We cut our cable several years ago and have watched most of our TV on Hulu by connecting a laptop to our TV using an HDMI cable. This has always worked fine, but it was a pain to connect the cables and quite often the sound didn’t work.
I was excited to hear that the new version of Mac OS X (Mountain Lion) would have native support for AirPlay mirroring to our AppleTV. I’ve used apps like AirFlick before, but it never worked with Hulu. I finally had a chance to use the AirPlay mirroring to watch a show last night and was disappointed to find that I couldn’t close the lid to my laptop without it going to sleep.
No physical cable
Previously, I was using an HDMI cable and the TV was essentially a second display. The laptop was smart enough to know that when I closed my lid, it should use the TV as the primary display and not go to sleep. With the lack of a physical cable plugged it, it didn’t know to stay awake.
I could have change my power settings to never go to sleep, but usually when I close the lid, I want it to sleep. I don’t want to have to remember to change my settings before and after I use AirPlay.
Enter the NoSleep Extension by Pavel Prokofiev. It lives in the menu bar and simply prevents my laptop from going to sleep when I close the lid. Clicking the icon toggles the functionality and right-clicking offers a preference pane where it is possible to target the no sleep behavior to only battery or power adaptor environments.
This is a great utility that does one simple thing and does it well. Now I can watch my shows and not worry about burning up my display by leaving the laptop open. Kudos to the developer of this app.