black crt tv showing gray screen

The assymetry that is Apple TV Screen Sharing

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We were recently watching a dance concert that was broadcast on the web and, man, is it complicated to try to get that to project on an Apple TV to see on the big screen. The big problem here is that there are two kinds of sharing that an Apple TV knows how to handle. The first is if the application itself understands video sharing, then you click on a share button in the application. If it doesn’t then you really want to a screen mirroring and of course this is very different depending on the devie that you have. So a decoder ring:

  1. If you have an iPad, then with IOS 14, if you pull down on the main screen, you get the option to Screen mirror. This shows the exact screen on the Apple TV, you just select it. The problem is that if the aspect ratio isn’t the same, then you are going to get black bars.
  2. However, Safari on the iPad let’s websites that are aware do a pure screen sharing. In that case, you get a little icon and you get the full screen. It is frustrating though because it is not clear why some sites show that screen share and others don’t.
  3. If you have a Mac, then the user interface is completely different with Big Sur, there used to be a Display icon at the top and when you picked it you would see the Apple TV icon. They changed this with Big Sur, now you have to click on the “toggle” icon at the top, this has a bunch of widgets and that is where the Display icon now lives. Frustrating because the documentation when you search on the web refers to the older scheme.

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