TechHive reviews VLC for Apple TV: Goodbye format woes

“The Apple TV is a great networked media player, but it would be greater still if it supported more file types and played from more locations,” Jon L. Jacobi writes for TechHive. “By locations, I mean over the network from something other than an iTunes server, and — oh, I don’t know — an attached USB drive?”

Jacobi writes, “Well, there’s no help for the latter at the moment, despite the USB-C port on the latest model, but there is a viable and completely free alternative for playing a variety of media types over the network: VLC, or the VideoLan Player.”

“VLC is well known throughout the computing universe,” Jacobi writes. “On Apple TV it’s a welcome addition that obviates the need to pony up cash for anything on the rather abbreviated list of flawed products (Playable, OnePlayer, 8 Player, etc.) and Plex, which requires an account.”

Read more in the full review here.

MacDailyNews Take: Are you using VLC for Apple TV? If so, how’s it working for you?

VideoLAN releases VLC for Apple TV – January 12, 2016


  1. Downloaded it and connected to my iMac, went to a folder where my movies are… VLC started playing one.
    Good, it’s a MKV file..
    Bad, there were multiple files there and VLC would not allow me to choose what to play. Just auto played the very first file.

    Haven’t messed with it since.

      1. I WANTED to browse the files and CHOOSE from a list of what to play.
        Not be FORCED to auto play files in any given directory.

        What if I wanted to watch the 14th episode of a tv show? Go to the directory and next-next-next-next until I get to the correct file?

        There is probably a way to accomplish this, but I didn’t want to research it. It doesn’t take me long to convert stuff and add to iTunes.

        1. Then I am not sure what it is you want. I can choose to open a file, navigate to any directory, choose any file to play. You can’t use the scroll bar to move down and select any file to play?

          I’m confused.

          1. here’s the issue:
            I navigate to a folder on my iMac, THAT folder contains lets say 3 folders, and 1 movie…. the MOVIE I WANT TO PLAY is in one of those 3 folders…..

            The movie outside of those folders auto plays. I CAN’T GET TO THOSE 3 FOLDERS VIA VLC. As soon as I open any folder that contains any movie or picture VLC automatically displays it.

            What i’d like is to have VLC NOT autoplay any file. I want VLC to display those folders AND the movie file and let ME select the movie I want to play.

            Admittedly As soon as I couldn’t get past that, and didn’t find any options to stop auto play, I quit screwing with VLC on Apple TV.
            There is probably a way to not autoplay.. But i’m not going to waste time screwing with it.

            Until Apple adds BT keyboard support i’m not going to waste even more time trying to enter anything via search…

  2. I use Beamer. Beamer transmits video files on my Mac Pro to my large screen via Apple TV. It has a complete set of controls; works with a variety of formats including MKV and works flawlessly.

  3. Goodbye format woes? Whatever. VLC is awesome, but it’s pathetic that Apple’s own Quicktime is a decade behind the times. Apple more than ever is relying on 3rd parties to fix gaping holes in Apple’s products. Apple should be paying the VLC guys a generous salary. They have done enormous good in fixing Apple’s inept video screw ups. In comparison, dead weights like Ahrendts take home hundreds of millions of dollars to do what? Dumb down the stores by putting high-priced 3rd party fashion accessories in front of Apple’s own products?

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