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How to Stream AVI Videos from Mac to Apple TV2 via XBMC

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Do you own the latest Apple TV? If you’re not aware, an untethered jailbreak was released a while back with greenpois0n. That jailbreak was soon ported over to PwnageTool and sn0wbreeze.

The following will be a step by step tutorial on how to jailbreak your Apple TV2, install XBMC (a complete media centre solution), and stream AVI videos from your Mac to Apple TV2, within XBMC (which is also available for the iPhone).

I spent some time this weekend tinkering with my Apple TV, and I finally have the perfect setup. All of my non-mp4 videos can now be watched on Apple TV. So if you download lots, this is the dream setup you’ve been waiting for.

I only skimmed the surface of life with XBMC. There are lots more you can do, but this tutorial will focus on how to stream your downloads from your Mac to Apple TV, and watch them in XBMC over your network. I used to transfer videos to a USB stick, and watch them on my DivX dvd player. Those days are now gone.

How to Stream AVI Videos from Mac to Apple TV via XBMC

As always–proceed with caution when it comes to jailbreaking. We are not responsible should anything go wrong.

Things you’ll need:
– microUSB cable to connect ATV2 to your Mac for the jailbreak. Get one for cheap, or ask one of your Blackberry friends to ‘borrow’ theirs.

1. Jailbreak your Apple TV with either greenpois0n or PwnageTool/sn0wbreeze. I used PwnageTool to create the custom jailbreak firmware, then restored my Apple TV with it.

Originally, I tried to use greenpois0n, however the app kept crashing on my Mac, and the timing to execute the jailbreak took some work. PwnageTool was a lot easier. After it was all said and done, nitoTV was waiting for me to install XBMC.

2. After your Apple TV has been jailbroken, you will see a new heading, nitoTV. Do the following:

nitoTV –> Install Software –> XBMC-ATV2

If installed correctly, you should see this new heading:

XMBC should be installed on your Apple TV menu. Now, we need to setup folders to share on your Mac.

3. On your Mac, go to:

System Preferences –> Sharing –> “Tick off” File Sharing –> Options –> “Tick off” Share files and folders using SMB (Windows). Hit Done.

4. Now, you need to share the folder where you keep your media downloads (.avi/.wmv/.rmvb/.divx etc). Launch Finder. Locate your folder. Got it? Now…

Right-click the folder –> Get Info (a window will pop up) –> tick off “Shared folder”. Repeat this for any folders you want XBMC to get files from. When you enable a shared folder, all subfolders will automatically be enabled too.

Next up, setup XBMC to read your newly shared folders from your Mac.

5. Launch XBMC on Apple TV. Go to:

Videos –> Add Source –> Browse –> Windows network (SMB) –> WORKGROUP –> Your Mac –> Select your “shared folder” and confirm by pressing the left previous track button on the Apple Remote –> Name your folder whatever you want, then hit Done.

6. Everything is setup now, all you need to do is watch your media. Select your “Folder”, choose a file, and watch away. My videos in .avi format played flawlessly. I haven’t tried out 720p/1080p video yet.

Remote options while watching videos:

  • Play/Pause: press and hold to bring up a drop down menu to change video/audio settings.
  • Left/Right: Fast forward (one press will FF 30 seconds, or 2x-16x) or rewind
  • Up/Down: adjusts volume

There you have it. The hardest part with this tutorial is probably jailbreaking the Apple TV. After that, it’s pretty simple to get things setup. Looks like the latest Apple TV has turned into one heck of an investment. Well done to the entire XBMC team!

Let me know how this Apple TV 2/XBMC tutorial works out for you in the comments!

[iluvatv]

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  • Dunlop

    Is it possible to do a tutorial like this for windows? I can’t figure it out!

  • Pingback: How to Stream AVI Videos from Mac to Apple TV2 via XBMC | iPhone … | Macbook Groups()

  • Anonymous

    One thing I’ve noticed XBMC does nicely is playing files directly from an FTP server. On Windows, I set up FileZilla Server (a nice, easy-to-use FOSS FTP server), told it to share my media folders, gave it a simple password (usually xbmc:xbmc), and set FileZilla to deny any connections that aren’t my ATV (so the internet can’t get at it). Then I just add the FTP address as a source in XBMC and I’m good to go. I’ve never seen another media centre type program that can play directly from FTP like this one.

  • Im on my MAC trying to jailbreak my apple tv 2 and it just will not work. I tried green pois0n and agree that it is crap. I then tried pwnage tool and created a custom ips but it keeps sticking at plug in usb cable. The usb cable is plugged in. I tried reseting Apple tv a few times and trying from scratch again. Any ideas or a link to a good walk through on how to jailbreak. I can’t wait to play .AVI files. Thanks

  • Guest

    Just a heads up to all. I have spent way too many hours on this! You cannot properly play all HD videos. Read the xbmc wiki for more information. It currently can only flawlessly decode h.264 through hardware. Everything else requires a software decode which puts lag on the A4 chip and causes buffering issues. Your best bet if you want to stream HD video (and don’t mind having your computer doing the hard work of decoding / transcoding) then I suggest you use Plex until xbmc gets a little better at HD.

