List of file formats working on Apple TV

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This is just a list of various file formats tested playing natively on the Apple TV (i.e. through Frontrow). The codec sources are noted, if needed. Drop the .component bundle in /Library/QuickTime on the Apple TV.

See also: Codec Sources

If you can add to these tables, please do!

Video Codecs

Name Extension Works? Codec Notes
DivX .avi, .divx Yes Perian, OS X Codec Pack Free
720p DivX .avi ?? Perian, OS X Codec Pack For one user, video stutters every 10-15 seconds, audio never skips. Can I get confirmation either way on this? please link to a file as mine plays everything except 1080p
Flash Video .flv Yes Perian Free, video file must load completely before playback
MPEG-2 .mpg, .mp2, .vob, .m2v Yes QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback $19.99, does not play transport streams, reports of choppy video
MPEG-4 .mp4, .mpg Yes Included Should play right out of the box
Windows Media .wmv Yes Flip4Mac Free
XviD .avi Yes Perian, OS X Codec Pack Free

Audio Codecs

Name Extension Works? Codec Notes
AAC .m4a Yes Included Should play right out of the box
MPEG Layer-3 .mp3 Yes Included Should play right out of the box
Dolby AC3 .ac3 Yes A52codec Free, read the readme for install instructions (also included with Perian and OS X Codec Pack)


Name Extension Works? Codec Notes
Matroska .mkv, .mka Yes MatroskaQT, Perian SVN Reportedly not very usable
Ogg Vorbis, Theora .ogg, .ogm Yes XiphQT Reportedly working

Request: Could someone please post a link to a compiled copy of the SVN of Perian. I tried grabbing the source, and compiling it but am getting a bunch of errors (this is on a PowerPC OS X 10.4.9 box)

Perian built from trunk has been uploaded here. It has been tested on an Intel MacMini but not on an AppleTV. Two tiny hacks had to be done to compile, but I was able to watch two MKV files with no trouble.

Video Conversion Software

Software that is known to work with converting divx, avi, and other formats to m4v or mp4 which can be used natively out of the box.

Program Vendor Supported Source Formats Cost Platform Link Notes
Video To AppleTV Converter Wondershare avi, divx $29.99 Windows WonderShare works good, you can test it but will need to purchase for it to be regularly useable
Handbrake DVD Video Free (GPL) Mac OS X, Windows, Linux HandBrake For best results, follow a guide like this
VisualHUB Techspansion Just about anything $23.32 OS X Trial Very easy, can use trial to convert a sample and use ffmpeg command from log for free
TubeSock Stinkbot YouTube, DailyMotion, Porkolt videos $15 OS X TubeSock Simple to use. Automatically adds videos to iTunes for syncing. Free trial can convert videos up to 30 seconds in length.
QuickTime Pro Apple Anything QT can open $29.99 OS X or Windows Easy, but slow and not many options.