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Play DVD from Mac to Apple TV Grey Screen? Fixed!

Q1: When I try playing a DVD from my MBP to my Apple TV, it goes to gray screen. Anyone know why? - from forums.everythingicafe
Q2: I tried to watch a DVD loaded in the imac on the TV via airplay, and although the movie showed fine on the imac, as soon as I turned on Airplay, the picture disappeared, and grey and white checkerboard showed up. Is it not possible to watch a DVD on Apple TV via Airplay? -from discussions.apple

That's because the DVD player can't work with AirPlay streaming or mirroring due to DVD protection limitations. Luckily, there are silver bullets to save you from such predicament. You can resort to a DVD ripper to decrypt and rip DVD to Apple TV on Mac or use Apple DVD player alternative to play DVD on Apple TV 4/3/2 via AirPlay. Both of them are simple and quick.

Solution 1 - Rip DVD to Apple TV Supported Formats

The DVD protection made by DVD publisher or distributor is designed to protect DVD movies from being streamed, mirrored or transferred to anything that the DVD owners don't authorize. So that's why you can succeed on Apple TV with the movie you purchased from Apple Store, but end with failure with grey screen. To successfully play DVD on Apple TV, you can consider MacX DVD Ripper Pro - the world's 1st DVD ripper to conquer all the DVDs (standard or non-standard).

  • Remove any protection from DVDs, including CSS, Region Code, UOPs, CPRM, Sony ARccOS, Disney X-project, etc.
  • Rip DVD to Apple TV 4/3/2 MP4 (H264, MPEG-4 or HEVC) without the bothers of protection or grey screen.
  • High-end multi-core CPU (8) and Intel QSV/Nvidia/AMD tech to quicken DVD ripping 5 times faster than DVDFab, 11.8 mins to finish a 90-min DVD at 185 fps.
  • Copy Disney DVD, Sony DVD, Beachbody DVD, workout DVD, yoga meditation DVD, AV Japanese DVD, etc. with full/main title in 1:1 ratio of quality.
  • Convert DVD disc to digital MP4 MOV MKV AVI FLV VOB AVCHD MP3, iPhone 12/11, iPad Pro, iTunes, iMovie, Android, etc. 420+ preset profiles.

Now let's get started to rip DVD to Apple TV supported formats for smooth DVD playback.

Step 1: Free download DVD ripper for Apple TV on your Mac or Windows PC. Fire it up and click "DVD Disc" button to import the DVD movie from your computer; DVD disc, ISO image (UDF & 9660) and DVD Folder supported.

Step 2: Select the output format as you want. As you want to import DVD on Apple TV, you can choose "to Apple TV Video" as your output format.

You can tick "Safe Mode" when ripping latest commercial DVDs and tick 2, 4 or 6 cores in CPU Core Use to accelerate DVD conversion speed.

Rip DVD to Apple TV
Rip DVD to Apple TV

Step 3: Tap the "RUN" button to begin to rip DVD to Apple TV digital format.

Step 4: After DVD to Apple TV conversion, you can add DVD to iTunes from Mac computer and access to iTunes on Apple TV. Alternatively, you're able to move DVD movies to a thumb drive or USB flash drive and then stream DVD to Apple TV via USB port.

note icon

You're supposed to use this DVD ripper for Mac to rip and play DVD on Apple TV for legal personal use, instead of illegal reproduction or distribution of copyrighted content. Please obey your local DVD copyright law before doing it. DO NOT do harm to others' lawful rights and interests.

Solution 2 - Stream DVD from Mac to Apple TV via AirPlay

When it comes to watching DVD on Apple TV, some people will advice you to use iTunes to AirPlay DVD to Apple TV 4. Without doubt, Airplay gives you a fascinating way to mirror the screen from Mac to a HDTV wirelessly and securely without the need for cables. And there are 2 ways to go based on DVD attributes: stream homemade (unprotected) DVD to Apple TV using default DVD player or mirror encrypted DVD from Mac to Apple TV via VLC.

No matter which way you go, to play DVD data on Apple TV, equip your Mac computer with an external USB DVD drive.

2.1 Stream (Unprotected) Homemade DVD from Mac to Apple TV via Default DVD Player

  1. Play the homemade DVD on your Mac with the default DVD player, after you load DVD disc to Mac external DVD drive.
  2. Apply AirPlay to mirror the DVD playback screen from MacBook/iMac to Apple TV.

2.2 Stream (Protected) Commercial DVD from Mac to Apple TV via VLC

In terms of encrypted DVDs, ditch away Mac default DVD player. Instead, resort to VLC media player. Let's dive right in:

Step 1: Go to "File > Open Disc…" in VLC to play your DVD.

Step 2: Enable AirPlay Mirroring on Mac: Open "Settings" on Apple TV to turn on AirPlay > Check "AirPlay Display" settings in system preference on Mac to make sure it is enabled > Click AirPlay button and select Apple TV > Tap the AirPlay button again and choose "Mirror Built-in Display". Later, you can view your DVD contents on Apple TV 4/3/2.

Mirror DVD to Apple TV via VLC
Mirror DVD to Apple TV via VLC

AirPlay Mirroring Requirements:

  • Apple TV 2 or later; Mac OS X 10.8 or higher;
  • Mac computer models: iMac (Mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer).

Solution 3. Stream DVD Content to Apple TV via DLNA

If your computer has 5KPlayer already installed, just rely on 5KPlayer DLNA tech to cast DVD content from Mac/PC to Apple TV. 5KPlayer is a nice blend of DLNA controller, DLNA renderer and DLNA server. It can activate DLNA tech to cast H.264/MP4 media file from Mac/PC to Apple TV, smart TV, as well as PlayStation, Xbox, etc. (of course, you get DVD ripped by HandBrake or MacX DVD Ripper Pro already).

By the way, this HD video player supports playing 4K/5K/8K UHD videos with multi-subtitle tracks and soundtracks, YouTube videos, HD Camcorder, Blu-ray videos and more. Apparently, playing DVD on Apple TV is a piece of cake now. Follow the steps to stream DVD media files to Apple TV.

Before you go further, you need to install Apple TV DLNA app. The recommended Apple TV DLNA apps are Plex DLNA APP for Apple TV 4th gen, Local Cast, etc. Install one of them, run it and then do as follows:

Step 1: Download this DLNA-based DVD player and launch it. Connect your computer and Apple TV to the same network.

Step 2: Click on "DLNA&AirPlay" on the main UI and toggle on DLAN service on Mac

Stream DVD video to Apple TV via DLNA
Stream DVD video to Apple TV via DLNA

Step 3: Go back to home screen and Click DLNA drop down menu, select Apple TV. Now you can stream your ripped DVD file from Mac/PC to DLAN certified Apple TV.

On top of 5KPlayer, other apps like Plex DLNA server for Mac, Serviio DLNA server for Mac, Universal media server for Mac can also play the role of DLNA server to turn your MacBook/iMac into a media server for wireless media access. Give it a whirl if you have any of them installed on your Mac computer.

Still have any problem on how to play DVD movies on Apple TV, just email us >>
Tags: DVD Play DVD Apple TV