Posted on 11-30-2016 05:48 AM
Hello, I work for a small company in the IT department, and I am trying to implement a little more Apple (hard to convince the rest of the team to play along lol) -- I do not actually have any JAMF memberships as we are very small and are just starting this implementation. My first Apple Project for the company is setting up the Apple TV (4th Gen) in a lobby.
This is what I'd like it to do:
Play a chosen video on a loop (and change it when needed)
AirPlay Mirroring/Sending Videos/Pictures
This is what I am currently working on. I need to restrict it to only use iPads on the Network. Currently AirPlay mirroring works (through Bluetooth?) -- Another alternative is to have a password to AirPlay to the device (which would be ideal) --SOLVED--
Remote Access into the Apple TV does not seem likely, I will have to go with an MDM Solution (like JAMF) or OS X Server (If it can provide the capability)
Playing a Chosen Video on a loop IS possible. A matter of getting it working and reliable is up for debate.
Solution 1: Home Sharing
Problems: The Apple TVs are on a different SubNet than the server running iTunes
Solution: Set up a VPN for all the Apple TV's to be on the same subnet, and get the Server onto that subnet as well (I am not a network guy though, so this will have to be discussed with the network team).
Problem: May cause security risk. Apple TV and Server must be on WiFi not LAN.
Solution: Run a MacMini with OS X Server and set up the VPN (keeping the information on Windows Server separate from MacOS Server will probably be better for security reasons. And we can set up the Mac Server VPN to work with the Apple TVs. And can be connected LAN and WiFi at the same time. -- Will have to run this by my team but I think it could work
Solution 2: Different Media Server
Problem: While PLEX Media does work across subnets, the Apple TV app cannot repeat videos. Only solution to this is to have PLEX update the app. (as far as I know.)
Solution: VLC Player + PLEX Server. VLC player CAN loop videos
Problem: VLC player shows every computer and takes hours to find the PLEX media server -- Still looking for solution
Solution 3: Cloud Storage Player
I haven't looked into this too much yet. but the only free cloud storage seems to be MediaShare (or MediaFire) -- Not sure if it can play videos or loop them.
Posted on 11-30-2016 08:22 AM
Normally I hate to discourage the use of Apple products, but I don't think the AppleTV is the solution you are looking for. You can buy yourself a Raspberry Pi for less than $100 and configure it to do exactly the things you have listed.
We just used a couple of Pi's to replace some older Xserves which were still doing our DNS and DHCP and after some tinkering, testing ,and more tinkering and testing, they have been rock solid.
Posted on 11-30-2016 11:34 AM
I think I found a solution for looping video on the Apple TV here: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Loop
But I am really having a hard time preventing AirPlay to work from anyone just walking in with an iPhone and playing any video they want.
Raspberry Pi would probably be easier lol. This wont be good for my push of Apple products in the department lol
Posted on 11-30-2016 11:41 AM
@daafin3 Not sure of your budget but if you wanted to keep to Apple, a Mac Mini with Air Server may do what you want. You can password protect the Airplay or have one time codes. You can, of course, remote into the Mac Mini.
I don't know if Apple TV will accomplish what you need and I don't think you can remote into.
Posted on 11-30-2016 11:46 AM
When I worked in the K12 I preferred to use a Mac Mini attached to lobby displays as it was far more versatile.
Posted on 11-30-2016 11:52 AM
@bkramps are you saying I can password protect AirPlay on the Apple TV? If so how? ive been looking around all I can find is using a code to connect (the code that pops up on the display) which wont help.... Or are you saying I can only password protect on MacMini :P in that case id be very sad lol
I think a MacMini would be out of my budget. Was hard enough to get us to order an AppleTV lol.
Posted on 11-30-2016 11:57 AM
I don't have much experience with Apple Tvs but I don't think you can set a password, just the one time codes. The Air Server software will let you set a password but that would have to be running on device with MacOS.
Posted on 11-30-2016 01:36 PM
Ah, setting a password on Apple TV is possible. O_O Just gotta select 'PassWORD' not 'PassCODE' lol
now. remote management is the tough one.
