Best program for streaming video from a Mac to an Apple TV 3 over Airplay?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by alexjholland, Dec 21, 2016.

  1. alexjholland macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
    Hey, until recently I was happily streaming my large collection of films in 720p Xvid / AC3 5.1 from my iMac to my Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, which sent the video to my Panasonic plasma and the audio via optical to my 5.1 home cinema kit.

    The video looked great and all sound was surround-sound.

    I'm downsizing and recently sold my consoles.

    I now realise that I haven't got a device to play my films through.. I have an Apple TV3 and can't get the new Apple TV, as I don't have HDMI audio in on my cinema kit.

    I have AirParrot 1 and tested it tonight:
    - Audio works in 5.1
    - Video is choppy.. doesn't look great.

    I tested using my early-2011 MacBook Pro over WiFi.. might an ethernet cable and/or using my iMac help?

    Am I right in thinking it's my MBP doing the rendering, rather than the Apple TV?

    Should I get AirParrot 2, Beamer, or another program?

  2. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Either the MBP's performance or bad Wifi connectivity (due to interference form other sources) could be the bottleneck. Connecting both the computer and the ATV via Ethernet is one way to find out. You could also try reducing the transcoding quality in Airparrot (if that improves it, the bottleneck is likely the MBP).

    Alternatively, there are adapters that can break out optical audio from HDMI (search for "HDMI audio extractor" on Amazon). This would allow you to use an ATV4 which has significantly more horsepower and flexibility. You could then use something like Infuse or MrMC to directly play the movies from a network share without any transcoding.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    you could also look at plex,
    there is a "client" for the aTV3 called plex connect. you change your settings on the aTV, and the movie trailer app gets re-directed to your computer instead of apple, so it contains all your media.

    Plex will convert for you as you watch, but also depends on the processor speed of your server to do that.
    so could still be jerky.

    It might be worth it to try and convert your xvid to x264, and then most devices will play the file natively.
    get all of the "grunt work" out of the way before you're trying to watch something.
  4. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Just put media in iTunes (turn on home sharing) and access them on Apple TV in the "computers" section. Plays fine.
  5. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    It depends. If the videos are in MP4 container format it may work. But XVid was most commonly used with the AVI container format, which is not supported by iTunes.
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have two Apple TV3's connected to a gigabit ethernet network. I think this is more robust than wifi, but the Apple TV only has 100baseT ethernet so that limits you to 100mbits/sec. That should still be faster than the slow wifi on the AppleTV3 however.

    If the video is compatible, I agree - just drop them into iTunes. That is the way the AppleTV3 was intended to be used. Works great for me, I have about 600 movies and 600 TV shows on a Mac Mini that I dedicate as an iTunes server (it just runs iTunes 24/7 with the library on a 3tb USB 3 external drive).
  7. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Oh, I totally missed that key point. .avi is a mess of a container but if that is what you have to work with, then ok. Does Beamer do the job for you?
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Beamer does a good job of transcoding on the fly into AirPlay (iTunes-compatible) format.
    You should take a look.
    If the source is already compatible, it will just stream, without transcoding.
  9. Soondae macrumors member


    May 22, 2012
    Hua Hin, Thailand

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