Entertain Yourself from the Couch
As well as display photos and music, AirPlay can enhance how you use your iOS devices for entertainment, such as for movies, TV shows, and games. An Apple TV is essential if you want the ultimate performance from your AirPlay network. If you haven’t bought one yet, you can pick up one for about $100.
The latest model, released in early 2012, allows full HD streaming and includes enhanced Wi-Fi. There have been three iterations of Apple TV: The first one looked like a flattened Mac Mini, whereas the second and third looked more like ice hockey pucks. You want a puck, because the first-generation model doesn’t provide the same level of connectivity and control as the newer devices. There’s little reason to bother with the second-generation model, either, unless you get a big price break, because the third-generation model costs the same and provides better Wi-Fi performance and supports 1080p HD video (versus 720p HD for the second-generation model).
With an Apple TV connected to your network, you can boost how you use your TV. For a start, you can use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to play games on the big screen, using your device as a controller. Mirroring from an iOS device also makes a difference in how you watch sports. (In Chapter 5, I describe several amazing apps that improve your viewing options.)
You can use AirPlay to send video from apps that support AirPlay from any iPad, from an iPhone 4 or later model, or from a late-2010 ...