9 Replies Latest reply: May 7, 2012 9:06 AM by Steven Shmerler
Steven Shmerler Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

I've read a few posts and a manual and I just want to be 100% sure I'm not confusing iTunes on my iPad with iTunes the application and it's Library.

 

My Mac Pro is in my network via ethernet. If I get an AppleTV I'll plug it into the LAN too and then to my Home Theater via HDMI.

 

In that set up, will I be able to access the content files (movies and music in my Mac Pro iTunes Library) with the AppleTV and be able to see all the titles even on my TV screen?

 

And.. lastly.. what movie formats will AppleTV? Like will it support .avi files example?

 

If not, I have a streaming program called StreamToMe on my iPad with it's companion server software: ServeToMe on my Mac Pro. ServeToMe will serve most file formats (even .avi) to my iPad no problem.

 

So... to play a movie file that is not supported, could I stream the movie with StreamToMe on my Mac Pro > ServeToMe on iPad > AppleTV > HomeTheater/TV?


Mac Pro 3.0 GHz Quad-Core, iPad WiFi/3G, iPhone4, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 30" HP Display, 22" Cinema Display
  • 1. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    Steven Shmerler wrote:

     

    My Mac Pro is in my network via ethernet. If I get an AppleTV I'll plug it into the LAN too and then to my Home Theater via HDMI.

     

    In that set up, will I be able to access the content files (movies and music in my Mac Pro iTunes Library) with the AppleTV and be able to see all the titles even on my TV screen?

    Yes, provided the video is AppleTV compatible - you enable Home Sharing in itunes, same on AppleTV and under the Computers icon you can then select your Mac Pro itunes library, and view the categories of media on screen, select and play.

     

    Now for the downside - for video it primarily plays h264 encoded video. 

    And.. lastly.. what movie formats will AppleTV? Like will it support .avi files example?

     

    AVIs are container formats with variable encoding possibilities.  AppleTV won't play them or MKVs,VOB, ISO etc.

     

    You can however use a utility like Handbrake to convert unencrypted video to AppleTV format, or use itunes if itunes plays it (right click and convert) though that can be slower and tie up iTunes.

     

    And.. lastly.. what movie formats will AppleTV? Like will it support .avi files example?

     

    If not, I have a streaming program called StreamToMe on my iPad with it's companion server software: ServeToMe on my Mac Pro. ServeToMe will serve most file formats (even .avi) to my iPad no problem.

     

    So... to play a movie file that is not supported, could I stream the movie with StreamToMe on my Mac Pro > ServeToMe on iPad > AppleTV > HomeTheater/TV?

     

    No idea about that but it sounds a very cumbersome way to do it.  I'm not a big fan of Airplay there are too many compromises and potential wifi problems to know it will definitely work well in a given environment.

     

    AC

  • 2. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    Supported video:

     

    Video Formats

    • H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats
    • MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640x480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4 and .mov file formats
    • Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280x720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

     

     

    http://www.apple.com/uk/appletv/specs.html

  • 3. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Steven Shmerler Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    This may be moot, but why is Apple so restrictive (AKA chinsey) with the number of movie formats it supports? what's the big deal? Like .avi and MKV seem very prevalent forcing us to go through hoops to view them. Thank god for StreamToMe. I can watch any movie now and don't even have to load it on to my iDevice. Downside is you need to be in a WiFi area and leave your computer on to watch remotely over the web. But it works great. Not over 3G tho.

     

    I wonder why the PC community uses .avi so much.

  • 4. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Rudegar Level 6 Level 6 (19,520 points)

    apples ios devices hardware decoders build into the chips

     

    avi is not a real codec but a container and can be  many different formats

  • 5. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    Steven Shmerler wrote:

     

    This may be moot, but why is Apple so restrictive (AKA chinsey) with the number of movie formats it supports? what's the big deal? Like .avi and MKV seem very prevalent forcing us to go through hoops to view them.

    Because most .avi and MKVs of commercial shows/movies are illegally ripped and converted to start with I would assume.

     

    Secondly Apple  is a control freak with the 'environment' and chooses what it wants.

     

    Thirdly it's what it wants you to use (h264) as that's what it sells or rents in iTunes Store.

     

    AC

  • 6. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Steven Shmerler Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    First off... it shouldn't be Apple's place to play police. 2nd, not ALL formats not supported by Apple are pirated. And just cuz they prefer h264 doesn't mean they should then restrict other formats. I'm not just a loyal Apple user of 35 years, I evangelize them all the time. I love Apple. But once in awhile the control freak thing gets a bit much. Off topic: finally bought an AppleTV 3rd Gen today can't wait to hook it up tomorrow. And thankfully I have StreamToMe/ServeToMe so I can play all movie formats on my iPad and then Mirror to my home stereo whatever file is playing regardless of format. Great work around. Genius Bar said it would work.

  • 7. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Steven Shmerler Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Rudegar, didn't know that. Interesting. But then how come boxes like RuKo can play them?

  • 8. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (17,035 points)

    Steven Shmerler wrote:

     

    First off... it shouldn't be Apple's place to play police.

    I entirely agree it's not Apple's job to police content.  Trouble is whatever their reasons for limiting format support, these reasons are theirs and I don't see them shifting on this after several years of the product.

     

    When the first generation unit came out I really wanted them to add support for other formats as I felt it was one of the main reasons it was less successful than it was - I had friends who were interested in it until they realised they'd need to convert all their video - there were 3rd party and open source modifications that enabled additional functionality so it was not a hardware limitation (for SD anyway).

     

    AppleTV1 had a great interface for the time, but other products have caught up in many ways and offer more varied media support.

     

    I think AppleTV is becoming a product that doesn't really know what it is as there are multiple different ways of using it to do the same things, but some of these are cumbersome to say the least.

     

    AC

  • 9. Re: Can you play iTunes content on your Mac on AppleTV?
    Steven Shmerler Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Good points AC. I always thought AppleTV was stuck in some gray areas which is why I never bought one. I wanted to, but couldn't quite figure out why to and where the redundancies were.

     

    I have Netflix, Vudu, CinemaNow, YouTube on my BluRay, so yeah I didn't have iTunes store access or iTunes Library access. Oh, and no radio.

     

    Then after buying the new AppleTV yesterday, I came home and went on YouTube to view installing and pairing with your files/iTunes etc. and started seeing the dark side of those either using RoKu or jailbreaking their AppleTVs. etc.

     

    That said, after watching the Jailbreak stuff and RoKu box, I'm sure Apple is aware of these things and it will hopefully light a torch as AppleTV can be better and it's a simply matter of upgrading the OS luckily.