Developers: The secret to connecting your Apple TV to your Mac's display

When we first started developing Live TV for the new Apple TV, we set up two testing carts with HDMI monitors. But ideally, our developers wanted a way to just bring up the Apple TV as a window on their Macs using the real remote and hardware (as opposed to the Xcode Simulator).

The new Apple TV supports screen recording in Quicktime via USB-C, but that only works if a HDMI screen is connected.

But you can trick the Apple TV into showing a picture by connecting an active HDMI adapter box, e.g. a HDMI to optical audio splitter like this one.


So the full setup works like this:

  • Connect the Apple TV to your Mac via USB-C
  • Plug your active HDMI adapter box into the HDMI port
  • Fire up Quicktime, start a new Movie recording and choose the Apple TV as your source
apple tv dev setup
Live TV on a real Apple TV in Quicktime alongside Xcode


And there you have it: How to see your real Apple TV on your Mac.

P.S. We've got amazing holiday deals on accessories for your Mac, iPhone and iPad at

Enquire now

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.
Privacy-Settings / Datenschutz-Einstellungen