Sunday, January 1, 2017

VLC for Fire TV

Amazon Fire TV stick 2016 with VLC

Stream wireless audio/video to TV from computer!
Plays virtually any valid file format!
Excellent quality video, audio, sync, even subtitles!

Several good network video streaming solutions are available (see Wireless HDTV Video) with the primary purpose of delivering content from the Internet, but streaming of local content (cell phone video, camera video, and other files) tends to be more difficult, often involving server software (e.g., Plex) on a computer, a problem for less technical users.

What tends to work better for most people is a TV-centric (client-centric) solution rather than a server-centric solution, where the TV is used to select and play content files. That's now possible with the advent of VLC Media Player for Amazon Fire TV and stick. VLC is an excellent free and open source app that can handle virtually any valid file format.

Installing VLC can be a bit tricky since VLC for Fire is not yet listed in the Amazon Appstore on the new 2016 Amazon Fire TV stick, which means you have to sideload VLC for Android (on which Fire TV is based):
  1. Download the latest ARMv7 of VLC for Android here.
    (Look for small APK package link below Play and Fire buttons.)
  2. Follow the instructions in How to Sideload Fire TV Apps.
    (If you have an Android phone, that method is probably the easiest.)
The second part of the process is to enable file sharing on a Windows and/or Mac computer, and share folders in which you will place files for streaming by VLC on your Fire TV.
To play files from your Fire TV:
  1. Start the VLC app.
  2. Select Browsing.
  3. Select Local Network.
  4. Select source network device (computer, network storage).
  5. Navigate to the audio or video file you want to play.
If you need help, try VLC for Android and Chrome OS Forum.

Tip: Fire TV is a great way to "cut the cord" (cable) with the excellent Sony PlayStation Vue service.
 

4 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot for this post.

    Is there any reason you know of why VLC is not listed in the app store for the 2016 Fire TV Stick? Is it just a matter of the team checking a checkbox in the publish options? Or is Amazon blocking it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that the VLC team hasn't yet added it to the list of supported devices, but I don't know that for sure.

      Delete
  2. When I navigate to where my file are stored, VLC wants UN and PW. When I put them in ... nothing. Goes back to needing UN and PW. Running Mac OSX Server to share the files.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make your share public (no login). This may help:
      https://computers.tutsplus.com/tutorials/a-beginners-guide-to-os-x-file-sharing--mac-53206

      Delete