AppleTV – A quick TVML app

I’m playing with the new Apple TV SDK.  I’ve created a simple TVML “app” and server component, to allow viewers to watch the fifty most recent government programs from my hometown, Douglas, MA.

If you’re curious: Install the Xcode 7.1 beta.  Download the TVMLCatalog sample project from Apple.  Open the AppDelegate.swift file.  Change the line:

    static let TVBaseURL = “http://localhost:9001/”


    static let TVBaseURL = “”

And run.  You should see something like this:

Screen Shot 2015 09 20 at 10 42 35 AM

Videos play as you’d expect.  Be prepared: We compress the heck out of these videos, so they’ll look crummy compared to anything you’ll usually see.  320×240 at a glorious 400Kbps.  A story for another day.

I can’t promise that URL will always be there or won’t change, although I’m guessing I’ll keep the URL the same as I improve the presentation.

The details on how I built this are after the jump…

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Hey look, I still have a blog!

Turns out my last writing here was September 19, 2010, five years ago today.  

I’ve moved servers since my last post.  Along the way I lost whatever design template I was using.  I should fix that.  I’m sure my About page is out of date.  Broken links may be prevalent.  I’d like to get back into this blogging thing.  You know, get with the ’90’s.  Kudos to MarsEdit for not laughing at me when asked to create a new post.

For this exciting anniversary I’ve re-read much of what I’d written previously.  I wrote more than I remember.  Curious.  

Here’s a recap.

Compressor’s preset files – producing lower quality than a preset allows (September 19, 2010): The new compressor is far improved in this area.  I no longer need to resort to this hack, nor do I know if said hack still works.

On iPhone coming to Verizon (or not) (June 17, 2010), wherein I argue against rumors the iPhone would never come to Verizon.  Yeah, it did.  But I’m still on AT&T.

iPhone OS 4, Flash, Adobe, and the game to play (April 9, 2010), where I babble about what Adobe should do with Flash.  Curious what has changed here.  It hasn’t died fast enough.  Flash has a working “Export to iOS app” tool, and Apple allows it.  I haven’t launched the Flash developer app in years. I block it every chance I get.  In many ways I do think Adobe “gets it” and knows HTML5 is the future of the web, not Flash.  What I see from them in that area looks good.

On Flash vs. Javascript and how to change the game (March 26, 2010).  There’s still no killer HTML IDE.

Starting a rumor – Apple to buy SanDisk? (March 16, 2010).  Hah, not sure what I was thinking.  (Although they did buy Anobit in 2012 so maybe I was on to something.)

iPad – is it April 3rd yet? (March 12, 2010).  The iPad was the craziest-selling new product category ever, but has slowed.  I don’t use mine as much as I used to, although when I do I love it.  Hmmm.

Lame WWDC Survival Guide, 2009 (June 1, 2009). I still have the same thinking, broadly-speaking.  I do network more than then.  Two of my three “suggestions” have been implemented.  WWDC videos are now available super-fast, and they’ve not only created a developer forum but they’ve rebooted it this year.  I’m also pleased to report Moscone “Pizza” is no longer served.

Corollary to the definition of insanity (May 31, 2009).  This is just silly, why did I publish this?

MacWorld Expo: The Mac Mini I Want (January 2, 2009).  Wow, I’d forgotten how many Macworld Expo’s I’d been to.  24 as of 2009.  The Mini got a lot better in 2010, but always kept the silly laptop hard drive until SSD came along.  The latest Mini is a step back in some ways.  I use a mid-2011 Mini as our home server, still running well.  And you’re reading this on a similar Mini hosted at MacMiniColo.

From my side of the Mac Developer Roundtable (December 31, 2008).  I’ve yet to be on another podcast.  I should try it again.

Apple TV, what it could be (December 30, 2008).  Hah.  I could write this one again today.  This was in the era of the x86/OS X-based Apple TV.  The iOS-based model is a much better idea, so many of my ideas there are bunk in retrospect.  But an SDK?  Yeah, I want that more than ever. [Update: I wrote this draft two months ago, but the new Apple TV and tvOS were just announced!!!]

Psystar, Shmystar Redux (December 17, 2008).  Wow, I’d forgotten all about these folks, who tried to sell Mac-compatible x86 machines.

iPhone SDK, NDA, and October 17 (September 25, 2008).  Another dumb idea, but I’m super happy the whole NDA thing is basically a non-issue now.  (I guess you can’t post videos of pre-release stuff, but talking about it is most of the battle.)

Oxford 936 – RAID5 on the cheap coming soon (August 6, 2008).  Yep, lots of these around now.  I think the current is the 946.

Must eat memory (June 29, 2008).  Yep, the next 17” MBP supported 8GB and it was my main machine for years.  16GB is tops in Mac laptops now.  SSD’s make swap space far more bearable.

iPhone 3G Upgrade? – The App Store Question (June 16, 2008).  As foretold there, I skipped the 3G entirely.  But I remember my first day with the 3GS thinking “Wow, that really is faster than EDGE!”  (But 3G, and later LTE, took quite a while to arrive in my area.)

WWDC: Phil Schiller introduces the Barenaked Ladies (June 13, 2008).  Fun.

Header files are stupid (May 20, 2008).  Look ma, I predicted Swift!

That’s far enough.  First post was May 9, 2006 if you’re really that interested.  It’s mostly about town politics.  Fun stuff, but not a topic I wrote more about here.