Snap away on your Mac and Apple TV(Image: © Future) Whether it’s for business or something more entertaining, you can screenshot and record from an Apple TV with your Mac. Doing so requires both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, and you use macOS’s built-in QuickTime Player app to get the job done.
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1. Confirm Wi-Fi settings
The first thing you need to do is confirm your Mac and Apple TV are on the same Wi-Fi network. In a home environment, confirmation is less important since there’s probably only one network being used in your house. In an office, this is less certain. On Mac, click on the networking icon at the top right of your computer screen. In the pull-down menu, confirm the active Wi-Fi network. In macOS Big Sur, the current network is shown in blue. Moving to Apple TV, go into the ‘Settings’ app, then choose ‘Network’. Confirm the Wi-Fi networking under ‘Connection’ is the same one being used on your Mac. If not, click on the existing connection, then choose the correct one from the list of active connections. (Image credit: Future)
2. Screenshot Apple TV
Now it’s time to screenshot Apple TV on Mac. Search and select ‘QuickTime Player’ from Spotlight, or choose the app under the Applications folder. When in the QuickTime Player app, click ‘File’ followed by ‘New Movie Recording’ on the menu bar. Most likely, you’ll now see a photo of yourself being streamed! You need to change this, so the QuickTime Player is streaming the Apple TV screen. Click on the pull-down icon to the right of the record icon in the middle of your Mac screen. Then select your Apple TV as the camera. In the pop-up box, add the four-digit code that’s shown on the Apple TV display. Then click ‘OK’. This number verifies that you wish to connect the two devices. You are now recording your Apple TV. To confirm, you’ll see a red border around the Apple TV screen. To screenshot, go to the location on your Apple TV you wish to snap using your remote just as you always do. To take a screenshot, press Shift+Cmd+5 simultaneously on your Mac keyboard to bring up the macOS Screenshot tool. We also have an in-depth guide on how to take a screenshot on a Mac for more information. There are five actions in the Screenshot tool. These actions include capturing the entire screen, capturing a window, or capturing a portion of the screen for screenshots. The choices are to record the entire screen or record a portion of the screen for video recording. To start a screenshot or screen recording:
- For the entire screen or a portion of it: Click ‘Capture’.
- For a window: Move the cursor to the window, then click the window.
- For recordings: Click ‘Record’. To stop recording, click the ‘Stop Recording’ button in the menu bar.
Repeat this process to take additional screenshots from your Apple TV.
3. Copyrighted material
Note that you can’t screenshot or record copyrighted content from your Apple TV. In other words, it’s not possible to record your favorite TV show or movie, then save a copy through QuickTime. Instead, your screenshot or recording will only show a black screen.
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Verify Your Connections
First, make sure your Apple TV device and Mac are on the same Wi-Fi network. On the Apple TV unit, use the Siri Remote to navigate to and open the “Settings” app. It’s designated by a gear icon set against a silver background. Once inside, scroll down to the “Network” option on the list and press the trackpad to open the submenu. Verify you’re connected to the same network name (SSID) as your Mac computer. Read our guide for additional information about setting up your Apple TV device on the local network. On the Mac end, click on the Wi-Fi or Ethernet symbol parked on the menu bar at the top of your screen. Make sure you see a checkmark next to the same network name (SSID) shown on the Apple TV device.
Take Your Screenshots
First, locate the QuickTime Player app on your Mac. It’s designated as a silver “Q” highlighted by a blue background within the letter. If it’s not pinned to the Dock, you can find it by clicking the Launchpad icon. On our test Mac, we found the app stuffed in the “Other” folder. Once the QuickTime Player app loads, click the “File” option on the menu bar and then select the “New Movie Recording” option on the drop-down menu. A window appears on the screen streaming live video from your connected camera. Hover your mouse over the screen until an overlay appears. Click on the down arrow rendered next to the red record button and then select your Apple TV device on the drop-down menu. In this example, we’re using the Apple TV labeled “Living Room.” Move to the screen connected to your Apple TV device and record the random four-digit number. As shown below, you’ll also see the name of your Mac requesting access. Enter those numbers in the pop-up prompt on your Mac and click the “OK” button to proceed. That’s it. You should now see your Apple TV unit streaming to your Mac via QuickTime. As a visual verification, you’ll see a red border outlining the screen connected to your Apple TV device. Remember, you can’t navigate your Apple TV device using your Mac’s keyboard and mouse (or trackpad), Instead, grab the Siri Remote and position the shot using the QuickTime app as a frame. To take a screenshot, press Shift+Cmd+5 simultaneously. You’ll then see a toolbar with three options to capture a screenshot and two for capturing video. Click the “Capture” button when you’re ready to grab a screen. The image will be saved to your Mac, available for you to edit and share with others. READ NEXT
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How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. Since we launched in 2006, our articles have been read more than 1 billion times. Want to know more? With the release of every new mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet, it’s now possible to describe how to take screenshots on it. This is a really popular and even useful feature because it allows you to quickly send screenshots not only to friends and colleagues but also to the operator’s technical support service and/or a service center. In fact, that is why all manufacturers of mobile electronics are always trying to simplify the process of obtaining a screenshot, so that the user doesn’t have to deal with this procedure for a long time. However, in the so-called Apple TV, it’s still a bit more difficult to take a screenshot than in the iPhone or iPad. You can’t just do it that way. At least the usual combination of a couple of buttons on the remote control, by pressing which you can “take a screenshot” of the picture on the screen and then upload it to iCloud, has not yet been invented by Apple. Nevertheless, in Apple TV this function isn’t super-demanded, but it’s not superfluous at all. In fact, there are at least two ways to screenshot the Apple TV screen, and one of them is much less confusing, time-consuming, and more effective than the other, which can be called traditional. So, here’s how to take screenshots on Apple TV in different ways.
