Can Apple TV do this...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Shivetya, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    trying to determine what I need here..

    I have a bunch of MKV, FLV, M4x, and similar videos I can play on my Mac usually with third party programs. Can I play them via AirPlay to a TV or would I be better off finding a used Mac Mini?
     
  2. aziatiklover macrumors 68030

    aziatiklover

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    #2
    I think the apple TV will only play whatever videos you have in you itunes library aka mp4 format.
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #3
    You can if you use something like Plex, which can play many more formats than just mp4.
     
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Just a curious question, I thought Airplay does on the fly hardware conversion to h.264 for the aTV. So you can access the mkv's (or whatever) but it won't have the original quality, right?
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #5
    It depends on what app you're using. Not all apps can do the conversion.
     
  6. AppleDApp macrumors 68020

    AppleDApp

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    #6
    How about buying iFlicks to convert all your videos to MP4 much cheaper than buying a mac mini.

    You could also airplay your display to your tv if you mac allows it and use whichever app you wish.
     
  7. TitaniumTiti macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2014
    #7
    I personally play many .mkv directly by using beamer. It can play almost any mplayer capable movie to the apple tv. Cannot stream much else, air display for the rest of it (or if unsupported by your computer, use air parrot).

    http://beamer-app.com
    http://www.airsquirrels.com/airparrot/ (for airplay unable computer)
     
  8. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #8
    It can and it's what I've been using now for some MKV movies that I have. It appears to me that there is no quality loss.
     
  9. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #9
    If it's converting to h.264, and it is, there has to be quality loss as it is additional compression. I think Beamer does the same thing, just through software instead of hardware. For me, I agree with you, the quality loss is not noticeable. But there are purists who will not tolerate any compression and it's resulting quality loss.

    I just want everyone to understand that using Beamer, AirParrot, AirPlay, Plex (through an aTV), they all transcode to h.264 and therefore produce quality loss. Only by using something other that the aTV can you achieve the original quality/bitrate. All of those transcoding methods only provide access to formats the aTV will not play through iTunes and they do not provide the original mov quality.

    If. I'm wrong about that, please let me know, but that seems the situation to me.
     
  10. TitaniumTiti macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2014
    #10
    no matter what the video need to be converted, the only thing doing it non real time by hardware or software (air play or beamer) is that you can take more time to do a better compression but there will be lose in quality no matter what, just a question of how much. For one, beamer does a great job at it without having to import into iTune
     
  11. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #11
    IMHO they don't, if the video stream is in AVC/H.264 format. Most MKV-s ripped from BluRay discs or most any TV Series downloaded from the provider have AVC video stream. So why would they transcode?
    Beamer does video conversion if your media is in something else (MPEG-2, VC-1, XviD etc) and also does audio transcode from DTS to AC3 no the fly.
     
  12. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #12
    Guess you're right about that. I know you have a pretty deep knowledge of this stuff. I assumed that all of the software/hardware used the same process (compression) regardless of the source codec. Sort of like how Handbrake handles mkv's regardless of source codec. You're saying they either compress or just change the container on the fly, depending on the source codec, right?

    Can you address the bitrate limitations of the aTV and how that is handled by those apps? That is, do they alter the bitrate to accommodate the aTV spec if the source bitrate exceeds the aTV upper limit?
     
  13. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Plex remuxes and transcodes as appropriate based on the target device and network bandwidth to minimize quality loss. For example an MKV with an h.264 video stream that meets ATV requirements and a DTS audio track will be remuxed on the fly to an MP4 with an untouched h.264 video stream and DTS transcoded to AC3.
     
  14. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

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    #14
    To answer your original question... Yes, if you have a Mac that is capable of AirPlay, you can play them all. AirPlay from a Mac just sends your whole screen, so as long as you can play them on your Mac, you can mirror it to your TV via an AppleTV.

    I use that to watch TV shows via NBC's website that aren't on Hulu. You won't be able to "watch them natively" on the AppleTV by loading them in to iTunes unless you convert them using something like Handbrake, but you can just mirror your Mac's screen to the AppleTV.

    Of course, you will need a Mac that is new enough to support AirPlay for this to work. (Generally a 2011 or newer Mac.)
     
  15. cardsdoc, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014

    cardsdoc macrumors 6502

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    #15
    My opinion is that while airplay mirroring is good for many tasks including casual video clip watching or video only available on a website it's not good enough for watching a high quality HD video. Even with an optimal network setup there are compression artifacts, shearing artifacts, and sometime freezes/studdering. If you have an audio system capable of dolby digital you will loose that option as well. The other options mentioned work much better - Plex, Beamer, remux or transcode to mp4 with various software and use itunes, etc.
     
  16. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I have not come across anything that would indicate anything like that.
    Assuming your video stream is compliant AVC, you can save yourself the HB recode time and just remux the file to MP4 container. I personally use MP4tools for that.
    It seems as if aTV is actually quite happy with video streams that exceeds officially advertised bitrates.
     
  17. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I don't know if plex or other apps choose to transcode if bitrates exceed a certain value but I'm sure someone here does or in the plex forums. I will say that blu-ray rips that are untouched and that have portions with a high bitrate can give the ATV some trouble. Others have reported similar findings.
     
  18. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Does PlexConnect have the exact same capability as Plex?
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    For the most part, but not exact. It doesn't have all the full functions of Plex and there's a very small lag in the user controls, but it works well enough that you can use it effectively to enjoy Plex movies on Apple TV.
     
  20. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Thx for the info, everyone. Just realized I sort of hijacked this thread, my apologies.
     
  21. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 10, 2014
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    Montana
    #21
    The new Apple TV Gen 3 has the MP4 High Profile playback capability now, so streaming bottlenecks don't seem to be an issue anymore. When I had the Gen 2, most new encodes I tried to play stuttered terribly. I have yet to have that issue with the new one. It does seem to play nice with any bitrate, network performance permitting.

    I go the remux route and I use iFlicks 2, and I've been happy streaming so far!
     
  22. Shivetya thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #22
    appreciate the information, was enough to have me run down to the store and pick one up. Ended up using handbrake to convert to MP4, oddly in iTunes I cannot see the videos when I add them and Apple TV lists them under "home videos". So got that to sort out.

    Trying to determine if I should setup for Hulu and/or Netflix
     
  23. Dukeluke macrumors newbie

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    Dec 31, 2013
    #23
    If downloaded...

    If downloaded you can easily use Vuze for torrents, when torrent is complete you can drop it into the device playback > itunes > then select apple tv, iphone, ipad ect and it will automatically convert it to mp4 and correct size display for your apple devices. When complete it shows up under movies in itunes.
     
  24. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #24
    You need to get Media Kind in metadata set to "Movie".
    I use Subler to achieve this, you could also use iTunes or iFlicks.
    Subler:[​IMG]
    iTunes:[​IMG]
     

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