Tried posting this earlier and received an error message, so forgive me if this turns out to be a duplicate...
I purchased the gen 3 Apple TV today, hooked it up and everything is working. It found and joined my network, tied in to the Apple servers, but how do I play media from my new iMac on this gadget?
I have a large folder full of freely-downloadable HD shows from across the globe, but I can't seem to find any reference to how to get these playing on the new box. It seems my options are the follows:
1). Upload everything "into the cloud", and then play it back via "HomeShare" on iTunes.
2). Enable mirroring, and play the shows on my iMac so they can be displayed on the TV.
Number 1 sure seems cumbersome, since I have all my shows here on my local machine, and I will never need to play them on a remote machine or hand held iOS device under any circumstance. Number 2 seems like a kludge at best, and it means no one in the household will be able to use the iMac while I'm watching a show, or else I get to see their open window and resulting work or play while I'm trying to view media.
I also saw references to Airplay, but always in the context of using it to play back media that has been encoded in an iOS-compatible format and then streamed from that device to the Apple TV. That is just too many hoops to go through.
After talking with various sales people prior to making my purchase, I was under the impression I could simply select the Apple TV as an output device, much the same way I have my Airport Express hooked to my stereo for music playback. At least offer me some way to drag my show folder to an Apple TV icon so an alias could be created, or something.
Here's hoping I'm missing some incredibly simple way to stream my local media or else I really have no use for this box.