Streaming a DVD to another Mac via VLC

This post shows you how to stream a DVD from a sending Mac (e.g. an iMac) to a receiving Mac (e.g. a MacBook Air) using the free VLC media player. The explanation is also valid for other systems running VLC, but you will have to substitute a VNC server and client for the Mac’s built-in Screen Sharing (which is, in fact, based on VNC).
  • Remote-controlling the sending Mac: You need to activate Screen Sharing on the sending Mac. Then the receiving Mac can remotely control it: The sending Mac shows up under “Shared” in the bar on the left of a Finder window. If you click on it, a button “Share Screen...” appears in the top right of the window. Tip: Put the screen sharing application into full screen mode then you have the usual wipe gestures and keyboard shortcuts for switch between the “remote screen” and “local screens”. All other mouse and keyboard input will be sent to the remote machine.
  • Streaming the DVD: Execute “File → Streaming/Exporting Wizard...” in the sending Mac’s VLC (you can do this via Screen Sharing or at the sending Mac). The following steps are shown:
    1. Stream to network
    2. Select a stream: usually /dev/rdisk3 (copied from “File → Open Disc...”)
    3. Streaming method: HTTP, no destination
    4. Transcode: don’t transcode anything
    5. Encapsulation format: MPEG TS
    6. Additional streaming options: local playback. This shows the DVD menu on the sending Mac.
    After you have finished the above steps, a DVD menu appears on the sending Mac.
  • Watching the stream on the receiving Mac: Select the appropriate content via the DVD menu on the remote screen. Execute “File → Open Network...” in VLC. Enter a URL such as “http://MySendingMac.local:8080” (the “Computer Name” you entered in the Sharing preference panel of the sending Mac). An IP address will work as well. Now you should be watching your DVD. To save processing power, you can minimize the VLC window on the remote screen. You can also quit the screen sharing application, but it is useful for, e.g., pausing playback.