Best way to stream video files from iMac to TV?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pete78, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. pete78 macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2011
    #1
    Hi all,

    I am trying to figure out the best way to stream video files (xvid, mp4, mov, etc..) from my iMac to my Plasma TV. I have a number of video files (actually not many iTunes movies) on my iMac that I would like to stream from my iMac to TV.

    I know there is Apple TV but it seems that it only works in the iTunes universe and it would not be able to stream non-iTunes files from my iMac (e.g., xvid files).

    I think there is a Beamer app, but it seems that it has to be controlled from the iMac, I couldn't just browse the videos on my iMac from my TV, at least based on the reviews that I've seen. Looks like you have to launch the files from the iMac every time.

    I am using Rivet with my 360 right now, but it's only okay so far.

    Any tips would be much appreciated!
     
  2. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Well, it depends if your TV has a native way to receive stuff.

    My LG TV has a built in DLNA client, as does my Blu Ray Player, and so with a server running on one of my computers (I use PS3 Media Server www.ps3mediaserver.org) I easily stream all sorts of things (you mentioned xvids...no problem).

    DLNA is like Apple's Airplay, but it's an open standard and doesn't tie you into the mac enviroment...though the clients interface won't be as nice as Apple's stuff.

    There are plenty of devices that are DLNA complient at all sorts of price ranges if that's the kind of thing you're looking for. (if you watch for sales, anywhere from $20 to $200)
     
  3. RoastingPig macrumors 68000

    RoastingPig

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  4. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    #4
    Try Beamer, it's the best app I've ever tried. It's very simple and only does one thing but does it extremely well. I stream avi, mp4, mkv and others and it runs flawlessly. I do however have an Apple TV and it makes it that much more enjoyable. Sorry, when I read your op again I realized you don't have one yet but this app makes it worth having just because of how well it works.
     
  5. pete78 thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 14, 2011
    #5
    Thanks.

    If I get an Apple TV and use Beamer, can I control Beamer (and the video files on my iMac) from my Plasma TV? Or do I have to launch each file from my iMac? I ask because the reviews I've seen make it look like you open Beamer on your iMac, then drop the file on your iMac hard drive into the Beamer app and then the Beamer app streams the file onto your TV.

    Given that my TV and iMac are in two different locations, I would like to have the ability to sit in front of my TV, browse files on my iMac and play them on my TV when needed, without having to get up and mess with the iMac.

    Hope that makes sense. Thanks!
     
  6. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I don't know Beamer (which i see uses Apple's Airplay), but the way the DLNA clients I've used work, is on the server (what's running on your mac) you tell it what folders have your media in it. Then from the TV, you can browse thru those folders.

    You could set your whole mac hard drive as the media location and browse everything, but I think that would be overkill.

    Your first decision is how much you want to spend on the box you'll be streaming to.
     
  7. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #7
    What about AppleTV and XBMC? You have to Jailbreak it first and then install it, but there are plenty of help write-ups and videos. http://wiki.xbmc.org/index.php?title=XBMC
     
  8. VideoBeagle macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Why would a jail broken apple TV be better than anything else?
     
  9. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #9
    No idea if it's better, but it works well for me. It would probably depend on how many other Apple devices you have. I have an Android phone, but my wife has an iPhone and we both have iPads, so ATV also works well for AirPlay from those devices.

    XBMC is improving all the time and supports almost every format available. How about XBMC directly on the XBox? Depending on the extent of other Apple hardware in the house, that might be a better solution than XBMC on AppleTV.
     
  10. mmomega macrumors demi-god

    mmomega

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    #10
    If I weren't so tied to the Apple Ecosystem I'd go with a WD TV just for watching/streaming videos.

    I still use two of them when on the road in my RV, 2 WDTV's with an external HDD full of videos.

    but at home, I have recently taken on the daunting task of converting every video file I have to mp4/m4v format, actually it isn't taking 'that' long and most videos I get today are already mp4 so it makes it easier from this point on.

    Then everything works across AppleTV's, iPads, phones etc with no problems, then I don't have to worry about keeping up with jailbreaks and I can just keep my hardware updated without worry but again like I said if I weren't already in my little world of Apple things I'd choose the WDTV, which is what I recommend to my friends have lots of older videos and don't want to change formats.
     
  11. rocknblogger macrumors 68020

    rocknblogger

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    #11
    Yes you have to drop the movie into Beamer but you can pause, rewind or fast forward with the Apple TV remote.
     
  12. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    Andover, UK
    #13
    I bought a PS3 way back to use purely as a blu-ray player. Nowadays I stream movies to it via PS3 Media Server on my iMac. The transcoding options allow me to play pretty much anything I throw at it.

    ----------

    The current Apple TV cannot be jailbroken, and jailbreakable versions sell for stupid money.
     
  13. Montymitch macrumors regular

    Montymitch

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    Feb 16, 2009
    #14
    I use iTunes, an Apple TV and HandBrake. It works great, though if you have files that are drmd an can't handbrake them it might not be the best.
     
  14. mixel macrumors 65816

    mixel

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    Leeds, UK
    #15
    I use Plex for this. Some TVs have a plex app, while others do DLNA which it also supports. Otherwise most streaming boxes/dongles seem to have Plex app support. Chromecast, Roku etc (the interface is generally nicer than straight DLNA)

    https://plex.tv
     
  15. Nuke61 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Agreed, but back when I posted my response it was 2013 and I was using an ATV2. Now I either use AirParrot to my ATV3 or just copy the file to my PS3.
     
  16. MrGimper macrumors 601

    MrGimper

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    #17

    Apologies, I didn't look at the date of your post lol.
     

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