Not quite clear about Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by SD-B, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. SD-B macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Hi, I just received a new Apple TV 3. I am not yet sure if I wish to open it and use it, or get rid of it for i am not exactly sure what it does.

    Yes, Yes, I understand many want Apple 2 for it ca be jailbroken but I also have read more the once that #3 may never be jailbroken but for now, I am interested in what it does without the benefit of being j/b.

    What i am not clear about mainly are films. i download a lot of films on my computer from various urls and I would like to know IF i will be able to watch them or not?

    Right now I have a macbook pro. I understand not until Mountain Lion comes up will the MBP be able to stream to the TV.
    So, in the meantime, IF i take films from my MBP and put them on my iPhone, WILL I be able to stream them to the TV that way?

    If so, must they only be mpeg format OR can I use .avi?

    Last but not least i must say I am no a fan of iTunes so beyond using it to store music, I rarely use it.
    I so have O Player installed on both my iPhone and my iTouch 4 so occasionally if am out on transit or waiting for a doctor, etc; earlier I will have transferred it to the phone, though File Sharing on the APPS tab.
    Under apps, it shows O Player and then I just browse ad bring up the file for the movie which is then listed under Documents.......synch and the movie is on my iPhone or touch so i can watch it.

    I haven't ever used the Movies tab to synch for I thought that was only for purchase movies??

    Hopin someone can let me know HOW i will be able to watch movies on my TV following the above information I have given.

    Thank you!
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    If you convert your movies to MPV

    Step by step here:

    You can customise your movies by using Handbrake and VLC, both are free

    You then put the movies in your iTunes library...(just drag them to the movies section) You can then airplay them to the ATV on your TV set. I am not aware of any streaming issues with the rMBP, but I didn't jump so others will know.

    In addition to that, you have Netflix, MLB, and many other sections which will play directly from the unit to your TV. Don't be fooled buy the size, it's a powerful little streaming unit and I have 2. They will operate on wifi or wired to your router...I'd keep it. Google for more information.
  3. HipHopTrex macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Like the poster above me said you can convert them. I prefer handbrake, and always recommend it.

    Or if you don't want to upgrade to Mountain Lion, you can also buy a nifty app called AirParrot.found here

    It's by far one of my more liked apps. And it's a terrific one. Streams your desktop to your ATV. I HIGHLY recommend it. I use it frequently when watching shows online.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    only very recent Macs will be able to stream.

  5. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    I have the apple TV 2 and use it for sharing photos I have taken and videos my daughter makes (shot with the iPhone or iPad). You can also mirror a 4s or iPad 2 or 3 which is kinda cool.
  6. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Thanks for all of the information here.
    I am just going to go through it now and catch up.
    So it does appear that I shall have to convert everything, movie wise.

    Too bad but not the ed of the world.
    Thannks for the heads up on software.

    And thank you for pointing out the MacBooks MUST be at least 2011 in order to work with Mountain Lion. Mine unfortunately is summer 2010 so it won't make it but i knew I wold be buying a new Mac next year anyhow :(

    Thanks again........will comment or question here again if something comes up, but just the information here has at least put me in the right direction and saved me a few hours of unnecessary reading, since the posts here have cut through it all and told me exactly what i need to look up! :)


    So if I use air parrot it will work with my macbook pro from summer 2010?
  7. HipHopTrex macrumors member

    Mar 9, 2012
    Absolutely. Mine's from mid 09. You just have to be on at least Snow Leopard.
  8. SD-B, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    For the record, MKV to Apple TV Converter isn't free.
    I just downloaded it ad thought it was as well but it has limitations

    You are using a trial version with the following limitations.

    1. The maximum 5 minutes conversion of a more than 5 min file.
    2. With a less than 5 min file, you could only convert half of it.

    Thanks. I am on Lion so am fine ;-)
  9. SD-B, Jul 20, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012

    SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    So If I undersand correctly I MUST convert any movie file I want to watch through APPLE TV using Bigasoft iTunes video converter which isn't free but I can get Bigasoft Total Video Converter?


    Is MPV the only file format I can change files too, in order they can be be picked up by iTunes and then run through Apple TV 3?

    What are the other formats allowed if any?

