Overview: Brightcove Player SDK for tvOS

Video Cloud
Brightcove Player
Device SDK Developer
Develop with the Native SDKs

Welcome to Brightcove's Player SDK for tvOS developer documentation. Here you will find information for playing video content on Apple TV.


The Native SDK for tvOS allows you to create video-centric apps for the Apple TV.

  • Video Cloud customers can play Video Cloud library content
  • Brightcove Player customers can play videos with internet accessible URLs

When ingesting your content, we recommend using a high resolution profile for the best renditions for Apple TV. For more details, see Apple's Video Formats for Apple TV documentation.

Supported versions

The Native Player SDK for tvOS offers support for the following versions of tvOS:

Active support

Brightcove provides active support for the latest iOS SDK on the following tvOS versions:

  • tvOS 12
  • tvOS 11.4.1
  • tvOS 10.3.3

Passive support

Brightcove provides passive support for the following tvOS versions:

  • tvOS 9.3.5

Understanding support levels

Support is defined in terms of the [major version].[minor version].[patch version] of an OS (for example: tvOS 11.4.1). In order to take advantage of the latest technology improvements from Apple, we offer two levels of support:

  • Active: Brightcove will test and fix bugs on these OS versions.
  • Passive: Brightcove will test on these OS versions, but bug fixes will be handled on a case by case basis.

Generally, Brightcove provides active support for the versions of the OS that are used by 80% of the user base, and passive support for other versions used by at least 5% of the user base.

Getting started

Before beginning development with the Player SDK for tvOS, there are a few concepts you should learn about:

  1. Media

    The current version of the Native Player SDK supports playing content from your Video Cloud account through the Playback API, or as remote assets with internet accessible URLs.

  2. Analytics

    With the Native Player SDK, Video Cloud customers automatically get robust analytics data reported in Video Cloud.

  3. Core SDK and Dependencies

    The Brightcove Player SDK for iOS and its plugins can be added to your project using the CocoaPods dependency manager. The podspecs for all of the Brightcove Player SDK components are hosted in the BrightcoveSpecs repository.

  4. Native SDK Reference

    To aid in your understanding of the SDK, you can find a detailed breakdown of the architecture in the Player SDK. Learn how critical components interact to handle the complexities of controlling the native video player. Player SDK installation, quick start and architecture

    Here, you'll also find the latest beta version of the SDK, if one exists.

  5. Questions and Answers

    Join us in the SDK developer forum where SDK related questions are answered by Brightcove engineers and the community. Search for previously answered questions or post a new one. As a public group, you can gain access by providing your email address.

Download the SDK

The Brightcove Player SDK for tvOS is contained within the Player SDK for iOS. Here, you will find a dynamic library framework which supports tvOS.

Get the latest version of the Brightcove Native SDK for iOS:

(Github Repo)
Podspec Reference
Notes Sample
SDK Native SDK for iOS 6.4.3 BrightcoveSpecs SDK Reference Release Notes Basic Apple TV sample

or select this button:


To view the product updates for all of the Native SDKs and the associated plugins, see the Release Notes for the Brightcove Native SDKs document.


The following table contains links to get plugins integrated with your SDK implementation. The plugins can be downloaded from their respective Github Repos, and each repo contains a detailed README with instructions on how to setup the plugin.

The sample applications demonstrate the basic functionality of each plugin integrated with the SDK. These sample apps are a good way to learn about each plugin, and serve as a reference point when debugging.

Previous integration versions

Category Plugin
(Github Repo)
Podspec Reference Documentation Sample Apps Supported Partner/ Vendor Plugin
Advertising FreeWheel plugin 6.4.3 Brightcove-Player-SDK-FW FreeWheel Reference FreeWheel Samples FreeWheel Ad Manager 6.26.0
Once UX plugin 6.4.3
(Deprecated) [1]
Brightcove-Player-SDK-OUX Once UX Reference Once UX Sample None
SSAI plugin 6.4.3 Brightcove-Player-SDK-FW SSAI Reference SSAI Samples None


The following table contains links to code samples that are in addition to the samples associated with the integrations in the previous section.

Sample Application Description
Apple TV Create a basic app that plays videos from your Video Cloud library.
Playback with FairPlay Protect your content with FPS (FairPlay Streaming). For a complete sample, see the Basic FairPlay iOS sample.
Sidecar Subtitles Display captions for videos which include them in a separate file. This is an iOS sample, but should be relevant for tvOS.

Solution guides

The following table contains links to developer docs which will help you get started with your own app using the Brightcove Player SDK, and guide you through some of the features and functionality available.

Guide Description
Simple Video Playback Learn the basics of working with the Brightcove Player SDK for tvOS by creating a simple video playback app.
Source Selection Learn about the default source selection process when playing a video.
Using WebVTT Captions Learn how to configure WebVTT captions for HLS videos when using the Native SDK for tvOS.