Feeds

Hacking the Apple TV

Adding new file formats

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

More Codecs to Add

Perian isn’t entirely comprehensive — it lack some key codecs, such as WMV and Ogg. Apple doesn’t support WMV directly, but developer Telestream — formerly Flip4Mac — does and it offers a free QuickTime component sponsored by Microsoft. You can download it here.

Installing WMV and Ogg

Again, you’ll get a DMG file which needs to be mounted on a Mac so you can run the installer to extract the files. The one you want is Flip4Mac WMV Import.component (note the spaces in the filename) and this needs to be copied across to the Apple TV then placed in the correct location using the following Terminal command:

sudo mv "Flip4Mac WMV Import.component" /Library/QuickTime/

Ogg fans can download the Xiph QuickTime component here. You’ll get another DMG, but this time the file you need is right there in the mounted volume. Get the XiphQT (decoders).component file and copy it to your Apple TV.

sudo mv "XiphQT (decoders).component" /Library/Components/

ATVFiles is pre-configured to display WMV files, but it’s not Ogg-aware out of the box, so you’ll need to tweak its settings manually. You’ll have to log in using a terminal app and then the standard defaults command to make the change.

ATVFiles maintains two lists of the file extensions it can recognise, one for video, the other for audio, and it’s the latter we need to add Ogg too:

defaults write net.ericiii.ATVFiles AudioExtensions -array m4b, m4a, mp3, wma, wav, aif, aiff, flac, alac, m3u, mp2, ogg

That’s the standard list of extensions — note that there’s no ‘.’ before any of them — with ogg added at the end. Add any other audio filetypes you want to access.

Apple TV ATVFiles

Once ATVFiles ‘knows’ about Ogg files, it’ll show them

You adjust the list of supported video file types in the same way — just used the VideoExtensions ID instead of AudioExtensions. The video extensions already recognised by ATVFiles are: m4v, 3gp, m3u, pls, divx, xvid, avi, mov, wmv, asx, asf, ogm, mpg, mpeg, mp4, mkv, avc, flv, dv, fli, m2v and ts.

Blast the other formats, just give me H.264!

There’s no doubt that adding codecs is the easiest way of getting the Apple TV to play ‘non-standard’ media, but it’s not the most elegant solution. Arguably, the most seamless way to enjoy content is to convert it into a native Apple TV format. For video, that’s H.264, and while a powerful machine will churn through files and output them as .MP4s, you can speed the process up a bit.

Elgato’s Turbo.264 application

Elgato’s Turbo.264 application

Mac users should check out Elgato’s Turbo.264, a small USB dongle that, combined with the company’s bundled conversion software, punches out H.264 copies of any file format that QuickTime recognises — including, if you install Perian, a whole heap more than the default QuickTime installation provided for.

Even if you don’t own an Apple TV, Turbo.264’s a great tool for iPod and iPhone users with ‘non-standard’ video files they want to play on their portable players.

For Windows users, ADS offers what is essentially the same hardware but bundled with a more suitable conversion utility. ADS calls its version Instant Video To Go.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.