    For that matter what about MOV? OR wold I wish to convert files to that format?

    ( I really wish apple had allowed .avi formats ) /sighs
  10. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Handbrake is free, and it can handle quite a few different input formats including MKV.
  11. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    thanks going to try converting one tonight:)
  12. Death-T macrumors regular


    May 18, 2012
    Savannah, Georgia
    If you can get the movies to play on your phone, then you can simply AirPlay mirror from the iPhone to the Apple TV. You can also sync from an iPad. I suggest keeping your :apple: TV, especially since Mountain Lion is coming out soon. I bought the :apple: TV just for AirPlay mirroring on Mountain Lion, which I've been messing with on the ML GM. Whenever you get AirPlay working you won't even need to bother with converting video files and it works great with streaming too (most notably with sites like Hulu which try to force you to buy a premium membership to watch anywhere other than on a PC).

    Of course it also lets you stream Netflix and allows you to buy/rent movies through iTunes. I've always done my Netflix streaming via PS3 and I only have a few iTunes purchases, so without Airplay I wouldn't have even bothered. If you expect to use its Airplay features a lot like I do then I would suggest keeping it, and if you have a Netflix subscription then all the better. If you don't have a lot to gain from it; however, then you may want to return it and wait for Apple to do more with the product in terms of apps, upgrades, etc.
  13. SD-B, Jul 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012

    SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009
    Hmmm......gonna have to re-read all that again. I am in Canada so I never got into Netfix and really don't know much about it. I understand that its more expensive up here then in the United States but that the selection is much poorer here. Hence, i really haven't paid it any attention.

    I know we don't get HULU up here either

    And unfortunately I don't know anything about Airplay so although i am pretty good with computers, this is one area of it i don't know anything about and have to learn a bit I none of the above right now was that clear for me so at this point i haven't any idea what Airplay is OR whether i will use it but the apple TV was only a $109 so I am not worried whether i will use it or not.

    Although it will be interesting to see what people can do IF they ever jailbreak 3

    /reading up on Airplay now
  14. s15119 macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2010
    You can convert them, or since you have the iPhone you can use air video and stream them.....I'm fond of air video.
  15. Roheryn macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2010
    I live in Canada. We have had Netflix for two years, initially using a PS3 then moving to an AppleTV. It costs $8 a month, has regularly updated new releases (Thor, Water for Elephants) and is getting better all the time. Definitely worth it.
    I find the PS3 interface annoying and greatly prefer the AppleTV.
  16. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    They most likely have a free trial as well so try it for a month and see if you like it. I’m in the US but between Netflix, EyeTV and streaming all of my personal DVD's / TV shows through the ATV we have been able to cancel cable and save about $50 a month
  17. spy008 macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    airvideo is the easiest solution I've found. No need to use handbrake or convert to another format. Download airvideo on your touch or iPhone then download the airvideo server to your laptop. There is a little bit of setup involved but it's very simple. You'll literally be up and running streaming mkv avi mp4 whatever to atv from your mbp in 5 minutes.

  18. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    If you are going to download anything in the future stay away from AVI files if you want to use them with an AppleTV. Look for m4v, mp4, and MKV

    While I'm not accusing you of piracy nor condoning it, I'm at least willing to point you into the right direction for compatibility.

    You can use a free app such as Subler to convert MKV files into a format that the AppleTV can read.
  19. SD-B thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 1, 2009

    doing that...funnily enough around the time i first started this thread, O Player, the app I use on my iPhone to watch movies on if i am waiting in a doctors office etc, downloaded a new version, the nuber of which i cant see but it stopped playing all file formats, except I think mp4.......i will have to double check again to make sure i have it right.......but its led me to put much of this on the back burner as i have been too busy to search out the whys of it stopped letting me view most formats in the iPhone :(:(

    once i have time to figure it out i will get back to the rest of this again...
  20. FlatlinerG macrumors 6502a


    Dec 21, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I highly recommend looking into Air Video Server and the Air Video app for iOS that goes along with it. Essentially you run the server on your Mac, then the iOS app sees the server and allows you to play/convert/AirPlay the content from your Mac through the iPhone to the tv.

    Well worth the zero dollars.

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