The new Apple TV 3 with 1080p HD gives you access to the best content — blockbuster movies, TV shows, sports, your music and photos, and more. You can even play content from your iOS devices on your Apple TV using AirPlay. However, the two biggest Apple TV limitations are the lack of codec support (like MKV, XviD, DivX, etc.) and not even having the ability to do basic surround sound like Dolby Digital 5.1.

Why Failed to Stream 1080p MKV Videos to Apple TV 3?

Though Apple TV can stream your video files from computers, it has video format limitation. It only support limited video format. If you attempt to sync unsupported video format like MKV, XviD, DivX, etc. to Apple TV 3, it will draw an error message from iTunes.

So What is Apple TV Supported Video&Audio Format?

Apple TV 3 Supported Video Format
H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower, Baseline profile level 3.0 or lower with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps per channel, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
MPEG-4 video up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) up to 35 Mbps, 1280 by 720 pixels, 30 frames per second, audio in ulaw, PCM stereo audio in .avi file format

Apple TV 3 Supported Audio Format
HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through

How to Convert 1080p MKV to Apple TV 3 for Streaming and Playing

If the video / movie files you want to view are in a format that is not supported by the Apple TV 3, you may be able to convert them into a compatible format with iFunia Apple TV Video Converter for Mac. The following will introduce a step by step guide on how to convert 1080p MKV to Apple TV 3 supported format on Mac with the help of iFunia Apple TV Video Converter for Mac. Click here to free download Apple TV Video Converter for Mac (To install it, simply mount the .dmg archive by double-clicking it, and copy the application to your applications folder (or wherever you want).

Step 1. Load 1080p MKV Videos to Convert and Play on Apple TV 3

Run iFunia Apple TV Video Converter for Mac, and in the following main window, Click “Add Files” button to add your MKV video files. This Apple TV video converter for Mac supports drag-drop and batch conversion, so you can import and convert several multimedia files at a time.

Step 2. Select Apple TV 3 as Output Format

In “Destination Setup” you can use the “Output Format” drop-down menu to control the output format. Here you can find all of the Apple TV supported format in the output format drop-down list. What you should know is that the video quality mostly depends on the bitrate of the video you set. The larger bitrate you set, much more clear the output video is, but the larger file size you will get.

Step 3. Stream and Play 1080p MKV Files on Apple TV 3

Finally, convert your MKV Videos to Apple TV by hitting the Start button. After that, just drag and drop the converted MKV videos to iTunes for streaming to Apple TV! Then it is just easy to play MKV on your widescreen Apple TV.

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3 Responses to How-To: Play 1080p MKV Videos on Your Apple TV 3

  1. ADAM DACHIS says:

    Alternatively, you can convert your videos to MPEG4 (QuickTime Pro does a good job) and run them through the iPad’s native “Video” app.

  2. walkingman says:

    Hi, any idea to play videos from nokia phones to Apple TV?

  3. Serkan says:

    Alternatively, if you have Perian from Perian – The swiss-army knife of QuickTime® components installed on your Mac you can open each file in Quicktime Player and share to iTunes in order to play on ATV. At least I have been watching some AVI TV Shows on my ATV2 using this method this evening.

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