Oldest Apple TV to Airplay H.265?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by acorntoy, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. acorntoy macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2010
    Hello! So i'm starting to convert most of my video library to H.265, however I've ran into a problem. I've managed to fit about all of my tv shows and other content onto my 64GB iPad (like 200+ tv shows) so i'm very pleased with the conversion, but my Apple tv will not play the videos. When I attempt to airplay a H.265 file the Apple Tv (second generation) will only push sound through. What is the oldest Apple TV available in which I would be able to airplay these files? I'm guessing its the 4'th gen because they are still selling it? Don't really want to have to buy the 4k as I only have a 1080p tv.
  2. 2010mini macrumors 601

    Jun 19, 2013
    People have used the ATV 4 (not 4k) model with H.265 files. Do a search for how it was done.
  3. The Mad Hatter macrumors 6502a

    The Mad Hatter

    Oct 12, 2004
    I can play x265 on my 4, but only when played through infuse. Go figure.
  4. archer75 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2005
    TVOS11 added x265 support. However your hardware must either have hardware decoding for it or must be powerful enough to decode it. Minimum of a ATV4 will be required.
    Seeing as your ATV2 isn't powerful enough to handle this I would just run plex. It will transcode the file on your computer to something your ATV can handle. No need for airplay.
  5. NameUndecided macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2011
    My quick experiment for you (because I forgot about the new x265 support and I was curious too)
    I just searched and downloaded a small x265 sample video file. I added it to my iTunes library on my computer. It plays through the Computer app on both my Apple TV 4 and my 4K equally well.
  6. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    Just because software supports it, doesn't mean it does it natively.
  7. acorntoy, Oct 15, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017

    acorntoy thread starter macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2010
    So I got the Apple tv 4 today, and it CAN Airplay X265 natively from the "tv" app, up to 1080p (obviously), But for some reasons -some- X265 (1080P) files simply won't play. All HEVC files under 1080p are no problem (including large 720p files), and only -some- files at 1080p refuse to play. I'm sure the hardware supported Apple TV 4k would play everything fine (because my 12.9 2nd gen does). I’m unsure what’s causing some of the 1080p HEVC hiccups, I suspect it’s either the bitrate encoded or perhaps the 10-bit color a good amount of them are encoded in (could be completely false I’m pretty new to HEVC), any advice would be welcome.

    I do notice that even though they are loaded on my iPad, it still sometimes takes the tv a few seconds to play the video, I believe this might be due to the software decoding?

    TLDR; native software decoding works pretty well on the Apple TV 4, but hardware encoding on the atv4K is obviously the best bet.

    I’m still pretty happy, I can get almost every single one of my TV shows on my 64GB iPad (over 200 episodes!) where if I was using x264 it’s pretty much impossible. Knowing all this I’ll probably splurge for a 4k purely for the hardware supported decoding, but atm the atv4 is working well and I think I can at least put it off at ask for it as a Christmas present :D
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    For HEVC, QuickTime has its own quirks.
    First, FourCC needs to be 'hvc1' and not 'hev1' that is exported from HandBrake, for example.
    Also, 60fps HEVC is not supported on aTV 4K.
    HEVC Support
  9. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    Only Apple TV 4K supports hevc hardware decoding. Any hevc playback on atv4 or earlier must rely on software decoding somewhere. I don't know the details of the airplay protocol, but would not be surprised it transcoding is happening.
  10. priitv8, Oct 17, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Why does this article say that HEVC hardware decoding is supported on A8 and later??
    AirPlay screen mirroring (ie real-time H.264 encoding and transmission of GPU framebuffer) may involve hardware-assisted H.264 encoding on the server side, but Home Sharing seems to pass the stream intact. Also, AirPlay push of a file (not the framebuffer, something iTunes and iOS do when you play your local file and then redirect that stream to AirPlay target) ought to transmit the file contents verbatim.
    You can see this on my last screenshot, that both UHD frame size and HDR10 metadata are preserved when playing back from my iTunes Library:
  11. Significant1 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2014
    From Apples presentation about HEVC movie support, slide 71 says minimum configuration is a9:
    It might be possible Apple TV4 uses a variant of A8 with HEVC support, but not all a8 have it and they didn't want to make confusion at the presentation. If ATV4 does not support HEVC, it is strange why they didn't use a9, since it was already finished at the time. But I guess different teams working on different projects and iPhone is the flagship device, with everything latest and greatest.

    Ok, thanks for clarification.
  12. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    True. One needs to take internet statements with a grain of salt, I know. Still, there is lot of confusion about this. Although, in real life, does it even matter? :)
    Not a problem. AirPlay is another example of a marketing name that by now hides completely different technologies behind its name.
    Sony's Triluminos display is another such example. And there must be many others.
  13. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    You need to be careful with the complexity of your encode. You can make a h264 file that works perfectly on a PC/Mac but the ATV (any gen) can't decode it fast enough.

    If you are going the h265 route with your own media I recommend using a client that transcodes the media so all the devices that use it can easily play it.
  14. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    What would you suggest?
    Do you know if any of the encoders can automatically resolve the hev1/hvc1 conflict for QuickTime compatibility?
    At the moment I need to manually change this bit in the file.

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13 October 6, 2017