AirPlay and DVDs

I’m using an MacBook Air 2018, 13" Retina display running Mojave 10.14.6 (see earlier postings, Catalina trashed my system).

I’ve got an Apple external DVD drive (left over from a Mac Mini from a few years ago). The DVD player plays DVDs beautifully on the Air. The Air can send the output of the computer to my Apple TV (and its associated 55" LG TV set).

When I attempt to send the DVD output to the TV, the window on both the Air and the TV turn a solid Grey color. I can hear audio, but I get no video. I’ve tried various settings (mirroring the Retina Display, or the TV or…) Nope. Sending anything else - Safari windows, MacMail, Photos, iTunes - they all work. DVD - not at all.

I realize that DVDs are old technology and many movies are available for streaming. Many - but not all.

If I can’t get this working, it won’t be a tragedy. I’m trying this because my old DVD player died. If there’s an easy fix then I’d love to hear it! If not, I’ll survive.



Sounds like copy protection on the DVD is preventing it from displaying.

You could rip the DVD first, removing the copy protection. That’s what I do with my DVD collection and then I play it on my TV via the Plex app on my ATV. I use RipIt software on my Mac to rip the DVD. Works great.

1 Like

I don’t think the particular disk I tried was copy protected. I’ll try with a couple of others and see.

Thanks for the suggestion! Copy protection is nothing I would have thought of.


I think Apple put code in their DVD player app to prevent streaming it to other devices. I think they also have code to block screen captures of running videos.

If you use a different app (like VLC) to play your DVD, you shouldn’t have an issue.

1 Like

Interesting! I’ll look into VLC.



And VLC was the answer!

David, thanks again. You were on the money!

Best regards,


Yes, VLC is a saviour on many fronts.

I see you got sorted but I would recommend Handbrake for taking the video off the DVD, all the better to back up and have for the future, plastic media being the fragile thing it is…

Note that VLC won’t play copy protected DVDs. (Unless something has changed – it’s been a while since I’ve tried it.)

I don’t know Handbrake - I’ll look into it.

Thanks folks!

Everyone here is just so good and so knowledgeable. It’s a joy.


For copy protected DVDs (or ones that won’t play because of the region setting of the DVD player) it may be best to use Ripit to create an unprotected DVD file (image) and then Handbrake to create an MP4 video file that will play on any Apple device.

1 Like

Michael -

Thank you. Interesting about out-of-region DVD’s. I occasionally run into some stuff that’s only available on British media.


You must be confusing VLC with something else. It has always been able to play CSS-encrypted media.

You may be thinking of Handbrake (a popular transcoding app) that won’t decrypt content without manually installing a (easily found, but not bundled) plugin.