Projectors with AirPlay support

Hi all. I want to buy a projector to watch films and other videos, primarily from my MacBook Air. As such, I would prefer a projector that supports AirPlay, so I can easily stream video to it. I’ve looked at the Xgimi MoGo Pro, which is recommended by The Wirecutter, and I’ve looked at the LG CineBeam Compact Projector PF50KS, which a friend-of-a-friend recommended as they have one and are very happy with it. Both look like good projectors for my use, except that I can’t tell if they support AirPlay or not. Neither list it as a feature, but the Xgimi runs Android, and I’ve seen reference to some app that enables AirPlay on Android, and the LG runs WebOS, and I’ve seen reference to some versions of WebOS supporting AirPlay.

But this got me wondering: are there projectors that have AirPlay listed as a ‘native’ feature? Does anyone have any recommendations here. I know I could use a cable, but it’s 2020 and if I’m going to spend this kind of money, I’d like something with AirPlay.

I’ve been shopping projectors as well and stymied trying to find one that clearly supports AirPlay, or at least snaps into the Apple ecosystem with minimal effort. Went into a tailspin with options, lumens, wireless, portable, battery, etc. Decided the best option, at present, is a “dumb” projector connected via HDMI to an Apple TV or iPhone/iPad with a Lightning-HDMI adapter, with a wired connection to a old Visio sound bar.

Picked up a Miroir M289 from BestBuy the other day, not bad, ultra compact and did a decent job lighting up a 100" screen at 10’ away. However, didn’t take long for the wife to want an upgrade, also wanted to start watching outside before it got dark enough for the M289 so we ordered the BenQ HT2050A.

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Thanks for sharing your experience – I’ve had a bit of a look and not found anything, but not researched in depth. Hearing that you couldn’t find anything with clear, simple AirPlay support saves me a load of time searching for something I won’t find! I think you’re right that just using a cable is easiest, and that was my original plan, before I thought, “surely in 2020 there will be a simple AirPlay solution!”

I also hadn’t thought about the fact that an old iPhone or iPad could be used as a simple AirPlay ‘receiver’, so that’s something I’ll explore. I think I’m likely to get the Xgimi projector because in their forum they say you can download some Android app to the projector to enable AirPlay support. It’s a third party app, and from a brief look, I’m not sure of the privacy implications (inexplicably, ‘the cloud’ is somehow involved). But there are a few other AirPlay receiver apps, so at least there are some options to experiment with, on top of your idea of using an iPhone or iPad.

Thanks again!

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The Anker Nebula Mars II supports AirPlay, but can’t play protected content over it, which makes the feature kind of useless. I think an Apple TV connected to the projecter would be the most reliable solution.

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Thanks, Josh, that’s interesting. I didn’t realise AirPlay receivers would distinguish between protected and non-protected content, I assumed that it would display whatever the sending device sent (as the sending device will need to be properly authenticated to access the content). I wonder if this is some limitation of AirPlay vs AirPlay 2?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to buy a cable and assume that is the way I’ll use the projector. If I can get AirPlay working on whatever I buy, it will be a bonus, but not my expected method of operation. I don’t have an Apple TV (or a TV at all), and don’t want to buy an extra ‘thing’. The main attraction of a portable projector for me is that it can be kept in a cupboard and brought out on occasion when I want to watch a film. If I need extra devices to store and hook up I’ll probably just stick with watching on my MacBook Air! So a cable+adaptor is likely the simplest route if I’m going to get a projector.

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If you look at the AirPlay protocol spec (a third-party document, since the official one requires you to join the MFi program), you’ll see that streams support different kinds of encryption including RSA (used by AirPort Express), FairPlay (only supported by Apple gear) and an MFi cipher (used by third-parties that join the MFi program).

Clearly, Apple is sending protected content using FairPlay, which would prevent third parties (even those with MFi licenses) from displaying the content.

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Very interesting, and I guess that makes some sort of sense. I can see how my naive assumption about how it worked would allow easy circumvention of DRM, as someone could write an ‘AirPlay server’ that simply saved the stream to disk. Thanks for shedding more light on the workings of AirPlay, another piece of the puzzle as I figure out what I’m doing. :smiley: