How or can you VLC AirPlay MKV to Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by RolledUp20s, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. RolledUp20s macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    Wrexham, North Wales
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

    I'm kind of taking 2 steps back & 1 foot forward here. Selling my mac mini which is setup at my Main Tv, so watching MKV files hasn't been an issue as VLC play all types.
    However, that's all my mini was doing..not getting enough use really, so out he goes and I'm getting the MacBook Air & the new ATV. (1st time with an ATV aswel, been reading up on this but just finding old posts from 2007...surely theres a fix?
    I'd like to have VLC again on my mac air and AirPlay the MKV files to my ATV, or if not VLC, is there another programme to do this now.. In 2012 :). ??
  2. RolledUp20s thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    Wrexham, North Wales
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9B179 Safari/7534.48.3)

    To add...

    I have an iPhone 4S aswel, could I use the VLC app? Transfer the mkvs to iPhone then AirPlay to ATV?
  3. romadu macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2010
    Airplay of MKV doesn't work

    In my experience AppleTV is expecting to receive compatible files to play via airplay, so sending files with VLC, AV Player HD, etc. Presumably this is because the airplay system is not converting the video file into an AppleTV-compatible format.

    There are a couple of options. The easiest I have found is to use iFlicks, which converts the file into AppleTV compatible format. For most MKV is doesn't need to reencode the video file, it just puts a new wrapper around it, so the conversion is quick and the file is AppleTV friendly.

    Another option that may work is to try Airplay mirroring from your iPad or iPhone to AppleTV. I'm guessing (though I haven't tried it) that mirroring should show whatever is on the screen of your iPad rather than interpreting and playing a specific movie file. However I've had problems with screen resolution formatting using airplay mirroring, so don't think it's a great solution for playing movies.

    The other option that I use is to plug a cable between a Macbook air and the TV. One end is the mini-display adaptor and the other end is HDMI. This allows both video and audio to go through one cable, and works well. There is the inconvenience of having the laptop showing the movie while it's also showing on the TV.

    Overall I'm happy with my purchase of iFlicks and have a lot of movie and tv show files in AppleTV compatible format, but it may not be the best solution for everyone.

  4. ravisirsi macrumors newbie

    Jun 1, 2012
    I have a solution which will work

    Simple steps:

    1) Get AirParrot 1.3.2 (you could also get a cracked version I guess! :) )

    2) Airparrot will put a icon in the top status bar in Lion usually (don't know about other operating systems)

    3) Click on the icon under devices select your Apple TV.

    4) Enable Audio (Important).

    5) you entire Mac Screen must be visible on your TV now.

    6) Open VLC Player on your MAC and do the usual movie watching, the only difference is video will come on both screens (your mac and TV) but audio will stream from your TV connected speaker system (probably your surround sound)

    7) Thats it, you not only mirror your Mac but also your movies (any format, .MKV, Avi etc etc) all depending on the movie player software you are using at Mac.

    All the best, and if this works do like this post and comment back

  5. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004
    What he said!

    Also, make sure you get 1.3.2 (or newer if it exists). The older versions had problems with audio, even when it worked, the audio was very low.

    The only drawback with AirParrot is that it's a compressed stream that depends on your graphics hardware.

    There's also second monitor mode in AirParrot so you can use you TV as a second monitor (for the movie or whatever) and continue to work on the main screen on your Macbook.
  6. spy008 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    AirPlay mkv files to atv simple

    all you need is the airvideo app on your iPhone(or iPad etc)along with the airvideo server running on your computer. You can AirPlay any format to atv with this setup.
  7. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I have not had success with it. Motion is not smooth. Have contacted them for support, and although they quickly responded, they were not able to help. Came down to my 2.66GHz Core Duo MBP was not up the requirements to stream smoothly.
  8. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2008
    I like Beamer myself. $7, drag and drop MKV to play on Apple TV. Not as configurable as AirParrot you can check that one out as well. Both have time limited free trials available.
  9. richardsonad, Jun 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2012

    richardsonad macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    I just use Playback ( to remux the MKV as an MP4 and then Airplay to my ATV through iTunes. Cost $15 but worth it for this feature alone, I've tried some of the free tools that do the same thing but the audio seems to lag in the final MP4 file.
  10. whoiare macrumors regular

    Aug 30, 2011
    yup just like what everyone else has said. If your files are in mkv then youre mostly in luck with a remux software program. i use subler. so in 5 mins you can convert mkv to mp4. i then use identify to add metadata then drop it into itunes. Then setup home sharing and pull the file right off your itunes library. Of course you need your itunes library always on from your air. but this way you dont lose any quality from an airplay conversion. Also like others have said if you do have other files other than mkv then airvideo works just as good. Run the app on your phone, run the server on the air...airplay from the phone to the atv.


    why do you do that work to convert it to mp4 and put it into itunes using only to airplay it? why not connect directly to itunes via the ATV homesharing and play directly?
  11. Geo411m macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2010
    I use an app called video stream for iOS to stream the MKV video to my iPhone and airplay it to my Apple TV. It works with every video format i've thrown at it.
  12. dockingbay94 macrumors regular


    Jul 29, 2010
    I used to use a MacMini running Plex, but recently switched to an ATV3.

