Apple TV 2nd Gen - Avi Files & Hack

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jwalker90, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. jwalker90 macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    Hey guys,

    I was just dropping this thread to find out some information on the new apple tv i have purchased, ive got to say it has potential.. however i have a external hard drive with avi files on which i would love to watch on my new product but itunes wont allow avi to added to the library, this is a shame because it will take ages to export the files to mv4 or mp4 which i have tried and it works but it takes 2hours an avi. I was wondering if you guys know a way around this issue? or will it come in the hack thats going to be released soon on the apple tv? or maybe the next software update?

    I feel if there isnt a way around this then its a pretty pointless gadget as it was one of the main reasons i bought it :/

    If any of you guys could help me on this i would be very grateful!

  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Sorry Jordan, but you obviously didn't do your homework if that is the main reason you bought AppleTV as it is not designed to play back avi files...only items that might reside on your iTunes library.

    There may be a jailbreak workaround in the future, but as designed and shipped, ATV will only playback content you have purchased (or rented)through iTunes...or have turned into mp4 files.

    What are you using to encode your avi to mp4? Handbrake is about the best there is.
  3. jwalker90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    i had a feeling it might work the same way as front row the same as the previous ATV's :/

    i have been playing the avi in quicktime then exporting it to m4v, on average it takes as long as the avi is, ive had no problems with the quality but it would take forever to do this with all the avis on my hard drive.

    I am hoping when someone hacks it they allow avi to be played back via atv.
  4. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    One workaround will be available with the release of iOS 4.2. So as long as you have an iDevice, you should be able to use a program like Zumocast, which will stream almost any file type in your library to your iDevice, doing the necessary encoding in real time on the Zumocast host computer. From there, Airplay should allow you to transmit that stream to the Apple TV. Not the most efficient method, but it should work. (I'm counting on this!)

    Of course the other option is, as you note to convert the avi's to a compatible format directly. Yes, this takes a long time, but if you use a program like Handbrake, you can add a bunch of files to the queue, and let it run as long as necessary - no user interaction required.
  5. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    +1 Handbrake.

    I would be shocked if you couldn't crank out 10 or 15 each night. Use the AppleTV preset.
  6. jwalker90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    Thanks guys i will download handbrake and see what its like, i will get back to you with the results! if i can get 10-15 a night it should be all sorted in about a month! haha..

    Thanks once again and if you come across anything else please dont be shy to informing me :)
  7. Seamaster macrumors 65816


    Feb 24, 2003
    An Elgato Turbo 264 HD dongle will make it quicker and easier.
  8. jwalker90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    ive never heard of one of these before care to explain?
  9. jwalker90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010

    Hi mate, whats the apple tv preset can i ask?
  10. tropic10 macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2008
    The quality of the encodes will also be inferior to Handbrake.
  11. jgunn macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2008
    god not only that but the audio drifts out of sync and by the end it's unwatchable. I know, I just converted about 300 movies over the last few weeks.
  12. silentsim macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
  13. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    where do you get .avi files from? the only place i know of is torrents.

    why not get quality sources from the dvd or bluray itself and convert them in handbrake?

    the conversion from avi to m4a/mp4 will just be janky.
    the only other option is to try and find isquint that might keep it as is and recode it to mp4 format.

    but to be perfectly honest youd be wasting time converting archaic file format and garbage quality.
  14. ZoNoZ macrumors newbie


    Oct 11, 2010
    Thanks for the tip about Handbrake, it works perfectly.
  15. jwalker90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2010
    yeahh man this happened to me with the one i exported through quicktime.

    Can we come to a conclusion what people find the best program to use? i want to be able to set a queue off for avis to be converted so i can play on my apple tv, is it only handbrake that can do this? also which is the quickest and withholds the best quality?

    Thanks again

    P.s. does anyone know if a hack for the new ATV will be released anytime soon if so what have they changed?
  16. chp5592 macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    We really need the Apple TV app store to open and Air Video will be the perfect solution to play your AVI files. They could probably port to the Apple TV quickly.

    I too love the Apple TV (mostly for its excellent and responsive NETFLIX app) but would love to play back AVI files without conversion.

    Otherwise, I guess we can wait for iOS 4.2 to come out and Air Video will probably support AirPlay. I use Air Video for Ipad all the time, but streaming to Apple TV will probably result in some loss of quality. Definitely would not be 720p.....

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