updated 02:09 am EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Only works with iOS 7.1 at present, Mavericks support likely ahead
The recently-released Apple TV 6.1 update that arrived on Monday has an undocumented new feature that allows AirPlay sessions to be initiated using Bluetooth rather than Bonjour, a change that should make third-generation (1080p-capable) Apple TV units friendlier to complex networks such as those found in institutional and enterprise environments. The system can still scan using Bonjour as well, but will work with Bluetooth if the initiating devices are running iOS 7.1.
The functionality is not yet available in Macs running OS X 10.9.2, but could be added in a future update, Appleinsider reports. The Bluetooth is only used to scan for and announce devices that support AirPlay, which still relies on Wi-Fi to stream content.
The feature was first discovered by an Apple IT community site, and will let Apple TVs -- which are becoming increasingly popular in board rooms, hotel meeting facilities and classrooms -- connect despite any network restrictions that inhibit Bonjour, such as separate subnets for different equipment. In addition, Apple TV OS 6.1 added the ability to hide unwanted channels.