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View Full Version : Is Apple TV what i am looking for? Can it play MKV and other NOT in iTunes?




maf2k8
Jul 22, 2010, 08:49 PM
Ok, Sorry for the NOOB questions here but i am new to Mac and Apple in general and also Apple TV.

I have a i7 iMac and i am looking to stream the movies that are on my iMac to my TV that is in my bedroom ( 32" LCD )

I use a WD HD media player currently but it annoying to always unplug the hard drive to load it up with movies and keep it updated. I could go with the LIVE version but i am more interested in Apple TV ( love the simple, yet Sleek interface )

Anyways, The movies i have on my iMac are NOT in iTunes, they are either AVI, DIVX, MKV, etc....In order to import them INTO iTunes i have to have iTunes convert them i assume ( something i DO NOT want to do )

So, With that said. Does Apple TV only play movies that are imported into iTunes?

Will it play MKV, AVI, DIVX, etc, etc?

What i have been doing which works well but its a bit of a pain, is connect my Macbook Pro to my HD TV via HDMI/display port, Stream my movies from my iMac in the frontroom to my Macbook pro in my bedroom and play them that way, I was think of getting one of the new Mac minis, but that seems overkill just to stream movies wouldnt ya think?

Any help on this matter would be great before i go and spend the money on a Apple TV.

I want to first be sure it can do what i want ( play the files types and stream them, some standard def, some 720p )

Thanks!



Abraxsis
Jul 23, 2010, 12:35 AM
Anyways, The movies i have on my iMac are NOT in iTunes, they are either AVI, DIVX, MKV, etc....In order to import them INTO iTunes i have to have iTunes convert them i assume ( something i DO NOT want to do )

So, With that said. Does Apple TV only play movies that are imported into iTunes?


Yes, the actual ATV interface will only play things loaded into iTunes. However, you can run a patchstick on it and run XBMC, which can play pretty much any file. Its super easy to patch the AppleTV. Download a PAtchstick img, write it to a flash drive, insert flash drive to ATV, start it up, let it run, unplug, remove flash drive ... profit.

The upshot of this method is you get to keep the regular AppleTV interface for music, videos, and podcasts within iTunes. Then when you want to watch an alternate file format, just Launch XBMC from inside the AppleTV interface. It all works very well together.

You can make sure you are sharing the folders you keep your movies in (via a SMB share) and link that to XBMC. That way you will always be able to access your files via 802.11n instead of taking the time to transfer the movies onto the AppleTV internal drive.

This site will help you out, it is also where the most up to date patchstick images are. http://code.google.com/p/atvusb-creator/

darkgroove
Jul 23, 2010, 08:36 AM
I don't think the ATV can support HD video though... something to keep in mind.

Abraxsis
Jul 23, 2010, 10:15 AM
I don't think the ATV can support HD video though... something to keep in mind.


AppleTV supports both 720p and 1080i.

darkgroove
Jul 23, 2010, 10:21 AM
It can support 720p and 1080i that you get from the Apple Store. It probably will not be able to support 720p/1080p MKV videos and other high-res videos you encode yourself.

Fuchal
Jul 23, 2010, 10:45 AM
It can support 720p and 1080i that you get from the Apple Store. It probably will not be able to support 720p/1080p MKV videos and other high-res videos you encode yourself.

Correct, it's way too slow to handle decoding those.

Abraxsis
Jul 23, 2010, 11:22 AM
It can support 720p and 1080i that you get from the Apple Store. It probably will not be able to support 720p/1080p MKV videos and other high-res videos you encode yourself.


1080p MKVs yes. However, I play 720p MKVs all the time on my unit. Although there has been a few that were choppy in fast motion areas when streaming from the iMac's internal drive. When that happens I just transfer the MKV to the local drive and it plays fine. Everyone is correct regarding 1080p stuff, just doesn't play.

720p avis on the other hand are no problem. I currently have a 720p 3.7GB AVI that I am streaming to the AppleTV without issue. I usually download my TV shows in 720p AVI as well, never had an issue with them either.