I want to play an MP4 clip on loop on my Apple TV (4th gen). But I want to do this in an area where the Wi-Fi signal is spotty (ruling out AirPlay). Apparently the Apple TV Mac app supports copying of MP4 files to the Apple TV, but Catalina is required, and I have reasons not to update to Catalina.

I tried VLC for Apple TV, and it performed terribly. It couldn't even cache a 100MB MP4 and loop it - kept freezing and spinning a progress wheel. (It also refuses to remember the credentials to connect to my local network, which while not a deal-breaker, is very annoying.)

So what other options are there? Thanks.

1 Answer 1


You are mixing up the Apple TV app for macOS with the Apple TV hardware device. It’s easy to get confused, they literally have the same name, but the document you reference refers only to the Apple TV app on macOS, not the Apple TV hardware device.

All of the video apps that I have seen for the Apple TV hardware device rely on streaming over the network, including the TV app, the Computers app, VLC, and Plex.

I do not think you can do what you were trying to do by caching a file on the Apple TV hardware device. If you do not have WiFi, I don’t even think you can do what you want even with a local computer connected over an Ethernet cable. I think the Apple TV hardware device requires an internet connection even if it is just fetching files over a local network.

I know there’s a lot of “I think” in all that, but I have 4 ATV’s and have some experience with how they work (and won’t work).

  • Thank you for that info! Yes, the naming is very confusing, especially since tvOS also has an app store. What I ended up doing to solve my problem was use my Apple TV (hardware) in conjunction with my Time Capsule and MacBook Pro. So with the video file stored on my MBP, playing in Quicktime, I set Quicktime's playback to loop, and used AirPlay to broadcast it to my Apple TV. An internet connection was not required, just the Time Capsule's WiFi network. It took a lot of hardware and was not elegant at all, but it got the job done. I might have been better off with a VCR and a VHS tape. 🤣
    – Mentalist
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 6:35
  • Ah, AirPlay over Wi-Fi, good solution!
    – jimtut
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 10:29

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