For an introduction to mirroring iOS in Solstice, please see the Solstice User Guide.
Mersive has implemented a subset of the Apple AirPlay protocol in order to support screen mirroring on iOS devices. Screen mirroring enables you to stream the contents of your iOS display to the Solstice host display and works with most applications and use cases. We do not have support for many of the other features including AirTunes music streaming, application specific video streaming (e.g. YouTube app) or other special purpose features.
The AirPlay feature consists of two network based systems to support wireless content sharing. The first system, known as Bonjour, is a multicast DNS (mDNS) based service discovery protocol which enables AirPlay clients to discover AirPlay receivers on the local network. The second system is the AirPlay streaming protocol which uses standard TCP/IP sockets to stream video data from the client to the server.
Troubleshooting Bonjour / mDNS issues
The standard Bonjour system relies on UDP multicast to communicate between devices. There are two common reasons that standard Bonjour doesn’t work.
- The Solstice Host and the Solstice client device are on different networks. This is common when the Solstice client is connecting using WiFi and the Solstice Host is connected to a wired (Ethernet) network. Multicast communications are not typically routed between networks, so Bonjour doesn’t work.
- The network is configured to block Bonjour traffic (either via a general rule applying to all multicast communication or specific to Bonjour traffic). This is commonly the result of an IT network policy.
If you don’t see the Solstice display listed in your iOS airplay list, the reason is most likely one of the two listed above. The best solution is to configure your network so that both the host and client devices are on the same network and that the network allows multicast communication. This will give the best user experience when using iOS devices with Solstice.
In cases where you aren’t able to change the networks settings, you can enable the Bonjour Proxy feature in Solstice. This feature works by instructing the Solstice client software to publish the Bonjour service announcement on behalf of the Solstice host. Because this announcement is being made by the client, multicast support isn’t needed. To enable the Bonjour Proxy, activate the Solstice configuration menu on the Solstice host software by clicking the icon in the lower right corner of the screen. From this menu select the ‘Appearance and Usage’ tab and locate the ‘Usage and Feature Management’ section and click the ‘Enable AirPlay Discovery Proxy’ option.
Once you have enabled the Bonjour Proxy you will have the ability to discover the Solstice display using airplay from your iOS device. The Bonjour Proxy is activated automatically whenever the client is running on your iOS device. To connect using airplay using the Bonjour Proxy, first start the Solstice client and then (with the client still running) activate the iOS Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. From the iOS control center you are able to access the airplay list and you should be able to connect to your Solstice display.
Common issue: Make sure control center is accessible from within apps. Launch the iOS Settins (“gear”) application and select the “Control Center” menu. Make sure the “access from within apps” option is enabled.
Common issue: If you are able to see the Solstice display on your airplay list but you aren’t able to see the connection slider it might be hiding off screen. Scroll up on the list to reveal the connection slider, then connect.
Troubleshooting Bonjour Streaming
If you are able to see the Solstice display in your airplay list but you aren’t able to initiate a connection you have a problem with the streaming part of the airplay system. There are two common problems related to airplay streaming.
- Windows driver update needed
- Network configuration / firewall problems
On some systems we have encountered problems with the video decoding services provided with the Windows 7 operating system. You might have this problem if you see a connection icon briefly displayed on the Solstice Host software when you attempt to connect from your iOS device. We have been able to address this problem in some cases by running the Windows Update service.
In many cases the issues is networking related and the airplay connection can’t be established due to firewall or network port blocking rules. Refer to the network deployment guide for information on the specific ports required for airplay operation.
Diagnostic Procedure for Testing Bonjour Port/Firewall Rules
Step 1: Make sure the client can connect to the server computer.
Use the “ping” command to verify that the network is set up correctly.
- Open a command window on the client.
- At the prompt type: ping SERVER_IP_ADDRESS
- You should get a message indicating that the server responded
If this doesn’t work, there are 3 possible reasons:
- Is the server configured to respond to ping requests? (Try to ping the server from itself to verify that it is responding to ping)
- Does the server (or network) have a firewall configured? Check your Windows Firewall settings or any other security software.
- Is the client on the same network with the server? For example if the client is using a WiFi network that doesn’t have connectivity to the server (Ethernet?) network.
Step 2: Check to see if you can connect to the Solstice ports using Telnet.
- Enable the telnet client on the Solstice client machine and also enable the telnet client on the Solstice server machine. You may have to enable Telnet on windows first - instructions here
- Confirm that the Solstice server is running and waiting for connections on the primary airplay port by using telnet on the SERVER machine to connect to itself:
Step 3: Try Port 7000 with Client
- Open a command window on the client.
- Use telnet to attempt to connect to the server on port 7000: telnet SERVER_IP_ADDRESS
If you aren’t able to connect using telnet (you should get the same response string as above), check that your network isn’t blocking port 7000. The router, the windows Firewall, or other firewall / security software could be blocking traffic.
If you are not able to connect to airplay port 7000 from a separate machine, contact your IT support staff for help.
NOTE: There are multiple ports required for airplay to function, please refer to the network deployment guide for more information on the network ports required for AirPlay.