VLC and Plex Apps Coming to New Apple TV

vlclogoApple's latest fourth-generation Apple TV includes a dedicated App Store, which will allow users to access many apps and features that were not previously available on the older Apple TV. Popular media streaming apps Plex and VLC, for example, are both coming to the Apple TV, with tvOS versions already in the works.

The developers behind VLC announced their work on a tvOS app this morning, though few details have been given. "Some code to build VLCKit for the new tvOS was merged," reads a blog post. "It's very early though, but we have video playback!"

For those unfamiliar with VLC, it's a cross-platform media player that's designed to support multiple audio and video file formats and act as a streaming server. VLC is available on streaming devices that compete with the Apple TV, such as the Amazon Fire TV, but on Apple's platform, it's been limited to Macs and iOS devices.

Similarly, popular media organization and streaming app Plex is coming to the Apple TV. A tvOS version of Plex is in development, Plex co-founder Scott Olechowski told ITworld last week. Like VLC, Plex is in the early stages of development, so few details are available

There is no question we will be able to offer Plex on the platform. There are multiple ways to go about it, based on the tvOS SDK we now have access to. We are now evaluating the best path for Plex and will begin work in earnest once we have evaluated the options. The ability to access great and proven iOS frameworks on the device is great for developers like us -- we know the stuff is solid and will perform really well. Our goal is to enable people to enjoy Plex on the hardware platforms of their choice, and there is no doubt this will be a top platform for us.

Currently, Plex works with set-top boxes like the Chromecast and the Fire TV, and it is a popular choice with jailbroken Apple TVs, but it is not available to Apple TV users in any official capacity. Plex is designed to organize personal media libraries consisting of video and music files, allowing them to be easily streamed to TVs and other devices, either locally or remotely.

plexamazonfiretv

Plex on the Amazon Fire TV

As of today, developers are beginning to place their orders for Apple TV Developer Kits, so we may soon be hearing a lot more about these two apps and other apps that will be coming to the Apple TV.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 13, tvOS 14
Tags: Plex, VLC
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Don't Buy)

Top Rated Comments

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64 months ago
YES! That seals the deal for me.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
I hate to say it, but it may not yet be appropriate to say these apps are coming to Apple TV. It may be better to say "the developers are working on apps." We don't know the full criteria for acceptance into the TV app store - they may be more stringent than for iOS, especially if Apple is trying to get cooperation from the TV industry for an internet TV service. They'll probably be accepted. Probably...
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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64 months ago
XBMC would be the killer app!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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64 months ago
If only you could Siri search Plex it would be amazing - but looks like Siri is locked down to certain partners.

At the moment there's no point in getting an Apple TV over my Mac mini that I run Plex on.

I am so desperately hoping that at least one of these will play DVD .iso images off the network. It's possible that remote code executions restrictions for the menus, or a codec licensing issue, or just what kind of network access is allowed will make this impossible, but I sure hope it isn't.

Thing is, I have a collection of hundreds of DVDs ripped to a network volume as ISOs (so I can get at menus and extra features for the full effect), but I haven't yet come up with a solution other than a full computer that will actually play them smoothly on a TV. I got a WDTV box expressly for this purpose, because it's one of the few that will play an ISO over the network, but it's so unstable while playing DVDs it's literally unusable.

C'mon, VLC or PLEX--make this work. Please.

Plex server doesn't and won't work with ISOs. VLC might though maybe? Depends how it can access network shares though.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
VLC! Awesome.

I don't want to poop on anyones party but it says they are developing the apps, but will Apple allow them on the App Store?!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
64 months ago
Oh Hell YEAH

Any lingering doubt of me getting a new Apple TV is gone now.

Now the question is 32 or 64 GB?? I'm not entirely sure I get this storage thing, it's supposed to not have local storage at all? But will apps allow it like in iOS? hmm
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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