What is the highest resolution possible when using airplay to display photos via Apple TV?

1 Answer from the Community

  • A good question, but an irrelevant one. I could say "1080p" but it's better to understand what's going on. You see, AirPlay does NOT display photos or video to the AppleTV; it sends a copy of your device's screen in real time.

    Lets say you have:
    - a 12 MP camera (4,288 x 2,848 pixels)
    - a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display (2,560 x 1,600 pixels, or 4 MP)
    - an Apple TV connected to an HD television (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), or 2 MP)

    When you display your photos, iPhoto resizes ("downsamples") the 12 MP photos to fit on the MacBook's 4 MP screen.

    When you turn on AirPlay mirroring, the MacBook downsamples the 4 MP screen to fit on the television's 2 MP screen.

    So the resolution of your photos does not matter at all, and it's the television that is usually the lowest-resolution device in the chain, and thus determines how sharp the photo looks.. Note that if you have an inexpensive 720p HDTV (1280 x 720 pixels, ~0.92 MP), your photos will be more fuzzy on the TV and much sharper on the MacBook.

    • Answered by Julian B from Baie-d'urfe
    • 21-May-2014