    So now I have the Plex Media Server running on my Mac and then the Plex iOS app on my iPad. I can browse and stream all my mkv's to my iPad from the app and then Airplay to my ATV3. Works flawlessly.
  13. bripab007 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 12, 2009
  14. stepandy macrumors member

    Apr 23, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I found Beamer to be close to unusable. Resulting picture on ATV3 beaming from MBP via wired Eithernet was choppy. Tested with AVI, less choppy, but still no good.
  15. hipnetic macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2010
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that any of the on-the-fly transcoding options (e.g., Air Video, Plex) support maintaining the 5.1 audio, so if that's important to you, your best option is to convert the MKV files ahead of time using something like Handbrake or Subler.

    Subler will maintain the same PQ as the source, but requires that you're working with a movie that was encoded as MPEG4 (which most movies are, but two other Blu-ray encoding methods exist: VC-1 and MPEG2, and you won't be able to use Subler with those). If it's MP4, Subler should be fast, and PQ will be as good as the origin Blu-ray rip. Filesize should be about the same as the original, too.

    Handbrake will be able to work with MPEG2 and VC-1 encoded movies, and can give you a smaller file, but because it's transcoding, the PQ will decrease somewhat. And unless you have a high-powered machine, the conversion process could take quite a while (several hours or more).

    Personally, if you have one room in your house where 5.1 audio and high-quality PQ is important, and you don't mind keeping the original Blu-ray .MKV rips at full size (18-28GB or so), I would recommend getting something like a WDTV Live (about $100) which can play those MKV files as-is. I don't own one of those (though I've thought about getting one for travel purposes). I own an older Acer Revo 1600 ION nettop which runs Windows 7 and Plex/XBMC, which I use in my main movie room. For the other rooms in the house, stereo audio is fine and the TVs are smaller, so I can live with using Plex server on my main PC transcoding on-the-fly to an iPhone, and then AirPlaying that to the bedroom TV.
  16. shadowgex1, Jul 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012

    shadowgex1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2012
    Another option is iSquint. It's free to download, and simple to use. If you want, you can use advanced settings to customize the video rate, frame rate, audio rate, dimensions, or even crop the video. Otherwise, there's a simple slider that you can use to set the quality you want.

    It has options to optimize for iPod or TV, and a box you can check that will automatically upload it to iTunes. From there, you treat it as you would any other AirPlay video.

    EDIT: i tested this with a couple MKV files; some worked and others came up with an error message.
  17. hanzoh macrumors member

    Aug 3, 2005
    How is that any better? You switched from one device to three devices needed to play the video from a hard disk.

    I really want to like the (unjailbroken) ATV but in my scenario it is useless. I have old DVDs and BluRays ripped to an external hard drive, which I can even make available on the network via my router (== a NAS). Now I want ONE device that I need to turn on to get and watch the movie on my TV.

    In my opinion that can only be a net top (for example a Zotac) running XBMC or whatever, or in the Apple universe a Mac mini (running XBMC or Plex etc).

    Or am I missing anything here?
  18. EvilHomer484 macrumors newbie

    Sep 13, 2012
    Have you thought of one of these or similar? WD TV Live Media Streamer.....

    should be able to stream straight from NAS.

    I too would ideally like to use apple tv but i dont like the fact you have got to have a computer running an itunes library to do so...

    only downside i can see with the WD TV live is that you can't play movies downloaded from itunes store.
  19. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    Or instead of airparrot, because you have a new MacBook Air, you can just use the built in airplay mirroring, which will work substantially better. But honestly, I would convert them all over to mp4/m4v. You can use them right in iTunes and transfer them to your iOS devices. I would use Handbrake for that.
  20. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2012
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    this is the methods I use with great results. Mirroring can degrade video quality, but if original file is 720/1080 you shouldn't notice a difference.
  21. dallasbpeters macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2013
  22. albeik macrumors regular


    Jul 1, 2003
    Marlborough, MA, USA
    This. Very simple and works seamlessly with all my 1080p MKVs and 5.1 surround sound from my MacBook Air. =)
  23. latecomer, Apr 1, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014

    latecomer macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    Beamer works ok for me. Takes quite a while to drop movies from my NAS into beamer though. Other than that. I am happy.

    Thanks everyone for posting a solution.
  24. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    I just played an MKV with VLC like the OP intended and AirPlay mirroring to my ATV 3. Works like a charm, and free of charge.
  25. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Do you get surround sound with this approach?

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