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Old Apr 12, 2010, 12:16 PM   #1
jrod64
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Does Apple TV stream Home Videos from iMovie?

I am trying to find a solution to our problem but I am not very technical.
We have a ton of home videos which we started uploading to your G5 desktop.
My wife has requested I figure out a way to stream them to our Plasma so that we can watch in our family room.
Would an Apple TV work for us in this case? I looked in the apple website and it only mentions movies rentals and streaming of music and iPhoto but nothing from iMovies.

We have a mac mini which I know we are not using to its full potential. Could this maybe also the solution to our problem? If so how could I stream from out G5 to the mini? Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 01:05 PM   #2
cdavis11
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Not directly from iMovie, no. But you can move an iMovie project over to iTunes quickly and then play from the iTunes library your aTV is linked to.

I have about a half dozen home movies that were created/edited in iMovie and iDVD that are played this way.

Works great.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 02:38 PM   #3
fpnc
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What cdavis11 said is true, however, the movies have to be in a format that can be played on the Apple TV. The Apple TV has specific requirements for the file types that it will play, it can't play everything that will work on your Mac or that can be output from iMovie. Check here for the complete list of supported file types and formats:

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

You will note that the Apple TV has no support for either DV or MPEG2. The Apple TV also won't play movies that have resolutions over 1280x720 (at 24fps or less) or 960x540 for anything that exceeds 24fps (and that includes 30fps NTSC video which means that there is no support for 30fps HD content). Thus, if you have HD movies that are in a 30fps, 1080i or 720p format those will have to be down-converted to a resolution of 960x540 (either that or you will have to reduce the framerate to 24fps and downconvert to 1280x720).

As for the Mac mini, yes, that could make a good media server as long as it is at least a dual-core Intel model. However, the PowerPC-based Mac minis don't really have enough power to handle playback of anything better than 640x480 video. If that is the kind of home movies you have (i.e. SD at 640x480 or less) then the Mac mini could work for you (but the mini won't be able to handle the HD content from the iTunes Store).

In any case, I use a 1.5GHz PowerPC Mac mini as my media server for my Apple TV and that works very well since the mini doesn't have to play the content, it just needs to stream and sync content to the Apple TV.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 05:01 PM   #4
ayzee
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Is your mac mini close to your plasma tv? You can use a VGA lead to connect your mac mini to your tv and use as a second monitor.

This is my home theatre set up and it works great, no need for an apple tv, just a $20 cable
all macs have the application frontrow which is basically the apple tv Interface on your mac
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 05:39 PM   #5
jrod64
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Yes we can place the mac mini next to the plasma tv. The problem is that all the videos are on the G5 which is on the other side of the room. Is there a way to somehow stream from the G5 to the mini across the network?
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 05:49 PM   #6
fpnc
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iTunes v9.X supports Home Sharing so that you can access and play media that is on another Mac/PC. So, yes, if you are using the latest version of iTunes you can stream video from one Mac to another. However, your network will have to be fast enough to support the data rate in the video (and then some to allow for overhead, etc.).

There are also streaming servers that will connect two Macs and allow you to access the media on the other computer.

In any case, note the restrictions that I mentioned earlier with PowerPC-based Mac minis. You aren't going to be able to play HD content on a PowerPC Mac mini (if that is what you have).
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 05:58 PM   #7
jrod64
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Thank you very much FPNC. The mini we have is about one year old (core 2 duo) so this should work. I will need to move one of the iMovies over to itunes and then see if I can watch it on the mini through home sharing. Again, thank you all for your help.
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Old Apr 12, 2010, 06:17 PM   #8
fpnc
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Actually, Home Sharing does more than just allowing you to stream content, it also allows you to copy and sync content between the two computers (which is kind of nice for backups of purchased content, etc.). Simple streaming doesn't even require Home Sharing, streaming between two Macs has been supported for some time now even in earlier versions of iTunes (it only requires that you enable shared libraries within iTunes).

Also, there may be some formats that won't play in iTunes (those are probably pretty rare) and there are some formats of video that won't stream very well because their bitrates exceed the network bandwidth (an example of that might be DV, at least on wireless networks). In any case, if it plays from within iTunes on the G5 then it should play when streamed to the Mac mini (if network bandwidth permits).
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 03:57 AM   #9
Dobbs2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpnc View Post
In any case, note the restrictions that I mentioned earlier with PowerPC-based Mac minis. You aren't going to be able to play HD content on a PowerPC Mac mini (if that is what you have).
Um ppc minis can play "most" HD content just fine. I don't know where you got that idea. My friends has one and it plays 720p mkvs just fine and even HD trailers from apples website.
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 05:00 PM   #10
jrod64
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Thank you all for you help with this. I was able to create a movie last night transfer it to itunes and watch it on our Plasma using the mini. Again thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old Apr 13, 2010, 07:51 PM   #11
fpnc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fpnc
In any case, note the restrictions that I mentioned earlier with PowerPC-based Mac minis. You aren't going to be able to play HD content on a PowerPC Mac mini (if that is what you have).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobbs2 View Post
Um ppc minis can play "most" HD content just fine. I don't know where you got that idea. My friends has one and it plays 720p mkvs just fine and even HD trailers from apples website.
Well, I have the fastest PowerPC-based Mac mini that Apple ever produced sitting right besides me and it literally pukes on any iTunes-ready 720p content that I try to play on it. This is the 1.5GHz G4 unit that Apple never formally announced (it was a "stealth" upgrade) that not only has the fastest CPU but also twice the video memory (64MB) of any other G4 Mac mini. I'm also testing this on a clean install of Mac OS 10.5.8 and the mini has been expanded to its maximum memory capacity (that's "only" 1GB, but it can't be taken any higher).

On this unit, when I try to play 720p content from either the iTunes Store or similar resolution HD trailers from the QuickTime website I average about 10 frames per second at BEST. As for the trailers, since I have QuickTime Pro I can download these to the Mac mini so the playback problems aren't related to network issues. If you try these same videos on the VLC player the results are about the same with the VLC statistics panel showing over 10% frame loss and a frame rate of zero (I think the latter is only a statistical anomaly since you do get several frames played each second). So, while this unit can "play" HD content it does so in a stuttering, near slide-show mode which is hardly worth watching.

Here's my rule of thumb on video playback, if the playback averages more than 60% or 70% of the available CPU cycles then it is likely to drop frames at some point in the playback (although the faults may be minor until you get near 80% utilization). When I try 720p playback on my PowerPC Mac mini the CPU is maxed out to 100% which means that it isn't even close to offering decent HD playback.

Now, you mention MKV files and I suppose that with a third-party codec bundle (Perian?) you could see better result than I'm getting with QuickTime and VLC. However, even if that were the case I wouldn't try to claim that PowerPC Mac minis can play "most HD content." Besides that, we were taking about using the iTunes player which without third-party extensions can't even use MKV files.

Lastly, here are Apple's own specification for playback of HD 720p video content:
Quote:
1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster Macintosh computer
And here is the link to Apple's complete list of requirements for SD, enhanced SD, 720p, and 1080p:

http://www.apple.com/quicktime/player/specs.html

P.S. I just tried some 720p MKV files that I got off of the DivX website and they were even worse than the QuickTime files (although I'd admit that with this small sample -- two files -- I can't really say that this is representative of all HD MKV files). I used VLC to play them and not only did I see lots of frame stutter but there were many scenes that broken into random colored squares with hardly any recognizable image. However, these same files played just fine on my Mac Pro (where the playback uses only about 30% of one core).

Last edited by fpnc; Apr 13, 2010 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Added comment about DivX MKV files
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