Posted on 11-30-2016 01:37 PM
Posted on 11-30-2016 03:33 PM
Any ideas how to get my AppleTV to work with iTunes Home Sharing if iTunes is on a Windows Server, and AppleTV is on WiFi. Both are on different subNets
Posted on 12-01-2016 10:39 AM
Alright. So I am on the last step of Home Sharing my Apple TV. To loop the video, I can list it as a "Music Video" in iTunes and play on repeat through the Apple TV. However, I need a solution to get Home Sharing to work across different Subnets.
My other thought is a cloud storage app, does not look like Dropbox has an app for Apple TV. but then I need to find a new way to loop the video.
Does OSX Server solve either of these issues?
Posted on 12-07-2016 01:46 AM
Posted on 12-07-2016 01:35 PM
On a related note: I have ~30 Apple TVs in conference rooms, etc. Mixed results. Basically used as "dumb AirPlay projectors".
My desktop Techs are also testing Airtame devices: https://airtame.com/is
Posted on 12-07-2016 02:00 PM
We were going to try the Apple TV thing, but mirroring just wasn't reliable over an extended amount of time. In our school, we have a large screen TV mounted to a wall that has a 50' HDMI cable pulled back to a nearby office. In that office, there is an older dedicated iPad hooked to the HDMI cable with a Lightning to HDMI adapter. We have a person who creates Keynotes that continuously play on the iPad. Sometimes the simplest setup is the best.
Posted on 12-07-2016 03:54 PM
@dstranathan I think we have resolved our conference room solution, using Apple TV's and iPads as Keynote/Powerpoint remotes. Now that AirPlay does not require the iPad to be connected through the network (uses bluetooth? or a different WiFi technology to connect) it seems to be much more reliable for AIRPLAY.
@pshouston Yeah, the AirPlay mirroring from a Computer to the Apple TV still relies on the WiFi network to pull that data, which is highly unreliable in my experience. Using an iPad/iPod might bring better results setting them to never sleep and AirPlaying a video. but I dont think that would be good for more than 24hours as im sure the devices will have to refresh the signal.
My solution to play a video on a loop for long period of time is this: Using the VLC player App and the Remote Playback feature. You can navigate to the IP address in a web browser (as long as the computer is on the network - does seem to work across subnets) you can drop a video into that address and the Video will be loaded onto the Apple TV locally (can be accessed in VLC player). VLC has a repeat option after you start the video.
What I need to test is: How long the video stays on the Apple TV locally (there is a warning that it could be deleted by TVOS) But i think its just a warning, for liability reasons.
How to allow a designated user to add a video, and start the loop in a userfriendly manner. (might just have to print out a detailed walk through. It is about 5-10 steps to start the video on loop). Related, to not allow other users to access the webaccess page to VLC AppleTV.
While this is not as intuitive as using HomeSharing, where iTunes/AppleTV auto loop anything playing within a playlist. And the user can just drag and drop videos into a share drive to add to the loop (or remove). It seems to be the only solution so far. I am still testing.
Next up will to install OSX Server, create a VPN and use the VPN on the AppleTV to match the SubNet as my MacOS Server (running iTunes) which should allow HomeSharing. Network team thinks its silly to have an internal VPN though, so this might be a battle to implement with the AntiApple folks at my work :P
(Food For Thought: If you have 10 Lobbies, and 10 Conference Rooms -Not all are ever used at the same time-) the cost for us to implement iPads and Apple TVs are: 20 ATVs ($150) (do not have Lobby TV but RhaspBerry Pis are $30 Small Windows Device $150) == $6000+ ) + EndUser Experience is much nicer the Apple Route, pain to implement though.
Posted on 12-08-2016 07:39 AM
For our kiosk display content (lobbies, cafe, public areas, etc) we use a product called FWI (http://www.fourwindsinteractive.com)
Basically is a live media steamer that hosts and distributes content over IP. Cloud-based but uses our locally-stored data. Yearly subscription I believe.
Posted on 12-13-2017 12:03 PM
As of 12/2017 VLC updated with bugs and now crashed upon opening and scanning for servers. It is unusable. Warning do not update VLC!!!!!!!
Posted on 12-20-2017 07:56 AM
Just curious why you don't use Keynote to play the video and have it loop in a slide? We do that at one of our schools, and I also do that at our church.