Overview: Brightcove Native SDK for tvOS

Welcome to Brightcove's Native 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

Active support

Brightcove provides active support for the latest tvOS SDK on the latest public release of the following tvOS versions:

  • tvOS 16
  • tvOS 15.6
  • tvOS 14.7
  • tvOS 13.4.8

Passive support

Brightcove provides passive support for the following tvOS versions:

  • tvOS 12.4.1
  • tvOS 11.4.1 (If you want to use IMA ads, you will need tvOS 12.4.1 or newer)

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 Native SDK for tvOS, there are a few concepts you should learn about:

  1. Media

    The current version of the Native 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 SDK, Video Cloud customers automatically get robust analytics data reported in Video Cloud.

  3. Core SDK and Dependencies

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

  4. Native SDK Reference

    Learn about the Native SDK, including installation, quick start and architecture. You'll learn how critical components interact to handle the complexities of controlling the native video player.

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

  5. Mailing list

    Join the Brightcove Native SDKs mailing list to stay informed of release announcements for the Native SDKs.

Download the SDK

The Brightcove Native SDK for tvOS is contained within the Native 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 6.13.1 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 IMA plugin 6.13.1 [1] [2] Brightcove-Player-SDK-IMA IMA Reference Google IMA Samples Google IMA SDK 4.6.1
FreeWheel plugin 6.13.1 Brightcove-Player-SDK-FW FreeWheel Reference FreeWheel Samples FreeWheel Ad Manager 6.52.0
Pulse plugin 6.13.1 Brightcove-Player-Pulse Pulse Reference Pulse Samples Pulse SDK
SSAI plugin 6.13.1 Brightcove-Player-SDK-FW SSAI Reference SSAI Samples VAST 4.1 AdVerification


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 Native SDK, and guide you through some of the features and functionality available.

Guide Description
Working with Apple TV UI Controls Learn how to leverage the Brightcove Native SDK for tvOS to use the TV player controls.
Simple Video Playback Learn how to create a simple video app using the Brightcove Native SDK for tvOS.
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.

Best practices

Here is additional information that you may find helpful when working with the Brightcove Native SDK.


Companion ads and click-through ads are not supported on Apple TV. Because there is no web browser support on Apple TV, there is no destination for a click-through URL.