Airplay Direct: Network No Longer Required


When you’re able to mirror audio/video of your entire iphone/ipad or computer screen (OSX 10.8) wirelessly to a TV using a cheap $99 portable device (Apple TV 2), the possibilities are endless for presentation purposes.

The only problem is, both Mac OSX/iOS device and your Apple TV is required to be on a wifi network for both of them to communicate and transmit its encrypted data. Normally that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue since broadband is probably in your home and relatively everywhere these days, but once you start to imagine what if you didn’t need your devices to be connected to a wifi network router for them to work? Well, let’s just say, it makes the use of these devices so much more practical.

While I’m on the road, I like to bring with me an Apple TV so if I want to share my computer/devices wirelessly for personal or work purposes on the TV and there’s a local network that supports internet privileges, then I’m in business. I simply place both the devices on the network and begin transmitting. Voilà!

The problem with requiring both devices to be on the same network may sometimes create a challenge for the user if there are restrictions on how internet enabled devices connect to the internet or if there’s no internet available!

A typical example of an issue that I have found often as well as friends I’ve met, should you travel and prefer to watch your portable content on the hotel TV instead of your iPad, the idea would be to connect your Apple TV to the hotel’s network and your iOS device to the same network enabling connectivity. Well, what if the hotel you’re staying at for a week requires that any internet device first connect to a web browser and for the hotel’s terms and conditions be accepted before internet can be provided? Well, that means you’re in for a big fat let down, because Apple TVs do not come with a web browser therefor your Apple TV won’t get its required internet access granted to receive your wireless audio/video you want to watch on your television.

Even if you were able to get your Apple TV on a hotel network, the next challenge you’re faced with is internet latency. Hotel networks are notorious for serious network congestion since everyone is using it when you are and 100% of the network is being pushed beyond its capacity. Other words, it’s just down right slow therefor any idea of audio/video streaming will be probably not meet your expectations!

Another simpler example, should you be at the office or at grandma’s house and no internet or wifi is available, you’ll have no way for your devices to communicate since internet is required.

Note: I’m aware you can tether your computer or iOS device directly to the TV, but not only is that inconvenient, I’ve sometimes seen only component inputs on hotel TVs or no inputs accessible for the user to connect their devices.

There is hope for you or at least for me who suffers from this no internet challenge! According to the latest internet rumors, Apple is set to announce an update for your iOS devices and/or Apple TV, which will enable Airplay, the technology that Apple developed to support audio/video streaming, to create and broadcast its own local ad hoc network! That’s big news, because you will no longer need a wifi network or internet at the very least for your devices to communicate with each other. The devices itself will be able create a short range wifi gateway for them to communicate with each other wirelessly. Also, should you purchase portable speakers that supports Airplay, these too should expect to see an update with this new feature!

Now, when you’re at Grandma’s, who doesn’t have internet nor the wits to maintain a wifi network of her own, you will be able share with her all the joys of your family videos/photos wirelessly on her TV without her hunched over and squinting at your portable devices.

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