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Apple TV, HomePod, and alternatives

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Apple, Troubleshooting
I have some videos that play just fine in the latest iTunes and latest Mojave, but on the Apple TV 4K it says they are in an incompatible format. Anybody have any words of wisdom?
The Apple TV has a very specific subset of supported media compared to macOS / QuickTime. The supported formats are listed here:
Apple Support said:
That list is a lot smaller than the list for macOS Catalina
Apple Support said:
and Mojave will support even more formats, due to Catalina dropping support for legacy formats, as outlined in the linked article).

If you need to convert something, Handbrake is your best friend.
 



I suspect the recent OS update for my Apple TV 3 further reduced the number of compatible formats. All YouTube videos stream properly on my iPad, but with some, the Apple TV 3 now delivers "An error occurred loading this content." This is a new problem.
 



Here's a strange one. I launched my Apple TV 3, and when I hit the back button, it brought a black page with the words "Not Supported." I moved the cable, and the main page came back for half a second. It then went back to the black page. I checked the server and relaunched. I restarted the Apple TV and it brought up the main page, but all the icons were blank. My next step was to unplug, count to 10, and plug it in again, That fixed it, but I have no idea what happened here.

I also found a new feature that is not quite ready for prime time. When watching Home Before Dark with the 7.5 update, it now show a 'Skip Intro" option. It worked for the first and second episodes. However, since the intro section is not at the same spot, it came up while the prologue went longer. So that it not perfect. Anyone else seen this?
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Apple's apparently switching its pricy HomePod "smart speaker" to tvOS:
9to5mac said:
HomePod now runs on tvOS, here’s what that could mean
Last month, Apple released the HomePod Software 13.4 update and although it has no new features for users, this update represents a major change with how Apple manages the HomePod ecosystem. 9to5Mac has analyzed the latest HomePod firmware available and found something unexpected: starting with version 13.4, the HomePod operating system is now based on tvOS, instead of iOS.
 


I just bought an Apple TV HD a few days ago. When I was checking my Mac Mini server, I was missing films An American In Paris/Oklahoma. I just purchased today The Invisible Man 2020. None showed up in my server. I called Apple Support, and the first thought was to turn Home Sharing off and then on. I forgot that I had dealt with this about a year ago with no problems. This time, the password would no longer work. Apparently the info was no longer there. I went in to KeyChange and found the password, but for some reason, that failed.

So here is another wrinkle: I went looking for the 1956 Ten Commandments I bought in December. I showed it was available for $14.99. I also showed Downloaded grayed out.

It took a while. I finally created a new password. I then talked to an Advanced Support rep. We tried everything, but the servers showed missing films. So the thought was they will look into this and call me today or tomorrow.

Meanwhile I called a friend. We looked and found all the films were in an All list. Most were downloaded. So we looked a little further and went to This Computer. All the films turned up. But that should not had worked. The other item is the Apple TV HD showed all the films with nothing missing. So somewhere thing got a little mixed up. The server is supposed to hold my entire iTunes. It looks like This Computer is more current than the server. Any ideas how I got here?

One more thing: Apple TV 3 shows the film with iTune Extras show cast, director, time, etc. Clicking Play takes you to The main page with Play, Extras, Related and Score music. In Apple TV HD, you need to scroll down and click Preview to take you to the main page as above. It is not obvious.
 


Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but for those like me who really dislike the Apple TV's remote, I just got one of these and it has so far worked flawlessly with my Apple TV 4:

GE Big Button Backlit Universal Remote Control

It also works with my Vizio TV and Sony receiver. It reportedly also works with my DirecTV DVR, but I'm not sure how well its remote buttons would map, so I haven't tried it.
 


Sorry if this has already been mentioned, but for those like me who really dislike the Apple TV's remote, I just got one of these and it has so far worked flawlessly with my Apple TV 4:
It also works with my Vizio TV and Sony receiver. It reportedly also works with my DirecTV DVR, but I'm not sure how well its remote buttons would map, so I haven't tried it.
We have been very pleased with this for working with our Apple TV 3, as well as our Sony TV:
and it is a bit cheaper than the "Big Button" one.
 


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