that APPLE does NOT care at all. it’s been a long time and with 10.8.1 updates all we’ve got surprised that this issue still not resolved!!
We should go with Samsung, for real they are beating Apple with Phones and very soon with Laptops SamsungSeries 9. so next time Apple has to resolve their Stupid BUGs ASAP, the only word I can say for now is….F#ck Apple Administration after Steve Job left, and Apple will be gone within 10 years, remember my words! Period!
no. no to your concluding statement.