Reviewing OSX Photos library contents (photos and videos) on Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by getrealbro, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. getrealbro macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    When we bought our 64GB Apple TV, I expected to be able to access the photos and videos in the Photos Library on my MacBook Pro and display them on a larger screen via the Apple TV g4. Specifically, I want to review the recently uploaded photos and videos in the Last Import album in a Photos library on my MacBook Pro. But despite Apple’s glowing description of viewing home videos on the Apple TV “With Apple TV, watching your home videos on your HDTV makes for some truly entertaining reality television.”, this goal remains elusive

    Cloud based solutions, like Photo Stream, are a no-go because of the time it takes to upload and then download a day’s worth of photos and videos. The unlimited bandwidth here in the country is 56KB up and 256KB down, on a good day. You read that right, our upload speed is roughly the same as an analog modem. So moving photos and videos around via the cloud is painfully slow.

    Home Sharing of videos from a Photos library is almost useless. Our ATV4 doesn’t even cache the small videos (10-25sec) so that they can be replayed immediately after the first viewing. As soon as the video finishes our 64GB Apple TV4 discards the video and returns to the previous screen. Viewing it again requires selecting & transferring the video again. [FWIW If I stop the video before the end, I can scroll back and view it again. But if I’m not careful and let the video finish, I have to start all over.]

    So I’m now looking for a solution that works more like Photos does on a Mac, allowing me access the Last Import album on my MacBook Pro and quickly step back and forth through the most recent photos & videos to find the best shots/videos on a large screen. This requires a video to be started/stopped/replayed any number of times before moving to the next/previous photo/video. Ideally the solution would include caching all of the photos/videos in the current session on the Apple TV so that access would be quick once they were downloaded. Better yet, the AppleTV would keep a copy of selected photos/videos for later viewing without re-downloading them.

    Thanks in Advance — GetRealBro
  2. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Just got my ATV 4 64gb yesterday. I can only see 26 pics in the photo stream icon and some shared folders. All my iPhoto library was not there. But, if I have my macbbok pro on homesharing and open the computer icon on ATV menu screen they are all there and viewable. Haven't tried playing videos, pausing, stopping and coming back to them later. Will have to try that. For my probably smaller needs, the ATV is working out fine.
  3. getrealbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    Thanks for your reply/info.

    I thought Home Sharing would do what I wanted. But it seems only half baked.

    Home Sharing really only works reasonably well with photos — not videos. For example…
    * The slideshow of an album will only show the photos. It simply skips any videos in the album.
    * Home Sharing's “download each item each time it’s viewed” design works OK with photos, because photos download pretty quickly. But it is a disaster for viewing even short videos, which must be buffered&reloaded each time they are viewed.
    *Even if the album only contains photos, the lack of a “swipe for the next/previous item” UI while viewing a photo/video makes the viewing experience cumbersome/choppy.

    Background info: I primarily “photograph” wildlife. Most wildlife don’t hold still very long. So I shoot short videos to capture their best view. Out of a 10-30 sec video there may be 1 or two frames that capture the moment (e.g. a fawn's facial expression while being groomed by its mom, or a butterfly’s outspread wings while lifting off of a flower). At the end of most days I’ll have a dozen or so of these short videos to review looking for that key moment. Photos on the Mac does a reasonable job for both still photos and videos. But Home Sharing for the ATV does not.

  4. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    I was setting up some apps on ATV--paying for Hallmark's Feeln sucks---and I tried the home videos from my iPhone.

    I was able to watch a home video, then go look at iPhotos, scan and view them, then back to the last video where I hit resume.

    Not sure if that was where your problem was.

    I finally got my entire iPhoto library to load under the iPhoto icon and not thru Computer icon. I didn't have iPhoto Library selected in Settings.
  5. getrealbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    Thanks again for your reply. But I’m confused about what you did.

    By “I tried the home videos from my iPhone. I was able to watch a home video…” I assume you were using AirPlay to view the home videos on your iPhone displayed on the ATV.

