Stream AVI Files on Apple TV with Air Video Server and AirPlayer

Earlier today, I explored the capabilities of the AirFlick video tool, which I had discussed in a previous post, to stream transcoded video to Apple TV. My initial trials using the VideoLAN Client for transcoding were unsuccessful. However, a valuable tip came from TUAW reader BC, who had shared his insight on the MacRumors forums earlier.

BC’s advice involved integrating live conversion into AirFlick using the server component of AirVideo, a robust video streaming application that facilitates video serving from a Mac to various iOS devices.

Despite previous failures in playing AirVideo m3u8 playlists directly on Mac, BC mentioned that these playlists were indeed supported by Apple TV.

He was correct, and I have video evidence to prove it.

Through some tinkering, I managed to stream transcoded AVI files from my Mac’s AirVideo Server to my Apple TV using AirFlick. This was achieved not by following BC’s original method mentioned in the AirFlick article, but rather by streaming from Air Video on my Mac to my iPad first. This step was crucial as it allowed me to capture the essential index file name, which in my instance was index_68c17927-5f43-4176-ba5e-7fc91b48b050.m3u8.

I then constructed a URL to input into AirFlick: http://MY_LOCAL_IP_ADDRESS:45631/live-playback-2.4.0/INDEX_FILE.m3u8, replacing it with my actual IP address and the specific index m3u8 playlist name.

Additionally, you can obtain the UUID directly from the command line by executing a ps -ax command in a sufficiently wide terminal window. This command helps identify the ffmpeg process handling the conversion, for example: 1124 ?? 2:49.79 /Applications/Air Video –conversion-id 68c17927-5f43-4176-ba5e-7fc91b48b050 –port-number 46631 -threads 4 -flags2 +fast -flags +loop -g 30 -keyint_min 1 -bf 0 -b_strategy 0 -flags2 -wpred-dct8x8 -cmp +chroma -deblo.

For those who own a compact USB video camera, this setup means you can stream your home videos directly to Apple TV without needing to convert them into an iTunes-compatible format or jailbreak your device. This is also great news for anyone using a PVR system that records in AVI format, rather than a native OS X video format.


Patricia is a well-respected author and tech enthusiast who has made significant contributions to the Apple community. Writing for TUAW, Patricia brings a wealth of knowledge about Apple products, including the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Her insightful articles and guides help readers navigate the ever-evolving world of Apple technology. With a knack for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand content, Patricia has become a trusted voice for Apple fans everywhere.