Over the past decade, we've purchased thousands of TV shows and hundreds of movies and songs from iTunes. These have all been stored on a massive NAS, and served from a Mac Mini with iTunes Home Sharing enabled.

Until just a few days ago, our iPhones and our children's iPads could easily browse and play any previous purchases. This was great, because well, when nothing new and interesting is available or when guests visit, we can quickly and easily re-play old shows and movies that we purchased without consuming any internet bandwidth.

We allowed both iPhones and our newest iPad to update. Apple removed the Video app and replaced it with the TV.app. The TV app sucks. Not only does it hang and crash often, it lists about 20 of our 4000+ shows and 10 of over 300+ movies that we purchased.

Our old iPad that has not updated yet still has the Video app installed. It can still access Home Sharing, and thus it still lists and plays any of our purchases instantly.

So, is it possible to copy the old Video app from the old iPad somehow, and then copy that app over to our iPhones and the new iPad?

I really get the impression from what is happening with "TV apps" and "subscription" terminology that Apple is trying to force people to become subscribers to an old-school, cable-like service tv-networks' bundling apps (shwew, that's a mouthful and yes it stinks of expensive cable TV). So thoughtlessly breaking access to our own purchases, stored on our own networked devices further re-enforces this impression. I've doubts that it was a total blunder that the new TV app is no longer listing Videos on our NAS, and only allows re-streaming. So if we could recover by using the old Video app that would let us continue using the thousands of dollars of movies and shows that we paid for.

  • I think it is on topic. There are a stack of related questions about iTunes and Home Sharing listed to the right. And this particular question is about "computer software, or personal and home computer networking" . It so happens to be related to iOS, but I'm pretty sure that to get what I want, the Video app, I need some sort of experience finding that app, pulled from iTunes on my computer. I'm getting closer to the solution, but not there yet, and hoping some super user knows or understands this problem a little deeper and recommend an alternative solution. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 4:40
  • Your asking how to hack your iOS device to have a Apple iOS 9 application (or whenever the application changed I didn't keep track honestly). At the very least you will have to root your device to get this done. Your question has nothing to do with iTunes, what you want, can't be done with iTunes...
    – Ramhound
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 4:42
  • Fair enough. I've found dated resources that got me close by backing up the working iPad using iTunes, then getting apps from the backup, but did not address native apps, so no luck. I could rephrase the question to be more about Home Sharing, because the root of the problem might be related to the interaction of the new TV app with the Mac Mini and NAS, but I was hoping there were already other folks experiencing this issue and had solutions either via replacing the app or other, but I don't have the energy for that sort of exchange right now. Thanks. Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 5:03
  • You can't downgrade just one app. OTOH there might be users here who can help you in resolving your issues with TV.app. If you want to go that way, it might help if you rewrote your question accordingly.
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 10:47
  • I agree with you last comment on the direction Apple seems to be going in - not at all what many of us cord-cutter-wanna-be's were hoping. We still need to subscribe to cable or pay 100's of $ per year to BUY the shows we want. I for one don't really feel like buying TV shows - the replay value is almost non-existent, especially with the incredible amount of new content coming out all the time. OK, </soapbox>, and moving on to real advice. Get VLC or a similar app and unlock all the content from your NAS.
    – jimtut
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 23:29

1 Answer 1


My answer addresses the OP issue with TV.app, not reverting to the previous Videos.app. The functionality the OP wishes to have is available in the TV.app and that is what my answer addresses.

I know this question is a little old, but I had the same issue with the new TV.app seeing my local Home Sharing library. This question is also addressed/answered here as well.

Home Sharing libraries under the library menu at the top of the TV.app do not appear until;

  1. Home Sharing is setup on all devices. And...
  2. Content is downloaded from the iTunes Store (e.g. a single free tv show.)

Step 2 seems to trigger the TV.app to make Home Sharing available. Once this is done your Home Sharing library will be visible in the menu and you will be able to access and view your content from the shared library on the device.

The below image is my iPad showing our local Home Sharing library iMac Library in the TV.app on iOS 10.3.1 - Hope this answer helps others.

enter image description here

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