Using QLab with AirPlay and Solving AirPlay Problems

So, there's an AppleTV on your network?

The AppleTV is a nifty little device, no question, but for many QLab users it can be a real pain. It either clogs your console with cryptic error messages, or mirrors your Mac when you don't want it to, or both. Fortunately, we here at the F53 Network Troubleshooting Laboratory (also know as Sam's desk) have figured out some answers. These answers assume up-to-date software on the AppleTV, Mac OS 10.8.2, and QLab 2.3.8.

End your woes in six simple steps:

  1. If you can't disconnect the AppleTV from your network, then make sure that AirPlay is ENABLED on the AppleTV.
  2. Launch QLab. If this is the first time QLab has launched since the Mac was rebooted and no piece of software on the Mac has interacted with AirPlay (iTunes, for example), you may have no problems. That's fantastic. But if this is not the first launch since reboot, or something else has invoked AirPlay, you will find that launching QLab invokes AirPlay mirroring, but doesn't change the mirroring status on the Mac to "On". It's On while claiming to be Off.
  3. Turn AirPlay mirroring ON.
  4. Turn AirPlay mirroring OFF. The image of your Mac should vanish from the AppleTV.
  5. Proceed as usual. You should have no more issues until you relaunch QLab, at which point return to step 3.
  6. Added bonus! If you want to send audio (stereo only) from QLab to the AppleTV, you will find that you can use AirPlay as a valid audio patch after doing this little dosey-doe. No luck with video, however.

Be advised:

This is a workaround. It might not work forever. Don't get too attached to anything here.

We hope this helps some of you get some relief from the heretofore maddening AppleTV-related problems.

Happy QLabbing!