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How to Mirror a Mac to a Roku Device

Are you tired of watching movies on the small screen of your Mac? Or maybe you’re taking a break from subscribing to streaming platforms and your Roku device seems to be gathering dust.

Whatever the reason, mirroring your Mac to a Roku device can help elevate the quality of your media entertainment. You can use it to stream directly from your stored show and music collection, view vacation photos, or even get a head start when working on complex designs or large amounts of code.

Here’s what you need to know about mirroring a Mac screen to any Roku device.

Mirror a Mac to a Roku device using AirPlay

AirPlay is a very useful feature of modern Apple devices. Combined with HomeKit, it can be used to mirror whatever you’re seeing on your Mac screen to a Roku device.

However, there are some requirements. First, you need to make sure you’re running a macOS version of at least 10.14.5. Second, you must check the compatibility of your Roku device to ensure it supports HomeKit and AirPlay.

Once you figure it out and everything is in order, there are five steps you need to follow.

  1. Connect your Roku device and Mac to the same wireless network.
  2. Open Airplay on your Mac.
  3. Open “Control Center”.
  4. Select “Screen mirroring”.
  5. Select your Roku device from the list.

Usually this process shouldn’t take more than a few seconds if you have a good connection.

Please note that you may need to enter an AirPlay passcode on your Mac before you can proceed. The passcode is generated and displayed on the Roku device’s screen if the connection is established.

Enable AirPlay on your Roku device

Since compatible Roku devices have AirPlay as a built-in feature, enabling it is pretty simple.

  1. Go to the home screen of your Roku device.
  2. Go to settings.”
  3. Select “Apple AirPlay and HomeKit”.
  4. Turn “AirPlay” to “On”.

You may also want to change the Require Passcode field to First Time Only to avoid having to type in a passcode each time you want to mirror your Mac to that Roku device.

Mirror a Mac to a Roku device without AirPlay

AirPlay is a built-in feature that works wonderfully if you have compatible devices. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to mirror a Mac to a Roku device when using older models or versions of macOS.

Apple may not have anything for this, but there are third-party solutions.

Mirror a Mac with AirBeamTV

AirBeamTV is a paid app with mirroring and streaming capabilities. It’s fairly easy to set up, and despite having some video lag compared to AirPlay, it doesn’t suffer from audio lag.

This makes it a good option for streaming, but less impressive for productivity and work-related activities.

Here’s how to use AirBeamTV with Mac and Roku devices.

  1. Put your Mac and Roku device on the same network.
  2. Install the “Mirror for Roku” on your Roku device.
  3. Throw AirBeamTV on your Mac.
  4. Select your Roku in the “Target Device” list.
  5. Select the “Mirror Mac Screen” option.
  6. Enable the option “Enable sound on TV” if you want the audio to come from the TV speakers.
  7. Check the box next to the “Scale screen to fit TV screen” option to prevent stretching or shrinking.
  8. Hit the “Start Mirroring” button.
  9. Alternatively, manually start the “Mirror for Roku” channel and click the “Start Mirroring” option.

If the channel is installed on your Roku device and your Mac is on the same network, the “Mirror for Roku” channel should automatically open and start mirroring your Mac’s screen within a few seconds.

Mirror a Mac with JustStream

JustStream is another third-party alternative to mirror your Mac to a Roku device, especially when dealing with incompatibility issues with macOS or an older Roku model.

Using the app requires following a few simple steps.

  1. Install JustStream on your Mac.
  2. Connect your Roku to the same network as your Mac.
  3. Start the application from the “Menu Bar”.
  4. Select the screen you want to mirror from the “Screens” list.
  5. Tap the streaming device icon.
  6. Select your Roku device and add the 4-digit code.

JustStream has a free version and a paid version. If you stick with the free one, mirroring will stop after 20 minutes. You can reconnect and use the app indefinitely for free if you don’t mind interruptions every 20 minutes.

The paid version of the app removes the time limitation. Please note that JustStream only works with smart TVs and will not be compatible with all Roku devices.

Mirror a Mac with an HDMI cable

If you keep your Mac and Roku devices side by side, there is no need to use screen mirroring apps. Using a wired connection is a great way to eliminate video lag and ensure smooth playback.

You can connect your Mac to your Roku TV with an HDMI cable. On models with Mini DisplayPorts, you may need an additional adapter to support streaming video and audio.

Configuring the quick start function

The Roku TV and Roku Streambars won’t always stay connected to the wireless network if you turn them off. This can cause some issues with AirPlay and HomeKit, and potentially force you to go through a longer mirroring setup every time you want to mirror your Mac’s screen.

Enabling an option will help prevent this.

  1. Go to your home screen on your Roku TV or Streambar.
  2. Enter the “Settings” menu.
  3. Go to “System”.
  4. Select “Power”.
  5. Enable the “TV Quick Start” feature for your Roku TV.
  6. Enable the “Quick Start” feature for your Roku Streambar.

This keeps Roku players powered up and connected because it overrides normal power settings. If you don’t want constant power consumption, disabling these options will make your devices more efficient and greener.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the AirPlay icon missing?

There are two reasons why the AirPlay icon might be missing. Maybe your Mac doesn’t support it, in which case it won’t show up. The other reason is that the feature might be disabled.

In order for the icon to appear on compatible devices, you will need to go to “System Preferences” in the “Displays” section. Enable the “Show mirroring options in menu bar when available” option. This should make the AirPlay icon visible and allow you to connect to a compatible Roku device.

Can you play a single media file with AirPlay?

AirPlay is a service that supports mirroring and streaming. Therefore, it is possible to stream a single file from your Mac to your Roku device. This is a great alternative to mirroring because it allows you to do other things on your Mac while simultaneously streaming music, movies, shows, and other content on the big screen.

easy transmission

Roku devices are a great alternative to more expensive Apple TVs, especially when you want to project or mirror the screen of a Mac, iPhone, or iPad. While there are some incompatibility issues with older versions of Rokus and macOS, you don’t always have to use the internal mirroring app, AirPlay.

Sure, it’s the best in terms of performance, but many third-party workarounds work fine and are compatible with more devices and macOS versions.

Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below when using AirPlay versus third-party solutions and any other alternatives you’ve found reliable.

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