Apple TV Here's How to Stream Media Files to Apple TV W/O Jailbreak

thinkinblue613

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
283
4
Planet Earth
For those of you who have an Apple TV, there are two ways to stream your media files from the computer to your ATV without jailbreaking it.

Options: (1) AirPlay or (2) Plex/iOS device.

These are assuming Apple TV and the TV itself is already setup.

OPTION 1: Via AirPlay, one would only be able to use mp4, m4v, or mov files. This works fine if most of your media fall into these Apple friendly formats.

You'll need these:
- Mac (not sure about PC)
- Apple TV
- TV

1. Drag your file to the Movies or TV shows section in iTunes. Note: this will copy and create a new file in your iTunes harddrive.

2. Play it and select the AirPlay button in the video UI.

3. Enjoy.

If your media files do not work in iTunes, it will be very time consuming to transcode and reorganize them to the right format. For now, I have found a band-aid to this problem by showing you option two.

OPTION 2:

You'll need these:
- Mac (not sure about PC)
- iOS device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch)
- Apple TV
- TV
- Plex (Installed on both the Mac and iOS Device)

1. Run Plex on the Mac or PC. Import your files via the Media Manager. Make sure to consolidate all your Movies in one folder, and TV shows in another. You will see Plex match the title and show the details of that movie/TV show.

2. Make sure that the Plex Media Server is on and sharing files. All you really need is to have the Media Manager on, and you can control it via the Status Menu on OS X. The Plex app on the Mac does not need to run, the Plex Media Server does.

3. Next you'll want to calibrate your iOS device to the media server you setup with the Plex app. Once that is done, you will have access to all the files in Plex through your iOS device.

4. Select whichever video you want to watch and click the AirPlay option to Apple TV. That is all you need to do.

One thing I noticed when using option 2 was that the MBP fans were getting loud. I believe it was due to the Plex app transcoding the non-Apple compatible files to a compatible format on the 'fly' or as it goes. This makes the CPU to use a lot of memory.

The solution I did was to run a minimal amount of apps on the computer.

Hope this helps!
 
Last edited:

ssgrif

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2011
48
0
great tips, unfortunately it doesnt help in my situatiion as I want to stream content from a NAS rather than a PC/MAC (dont want to leave my PC on all the time).
 

thinkinblue613

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 13, 2010
283
4
Planet Earth
great tips, unfortunately it doesnt help in my situatiion as I want to stream content from a NAS rather than a PC/MAC (dont want to leave my PC on all the time).
That is interesting you brought that up as I will eventually be connecting from an NAS in the next year or so. I still have to do more research into it...

For now, check this video out. It sounds like this is what you're looking for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DXM2PcBVos

It requires the purchase of AirPlayer though, which is $4.99 in the App Store. There may be other applications that could be free or cheaper.
 

mikepro

macrumors 6502
Sep 3, 2010
420
15
OPTION 2 = No surround sound = deal breaker for many.

If you want surround sound, you can't get it by using Airplay to the Apple TV. Need to get something that has a Plex client that supports surround sound, such as a Roku or jailbreak ATV and install Plex client.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,040
111
Canada, eh?
great tips, unfortunately it doesnt help in my situatiion as I want to stream content from a NAS rather than a PC/MAC (dont want to leave my PC on all the time).
I've given up and will be setting up a cheap netbook (I bought it for under $200) to serve as an always-on media server running iTunes and a SMB share for other devices on the network.

My D-Link DNS-323 NAS worked, somewhat, but it is very slow and of course doesn't work with Apple TV.