    By “then go look at iPhotos, scan and view them” I assume you selected the Photos app icon on the ATV and scanned & viewed the photos/videos stored in your iCloud account.

    Then you went “back to the last video where I hit resume.” I assume you went back to viewing a video on your iPhone via AirPlay displayed on your ATV.

    Is this correct?

    I’m also confused about what settings you used to get your entire iPhoto library to load under the iPhoto icon and not through the Computer icon. I could not find any settings that allowed loading my Photos library under the Photos icon on our ATV4. AFAIK the Photos app on an ATV4 can only access photos/videos that are stored in an iCloud account.

  6. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Not sure how it happened on getting iPhoto Library to load. A message came up and asked me to use iCloud iPhoto Library and I selected it. I went back thru Settings and don't see that option.

    No, I wasn't using Airplay, just ATV for the Home Videos.

    Being new to ATV I am kinda stumbling thru this and get something to work then forget how i did it. Getting old :)

    I haven't used Airplay for anything yet.
  7. getrealbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    Thanks for the clarification.

    I’m guessing that why you were able to resume the video was a feature of the multitasking built into the ATV4. This allows you to switch back and forth between apps picking up where you left off. The multitasking is not very obvious unless you double click the Home button to see which apps are still loaded/running. (it works like the iPhone).

    The main reason we got our ATV4 was to be able to AirPlay from our iPhones and iPad. It makes reviewing photos/videos shot/stored on an iPhone really nice. The UI is the iPhone. The display is the ATV4’s TV screen.

    AirPlay is particularly useful for viewing Amazon Prime videos if you have a slow internet connection. I’ve been downloading videos to one of our iPhones during the day and watching them later that evening with ZERO buffering.

  8. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014

    Am sure I will use Airplay. Gotta see how easy all else works. The ATV4 is doing very well so far.

    And just found out about multitasking late last night. Been watching some How To's and Googling :)

    I mainly got it to watch iTunes Movies on the big screen. Many I get bought for me in BluRay DVDs for holidays from My sons and daughter-in-law. Some i am just buying.

    We have DTV and TWC. So, won't watch to many tv shows on it.
  9. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    How long is it taking to reload a video via the photos app with home sharing? If it's "too long" there maybe a network issue that needs to be addressed. I get about 5+/- seconds for even very long videos
  10. rugmankc macrumors 68000


    Sep 24, 2014
    Played a video to the end, went and viewed photos. Came back and played video again. It was only 30 seconds. But, started in about 2 seconds.
  11. getrealbro, Aug 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016

    getrealbro thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2015
    You’re right.

    There is at least a minor network issue for the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro is connected to an older Airport Extreme (w/o 802.11n) which is hard wired to the Airport Express (w/802.11n) that sits directly over the TV4. But our iMac is connected to the same AirPort Express as the ATV4. The delay is less for the iMac. But not so much less as to hide the design flaw(s) in Home Sharing via the Computers app which doesn’t cache even the last video played.

    ---Getreal Bro
    --- Post Merged, Aug 7, 2016 ---
    The more I work with Home Sharing via the Computers app, the more quirks I uncover. For example, how the UI works depends on whether the album contains at least one still photo.

    If the album contains at least one still photo and you select it first, you can then swipe through the photos and videos in that album (ala Photos on the iPhone). You can even play any video and when it is finished it will return to the first frame of that video. You can then swipe to the next/previous item in the album.
    If you select a video first, it will play the video and when it is finished it will dump you back into the album view.

    In either case it does not cache the video. So it will re-download the video every time it is viewed.

  12. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Send feedback to Apple. No reason it can't retain the last played video in cache until you play the next or the cache is needed for a different app.

    Oddly enough iMovie theater loads videos faster for me (presumably from the cloud) than videos from my photos app. I realize that's not a solution for you.

    The next thing you can try is alternative apps and there support apps on your Mac. For example a 30gb video will play in 1 second from my NAS via the LocalCast app. Some apps will probably cache your videos, maybe Plex?

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