How to take a screenshot of the Apple TV screen using Xcode
If you have an Apple Developer Account, you can always download Xcode, a special software package for creating applications for OS X or iOS. After having downloaded Xcode (which by the way “weighs” 4GB and takes up the whole 9.5GB), you can connect your Apple TV to your Mac or MacBook and make screenshots via Xcode. However, it might not happen right away, as it will require some additional hardware. As you may have already noticed, the Apple TV is equipped with a USB-C port, just like the new MacBooks. So to connect one to the other, you need a USB-C cable and a TV (of any diagonal), since Xcode will not display anything with the Apple TV, and an HDMI cable (to connect the TV to the player). Also, of course, you’ll need an Apple TV power cable and remote. So, you will have to mess with the connection. So, how to take a screenshot of the Apple TV screen using Xcode:
- First of all, install the Xcode on your Mac.
- Then, connect Apple TV to your TV.
- After that, сonnect your Mac to your Apple TV using a USB Type C cable to a USB Type A cable.
- Open Xcode on your Mac and click on the “Windows” menu.
- Click on the “Devices” tab and choose your Apple TV from the list.
- Finally, click “Take Screenshot”.
The screenshot you just took will be saved on your Mac in your desktop folder. The default resolution of your screenshot will be 1920×1080, regardless of the resolution set on your display.
How to take a screenshot of the Apple TV screen using QuickTime Player
This way also provides for connection of Apple TV to Mac via USB-C, but at least you can do it without downloading Xcode, and the TV is also not really needed. However, it’s also necessary to “explain” to the media player that it can work without a TV, the role of which in this situation will be played by Mac’s regular display. Though to do this you need a special product, called fit-Headless 4K, which is an emulator of 4K screen. You can buy such a device here, on Amazon. So, if you want to take a screenshot of the Apple TV screen using QuickTime Player, you have to follow these steps:
- At first, connect Apple TV to your Mac and open the QuickTime Player app.
- After that, click on the “File” tab.
- Then, click “New Movie Recording” on the menu bar.
- In the panel that appears, click the small arrow next to the record button and select Apple TV.
You don’t need to record everything, of course. However, now you can use the remote to freely switch menus and take quick screenshots of Apple TV on your Mac through the QuickTime player panel. To do this, press “Command + Option + 4” on the keyboard, then press the space bar, place the cursor on the window, and press the mouse button (or trackpad). If you plan to take screenshots of Apple TV often, it’s better to get the mentioned device and take screenshots through QuickTime Player. Apple doesn’t go out of its way to advertise the fact, but it’s perfectly possible to connect a Mac to a fourth-generation Apple TV or later and grab screenshots and video output from the set-top box. In this article, we’ll show you how it’s done. Note that this method can’t be used to record DRM-protected content off the likes of Netflix or iTunes, but it will let you capture your driving skills in Asphalt 8: Airborne, for instance, just as it will allow you to take screenshots for use in troubleshooting, training, blogging, or any other purpose.
The way to connect a Mac to an Apple TV used to depend on the presence of a USB-C port on the rear of the fourth-generation set-top box to establish a wired connection. But since there’s no such port on the latest fifth-generation Apple TV 4K, that’s no longer an option for a growing number of users. However, thanks to macOS High Sierra and tvOS 11, it’s now possible to connect your Mac wirelessly to a fourth- or fifth-generation Apple TV on the same Wi-Fi network, and you don’t have to download Xcode or any other additional software to do so. Simply follow the steps below, and you should be capturing video and taking screenshots in no time.
How to Grab Images and Video From Apple TV on a Mac
- Turn on your Apple TV and your HDMI-connected display.
- On Apple TV, open Settings and select Network.
- Under Connection, make a note of the Wi-Fi network.
- Now click the Wi-Fi menu bar icon over on your Mac to make sure it’s connected to the same network.
- On Mac, launch QuickTime Player from the Applications folder.
- In the QuickTime menu bar, click File -> New Movie Recording to open a new recording window.
- Click the small down arrow to the right of the red record button.
- In the dropdown menu, select Apple TV under both the Camera and Microphone sections.
- A screen sharing permissions prompt will appear on your Apple TV display. Use your Siri Remote to select Allow.
- To begin recording video, simply click the red record button.
- To take a screenshot of the Apple TV output from your desktop, press the keyboard shortcut Command-Shift-4 and hover the cursor crosshair over the QuickTime Movie Recording window.
- Press the spacebar. The crosshair will turn into a camera and the QuickTime window will take on a transparent blue cast to indicate it’s selected.
- Wait a moment for the QuickTime interface overlay and title bar to disappear, and then click to take your Apple TV screenshot. It will be automatically saved to your desktop by default.
Note: If you want to try the traditional method of taking Apple TV screenshots, you need to download Apple’s Xcode developer utility from the Mac App Store. Bear in mind that it’s a hefty 5.5GB download, and you might run into connection issues if you’re running a beta version of tvOS. After installing Xcode 9.2, launch the utility and select Window -> Devices and Simulators from the menu bar, and you should see the screenshot button in the Devices tab once you’ve successfully connected to Apple TV.
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