Our JW Player for Apple TV Beta is Beautiful, Easy–and Free

JW Player for Apple TV

We’re excited to announce the Beta of our new JW Player for Apple TV app builder. This software enables anyone to easily put their video content on the new Apple TV in a customized app with no coding and minimal configuration.

As we mentioned in our previous Apple TV blog post, when the new Apple TV was announced we dove into the developer documentation to see how best to support the device for our customers. After considering a number of approaches we decided to create a product that aligns with our core values of simplicity, ease-of-use and extensibility.

We have also decided to make the product free to all JW Player customers and to open-source the code.

Supported Features

  • Populates your app’s media content using RSS feeds. If you are managing content in your JW Player dashboard, this happens auto-magically based on playlist feeds that you specify in your app configuration. Using feeds from other sources will require you to hack the source code a bit.
  • Populates video titles, descriptions and hero images from video feed metadata.
  • Works with any JW Player account edition, from Free to Enterprise (note that video playback will count against your monthly JW streaming allotment).
  • Playback of HLS video content from JW Platform. You can add external URLs (for example, from your own server or CDN) to your playlists in the Content tab of your JW Player account dashboard, but they must be HLS, according to Apple’s recommendation.
  • Customize the app look & feel with your own branding. The default app is configured for JW Player branding and content but you can easily change this to use your own assets by modifying the config.json file. Advanced customization is possible, but you will need to modify the source code.
    Basic playback analytics reporting to your JW Dashboard.

Source Code Available

In this first version of the app builder, we prioritized ease of deployment over advanced functionality. We intend to add more features in the coming months (advertising support, search, etc.) but also wanted to open the project to contributions from our developer community, so we published the code on under a liberal Apache 2 license at https://github.com/jwplayer/appletv.

Getting Started

We’re really excited to see how people use this product, but also how developers enhance the code and add cool new functionality. We welcome pull requests!

Pablo is VP of Product Engineering at JW Player.