VLC media player lands on Apple TV

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VLC for Apple TV was supposed to be released back in December, but it took longer than anticipated. As of Tuesday, the application is now available free in the App Store on the fourth-generation Apple TV.

According to Felix Kühne, lead iOS developer for VLC, the app is “a full port of VLC media player combined with platform-specific features” and it supports virtually all formats under the sun, just like its iOS counterpart.

Like Infuse and Plex, VLC permits you to stream audio and video item stored on network-attached drives to your Apple TV, without having to manually convert DIVX, AVI and other “foreign” files into iOS-friendly formats.

As mentioned, you can stream media stored on your local network with full support for Windows Share (SMB) servers. In addition, streaming from Plex servers and any DLNA/UPnP-complaint media device for that matter works, too.

Unlike Infuse, however, Plex also supports so-called Remote Playback which lets you instantly stream files stored on a Mac or Windows PC to your Apple TV by visiting a special webpage on desktop whose URL is displayed within VLC.

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You can send multiple URLs in a row and they will be attached to the playback queue and use the web interface for play/pause and seeking. The app will even cache those videos on your Apple TV for faster access.

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According to MacStories, this feature supports adaptive streaming protocols including HLS, Smooth, RTSP, HTTP and FTP. For those wondering, VLC pulls album art for your videos—and artist imagery and biographies for web radio and music—from the popular community service, hatchet.is.

Other goodies in VLC for Apple TV include chapter navigation, custom playback speed, multiple audio tracks and support for subtitles with built-in OpenSubtitles.org integration for downloading subtitles on the fly.

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Speaking of subtitles, VLC renders any kind of text (set, SSA, WebVTT and so forth) or bitmap subtitles with full support for right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew, complex text layout for Malayalam as well as further Asian languages.

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They are already working on the next major release of VLC which will add new content sources in the form of popular cloud services such as Dropbox, OneDrive and Box. AC-3 audio is not supported in this release of VLC.

The full list of supported media file types can be found here.


VLC for Apple TV is available at no charge in the App Store on your Apple TV. VLC for Mobile is available at no cost on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad in the App Store.

The iOS app requires iOS 7.0 or later and is localized in English, Afrikaans, Arabic, Belarusian, Bosnian, Cambodian, Catalan, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Faeroese, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Malay, Marathi, Norwegian Bokmål, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Simplified Chinese, Singhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish and Ukrainian.