3rd Gen Apple TV


#1

So, I have a 3rd gen Apple TV. Disappointed to realize it has no app store and therefore cannot install the Channels app on it.

Has anyone come up with a hack that'll allow me to get at my Channels live and/or DVR content on the older Apple TV? I know I can mirror or AirPlay from an IOS device, but I'm hoping to find a stand-alone solution.

For instance... This Apple TV can play back video content stored in my iTunes library hosted by the same Mac Mini that's running the Channels DVR server. Is there a way to automatically import my Channels DVR recordings into iTunes? Perhaps transcoding may be required as well?


#2

You could use something like iFlicks on the Mac which has some automated ways to transcode to MP4 and add to iTunes. It doesn't have anything for EDL support or anything, so the commercial cutting or adding chapters would need to be done with something else if that's important to you.


#3

Well, I downloaded Handbrake and used it to transcode a 30min episode of Jeopardy! to an Apple device friendly M4V file. Unfortunately, on my 2012 Mac Mini, it's taking an hour to complete (only managing 15 fps). Will import into iTunes and give it a look-see from my Apple TV later today and report back.


#4

Handbrake is nice, and free. iFlicks costs some $$$ but like I mentioned you can automate most of the tasks. The good thing for iFlicks and other things is that it adds metadata to the MP4 container.

Instead of transcoding you could just remux the container unless it’s MPEG-2 then it will need to be transcoded.

And just a little FYI: The MP4 container supports multiple extensions like M4V, M4A, and M4B. The extensions are interchangeable, but do help by showing the specifics. V for video, A for audio, and B is audiobooks. They all work just fine with a MP4 extension as well.


#5

The Channels DVR stores OTA content as an MPEG-2 transport stream. The Gen 3 Apple TV only supports H.264/AAC, hence the need to transcode. Handbrake is nice because it has a handy-dandy preset for Apple devices and uses the .M4V extension.

At this point, though, I'm doing this mainly as an academic exercise. By my calculations, the extra electricity I would burn running the Mac Mini full-tilt to transcode hours of video every day would really add up. It would be more economical to just go out and buy another Fire Stick for $35 and replace the old Apple TV.


#6

Yeah I didn't know if you had a Prime or something else and just doing OTA :stuck_out_tongue:


#7

So, I finally got around to transcoding a TV show and dropping it into iTunes so that I could play it on my 3rd Gen Apple TV. Worked like a charm!