Control AirPlay Access

Reflection is a good solution, but on a per user basis. One of the problems with reflection is that they license per user, not per machine. We have 15 Apple TVs and are running Reflection on 6 machines. We have 10 more Apple TVs on the way. I haven’t found a MDM solution for managing the Apple TV, but have a way to control access to them.

Keep in mind that all the devices (Apple TV, Desktop/Laptop running reflection, & iPad) need to be on the same subnet/VLAN. For best performance, connect the Apple TV and/or Desktop/Laptop with an ethernet connection on the same subnet/VLAN as the wireless network that the instructors iPad is on – you’d have the least latency problems.

Our solution to the password compromise problem is to use the VLAN technique.

Hardwire your Apple TV or Desktop/Laptop running Reflection and set those ports to VLAN 100. Create an SSID that only your instructors iPads (and Laptop if running Reflection) can connect to and set it to the same VLAN. Run an extra SSID that is not on the same VLAN for students to connect to.

VLAN 100 for Apple TV
VLAN 100 for Desktop/Laptop running Reflection
VLAN 100 for SSID: Instructor Wi-Fi
VLAN 200 for SSID: Student Wi-Fi

Then you can set the name of the Apple TV (we use by room number) and it really wouldn’t matter who knows the password. You can set it to the room number. Instructors just have to respect the other instructors and not try to take control over them. You’d just have to manage control over that instructor SSID. If you have more than 10 Apple TVs, I’d use different VLANs for different rooms because the AirPlay selection box on the iPad isn’t very big. Less than 10 can stay on the same VLAN.

Also, if you need to give access to AirPlay to your students, buy 2 Apple TVs. Put one on the Inst. VLAN and the other on the student VLAN. Then allow the teacher to switch between them with your media switcher.


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