Streaming video to Apple TV
October 2, 2012 6:35 PM   Subscribe

I have a 1st generation Apple TV. I also have an Intel iMac. I want to be able to stream video from the iMac to play on my TV. Is this possible?

The video files I'm talking about are 720p and DVD rips, in various flavors: mov, mkv, m4v, etc. I assume this needs to go through iTunes? But I know that iTunes only takes mov and m4v conversion might be an issue as well.

I tried to use some 3rd party software to go around iTunes, but it seems that streaming isn't supported by those. So what to do?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's easy to convert anything that doesn't want to show up in your Apple TV computers menu—you did peek in that, after setting up the sharing, right?—with HandBrake. HandBrake is the greatest thing ever created—it'll convert any video file to iTunes/Apple TV happiness.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 7:07 PM on October 2, 2012

There may be workarounds, but I used Handbrake (which works on video files also, not just DVDs and VOBs). Just make sure you use the AppleTV profile, not the Apple TV 2. You can also play iPhone converted files, if you don't mind the quality hit (its definitely noticeable on the screen).
posted by shinynewnick at 7:09 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's super easy to jailbreak the original appletv and load anything you like on there including Boxxee and XBMC.
posted by empath at 7:10 PM on October 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, if you're not completely married to the original Apple TV, you can get a Roku basic box for around $50, and I've set up Plex media server on my desktop. It will stream all my various files without a hitch.
posted by shinynewnick at 7:11 PM on October 2, 2012

If you haven't checked out aTV Flash...well, you should. It takes a number of open source apps for the first gen Apple TVs and wraps them up in an easy to use installer. I've had a first gen. Apple TV for several years now and I think the aTV Flash software has made an incredibly more useful device. It definitely makes it possible to play media in almost any format you can think of.

For the actual streaming from your Mac, check out the latest version of the open source app VLC. It has a very easy to use streaming wizard that will let you stream in a variety of formats.
posted by mosk at 9:31 PM on October 2, 2012

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