  • Guest

    I cant for the life of me find my ‘source’ when I ‘Add Source’. I have followed all of the directions above, checked my router/firewall etc and I still cant figure out why my folder doesnt show up. Can someone help me please?

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  • Littlecuong

    Work like a charm thanks

  • Scott

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!
    I have been trying to sort this out for two days. You are the best.

  • Cheers! 🙂

  • Zac

    Set up the sharing but ATV2 stopped before it could find WORKGROUP > YOUR MAC…

  • Zac

    Set up the sharing but ATV2 stopped before it could find WORKGROUP > YOUR MAC…

  • Just try again, it should work. It took a minute or two for WORKGROUP to
    show up.

  • Mediasbajas

    Never before found a step-by-step that worked so good and easy as this one. Congrats! Impressive work. Thanks!

  • You’re welcome. Took me a while to compile the info but I got it done.
    Enjoy, don’t be afraid to help spread the word. 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!!

  • pic.twitter.com/U0JmdJp
    i do exactly what u said ,,
    but i don’t know why my atv2 doesn’t show the workgroup ..
    plz help me >:)
    it always give me error 2 ..!!

  • pic.twitter.com/U0JmdJp
    i do exactly what u said ,,
    but i don’t know why my atv2 doesn’t show the workgroup ..
    plz help me >:)
    it always give me error 2 ..!!

  • pic.twitter.com/U0JmdJp
    i do exactly what u said ,,
    but i don’t know why my atv2 doesn’t show the workgroup ..
    plz help me >:)
    it always give me error 2 ..!!

  • pic.twitter.com/U0JmdJp
    i do exactly what u said ,,
    but i don’t know why my atv2 doesn’t show the workgroup ..
    plz help me >:)
    it always give me error 2 ..!!

  • Essie Olson

    You did a great job with the step-by-step. Thank you!

    My computer does not show “Workgroup”; what am I doing wrong? 

  • mchael

    Hi Gary

    I have managed to get my folder linked and XBMC has scanned it to get Meta data but when I try and play a movie I get the message  cannot play file see log file.  I   am not sure how to access the log file and the only thing I can think of that is different to your set-up is that I am running OS Lion.

  • mchael

    Hi Gary

    I have managed to get my folder linked and XBMC has scanned it to get Meta data but when I try and play a movie I get the message  cannot play file see log file.  I   am not sure how to access the log file and the only thing I can think of that is different to your set-up is that I am running OS Lion.

  • I haven’t experienced that before. That being said, I’m not on Lion and my ATV2 is running a beta.

  • Jan Eland70

    Hi mchael.

    I’m Jan from Holland i have the same problem as you have. I think it is lion thats bugging us. I have à nas server and atv is playing like a sun from it I hope there is a fix nere.

    Greets from Holland (jan_eland@twitter.com)

  • Anonymous

    Nice tips, thanks very much!
    Well, I really like the Apple TV, as in the help of handbrake and ifunia, now it is a home media centre for my family, I can enjoy many DVD movies on it on the go!
    For some more info about the Apple TV and XBMC, this wiki also a great spot: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/AppleTV_2

  • Dpomo91

    i get all the way to the workgroup, bur when i select my mac i get the error: operation not permitted

    what to do now

  • Preetbedi

    i get all the way to the workgroup, but when i select my mac i get an error saying  “error: operation not permitted”
    what should i do now???

  • Danielrivera11

    Hi, I just did evrything and I can the folder with the movies but when I click on the folder I cannot see the movi inside, avi files mainly, what can I do?

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  • Zammit Josef

    that exactly my problem any suggestions please

  • A Dizzle

    I get to workgroup and select my Mac but I get a error saying “operation not permitted.” any suggestions on how to remedy this issue. I see I couple of you asked the same question but I didn’t see any fixes. Thanks

  • Ben

    Sorry guys Lion changed the way it handles SMB and this no longer works. You’ll have to do a SAMBA install or start a UPNP server.

  • ryan

    Can someone update this tutorial for windows please?

  • Robert Bidner

    When I click windows network (SMB) I get an error message error 2 share not available

  • happyboybaby

     
    Just google search Step by Step Guide on How to Convert and Stream AVI? to Apple TV to Play AVI Files on Apple TV
    you will find the reason why we failed to play AVI on Apple TV as
    well as a step by step guide on how to convert AVI to Apple TV format
    for streaming and playing AVI on Apple TV

  • Pacho Manrique

    You’re THE man! thx a lot it works on Eden with an appletv2 just read carefully his instructions. Once you select the folder it wont show the media directly, it just sets the path. afterwards check its content from the video menu in xmbc

  • Nice!

  • diro

    same think for me did u find a solution?

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