Playing AVI files on ATV 2/3 with Apple TV (ATV 2/3) Dolby Digital Pass-through (*.m4v)

Summary: AVI is a container which contains media streams(subtitles, audio, video, chapters). Due to this, lots of people have issues to play AVI videos on Apple TV (2/3) . The following guide is written for Apple TV 2/3 owners who feel like downloading their movie library including AVI movies and various other formats of 1080p, 720P videos to Apple TV(ATV 2/3 gen)for playback on the go.

The new Apple TV comes with some minor changes like A5 chipset, iCloud video support and 1080p support. According to me the Apple TV 3 is the best for people who own iOS device and have much spent much of their cash in Apple’s online movie. It still has features such as iCloud backup of the TV, iTunes Match, Photo Stream, etc.

Specs for Apple TV Highlight:

Video Formats:
●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

Audio Formats:
●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

Yes, there is a problem that Apple TV 3 supported video formats are limited, nearly the same as the new iPad, it only supports H.264/MPEG-4 .mp4, .m4v, .mov and M-JPEG .avi file formats. This means that common 1080p or 720p AVI movie files can't be used by Apple TV 3 suitably. For this case, we have to convert AVI to Apple TV 3 compatible video formats first.

Today, i will give you a perfect solution to convert AVI to Apple TV 3 supported file types .m4v with 5.1 channel.

Only when your movie has 5.1 channel, you will get the real 5.1 surround sound effect.

First you need to download Brorsoft Video Converter (available for Windows and Mac users), a powerful high-quality video converter, editor and player. It has a special Apple TV 3 5.1 channel preset. With few clicks, you will finish the conversion. And the perfect result video quality is also impressive. If you are streaming and playing AVI, MKV, TiVo, MPG, MPEG, WMV etc. HD/Full HD videos to Apple TV 3, chances are you already installed this great free utility. If not, download it from below.

Tutorial on transcoding AVI to Apple TV 3:

The process uses Video Converter windows screenshots. The way to encode AVI to ATV 3 on Mac is the same.

Step 1. After installation, run the Mac 1080p AVI to Apple TV 3 converter. and click “Add Video” button to load your source files. You can either load your source videos one after another or directly load from a folder.

Step 2. Select output format. Click on "Format > Apple TV > Apple TV 3 Dolby Digital Pass-through (*.m4v)", this profile is just what you need. This format will ensure you 1080p quality with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through.

Tips: When you choosing “Apple TV 3 Dolby Digital Pass-through (*.m4v)” as output, an AC-3 encoded audio track will also be included for Apple TV 3 to Pass-through Dolby Digital 5.1 sound (also know as AC3 5.1), so that it will work in surround sound when Apple TV 3 is connected to audio receiver, and in stereo when Apple TV Gen 3 is connected with TV only.

Step 3. Start the 1080p AVI to Apple TV 3 conversion by clicking on "Convert" button.

After the short conversion, you ill be able to get the output files for Apple TV 3 via clicking on “Open” button effortlessly. Now you can transfer AVI movies to the new Apple TV 3 for enjoying with high quality and 5.1 sorround sound. You should know, for streaming media from a Mac or PC, iTunes must be 10.6 or later. And to get 5.1 sorround sound, AV Reciever is necessary.

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Write a comment

Comments: 21
  • #1

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    Pretty! It was really a wonderful blog. Thanks for the provided information.

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    Sydney TV Repairs (Sunday, 09 February 2014 10:55)

    A commenter going by the handle Travis indicated that the unit could be saved from the landfill and be repaired but his method is nothing short of surgical (you literally need a scalpel) in nature so you’ll need some surgeon’s skill to be able to accomplish this.

  • #3

    wonderfullifeness (Saturday, 09 May 2015 00:44)

    I also have the need to convert M4V to AVI or WMV so as to play M4V on my Windows Media Player, PowerPoint.
    Luckily i find a powerful M4V to AVI Converter which can convert M4V to AVI, WMV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MP4, MOV, 3GP, FLV etc.
    You may find it at

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    One easy method to play AVI on Apple TV is to convert AVI to Apple TV more supported MP4 or MOV,it is the Avdshare Video Converter,I hope this will help you.You can find it at

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