ATV Not Playing Video Content from iTunes Library

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by u1stafterme, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. u1stafterme, Mar 3, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013

    u1stafterme macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Title says it all. Just picked up Apple TV (Gen3). No problems setting it up and getting Airplay and Shared Libraries configured. Seems to be playing music and photos OK, but I think it is getting the media data for these from from iTunes Match and Photo Stream (I am not 100% certain of this or sure if it is relavant to the issue) as opposed to getting it directly from my iTunes Library.

    Any ways, I can see the movies I want to play on the Apple TV menu under "computeres > movies> ...", but when I play them, I only see the pinwheel going for 10-15 minutes and nothing else happens.

    FYI, my iTunes library is on an USB connected external harddrive, not sure if that could be playing into this.

    I have temporarily turned off my firewall.

    I have reset the Apple TV and set up again from scratch.

    Google searches point to a lot of people having similar issues when trying to play rented (streamed) content. My media is on a local external hard drive (not from internet). Haven't seen this discussed in these forums (granted I only did a cursory search here).

    Any help or insight is welcome. Thank you!
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    can you play them on your computer?

    have you tried restarting your computer and/or iTunes?

    if that doesn't work, try rebooting your router.
  3. tyr2 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    I found the Apple TV to be quite picky about the media, particularly videos, it will play.

    Remember that it does not have access to any additional codecs you may be using in iTunes. The video must be one of the below formats and the audio 2 channel AAC (and you can have a 5.1 Dolby Digital track too).

    These are the officially supported video codecs

    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

    If your video is in a different codec you will need to transcode it. I assume it is already in a m4v/mp4 container as it is already in iTunes..
  4. u1stafterme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    I've quit/started iTunes and rebooted my Mac. Restarted my router and gave ATV its own DHCP reservation.

    No improvement.
  5. u1stafterme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Thanks tyr2. I haven't drilled down into the video settings in the detail you've outlined. I have been using HandBrake to convert the video. HandBrake has a preconfig'd setting for ATV-3; I recall that those settings (the ones I remember anyways) jive with what you outlined. (Thank you for your detail).

    Turning off iTunes Match hasn't helped.

    2 things I'm wondering about...
    1. Could the fact that my iTunes Library is on an external USB wired hard drive have anything to do with this?
    2. Other ATV apps, like "Trailers" and "Movies" previews load right up and play with no delay. So I think this rules out WiFi and Internet settings
    3, iTunes library music isn't playing very cleanly either. There is a fair amount of lag before it starts playing and once it starts, the song is usually chattering.
  6. ljonesj macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Kingsport TN
    have you turned on home sharing in itunes it has to be on to have itunes media stream to the apple tv
  7. u1stafterme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Yes, home sharing is turned on. I've gone through the set up so many times I'm having a hard time believing that there is something I've missed.

    One thing that has me stumped is the fact that I can stream web based media with no problems (i.e. Netflix) but movies that are archived in my iTunes Library won't play. In my mind, that rules out anything to do with my WiFi and Internet connection.

    Maybe uninstall / re-install iTunes?
  8. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    when you have the problem on the aTV, if you immediately go to itunes, and try to play them, what happens?

    sometimes iTunes will lose the files, they'll still be in the library but it can't find the actual file.
    if there is an exclamation point by the file in iTunes, it means it can't find the file
    something you may have a problem with since you are on external drives.

    in iTunes, select the file, hit cmd-i, then on the summary tab either post a screenshot or tell us what the following entries are
    • kind
    • bit rate
    • profile
    • channels
    • video dimensions
    • total bit rate
    • video codec

    what happens if you start a file playing on your computer, then airplay it to the aTV?
  9. u1stafterme thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2013
    Thanks for your help waw74

    iTunes is pointing to the correct directory. When I launch / play the movie from iTunes, it plays almost right away (~5 seconds)

    Attached is the screen shot you mentioned.

    Attached Files:

Share This Page