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To more easily test pyatv, the atvremote application can be used. It is bundled with pyatv and supports all the functionality implemented by the library. So it is also a good place to go to for inspiration when implementing your own application.

Discovering devices

To find devices, use the scan command:

$ atvremote scan
        Name: Living Room
    Model/SW: 4K tvOS 13.3.1 build 17K795
        MAC: AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF
    Deep Sleep: False
    - 01234567-89AB-CDEF-0123-4567890ABCDE
    - 00:11:22:33:44:55
    - Protocol: Companion, Port: 49153, Credentials: None
    - Protocol: MRP, Port: 49152, Credentials: None
    - Protocol: AirPlay, Port: 7000, Credentials: None

        Name: Kitchen
    Model/SW: 3 ATV SW
    - Protocol: AirPlay, Port: 7000, Credentials: None
    - Protocol: DMAP, Port: 3689, Credentials: 00000000-1111-2222-3333-444455556666

In this case two devices were found, one named Living Room and another named Kitchen. You can read more about what everything means under Concepts.

Discovering specific devices

A normal scan uses multicast to discover all devices on the network. It is possible to scan for specific devices (“unicast”) by specifying --scan-hosts:

$ atvremote --scan-hosts scan
        Name: Living Room
    Model/SW: 4K tvOS 13.3.1 build 17K795
        MAC: AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF
    Deep Sleep: False
    - 01234567-89AB-CDEF-0123-4567890ABCDE
    - 00:11:22:33:44:55
    - Protocol: MRP, Port: 49152, Credentials: None
    - Protocol: AirPlay, Port: 7000, Credentials: None

This yields the same result, but is much faster as it only has to wait for response from one device. Downside is of course that it cannot automatically find devices, you must know the IP-address. Multiple devices can be specified as a comma-separated list:

$ atvremote --scan-hosts, scan

If you have problems using regular scanning or have configured a static address on your Apple TV, this is the recommended way of finding your devices. Please do note that you should not manually specify address, port, etc. when using this method. It is not necessary.

The --scan-hosts flag can be used with any other command as well:

$ atvremote --scan-hosts -n Kitchen <some command>

Discovering specific protocols

By default, pyatv will scan for all protocols supported by a device. It is however possible to be more specific about which protocols to scan for with --scan-protocols:

$  atvremote --scan-protocols mrp scan
Scan Results
       Name: Vardagsrum
   Model/SW: Gen4K tvOS 14.x build 18L569
        MAC: AA:BB:CC:DD:EE:FF
 Deep Sleep: False
 - 01234567-89AB-CDEF-0123-4567890ABCDE
 - Protocol: MRP, Port: 49153, Credentials: None

Only the specified protocols are scanned for. Multiple protocols can be specified as a comma-separated list:

$ atvremote --scan-protocols mrp,raop,companion scan

Specifying a device

In order for atvremote to know which device you want to control, you must specify the --id flag (or -i for short) together with an identifier. You may choose any of the available identifiers.

Based on the output in the previous chapter, you may write:

$ atvremote -i 00:11:22:33:44:54 <some command>

But this would also work equally good:

$ atvremote -i 01234567-89AB-CDEF-0123-4567890ABCDE <some command>

It is also possible to use the device name by specifying -n instead:

$ atvremote -n "Living Room" <some command>

Manually specifying a device

It is possible to bypass the automatic scanning that atvremote performs by passing the --manual flag. This is convenient if you rely on an external scanning process or to shorten the turn-around time during development testing. However, doing so means that you mainly lose all benefits of unique identifiers. They lose meaning completely. Only use this mode if you know what you are doing and refrain from using this in conjunction with --scan-hosts!

When specifying --manual you must also specify --address, --port, --protocol and --id. Even though the identifier is not used (or applicable), you must still specify something. A simple call example looks like this:

$ atvremote --manual --address --port 49152 --protocol mrp --id test playing

Pairing with a device

In most cases you have to pair with a device and obtain credentials in order to communicate with it. To pair you must specify a device, which protocol to pair and use the pair command:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:55 --protocol mrp pair
Enter PIN on screen: 1234
Pairing seems to have succeeded, yey!
You may now use these credentials: xxxx

Which protocols a device supports can be seen with scan. But in general you need to pair either mrp (devices running tvOS) or dmap (Apple TV 3 and earlier). If you also want to stream video, you can pair airplay as well. The procedure is the same for all of them, just change the argument provided to --protocol.


Once you have paired and received credentials, you must provide said credentials to atvremote via the --xxx-credentials flags. Replace xxx with either mrp, dmap or airplay. You may specify multiple credentials:

$ atvremote -n Kitchen --mrp-credentials abcd --airplay-credentials 1234 playing

In the future, atvremote will likely store these automatically for you. But as of right now, you have to manage the credentials yourself. Follow progress at [#243].


The raop protocol optionally requires a password. You may specify a password using the raop-password flag.

atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:55 --raop-password mypassword stream_file=mymusicfile.mp3

Push updates

With atvremote you can use push_updates to display current play status automatically without having to ask the device for it:

$ atvremote -n Kitchen push_updates
Press ENTER to stop
    Media type: Unknown
Device state: Paused

Updates will be displayed when they happen. Just press ENTER to stop.

Working with commands

List supported commands:

$ atvremote commands
Remote control commands:
- down - Press key down
- home - Press key home
- home_hold - Hold key home
- left - Press key left
- menu - Press key menu
- next - Press key next
- pause - Press key play
- play - Press key play
- play_pause - Toggle between play and pause

If you want additional help for a specific command, use help:

$ atvremote help pair
>> pair(self)

Pair pyatv as a remote control with an Apple TV.

Multiple commands can be specified a the same time and there’s also a delay that sleeps a certain amount of milliseconds before next command is executed. Here’s an example where select is pressed, followed by left after waiting a second:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 select delay=1000 left

Play Status

Get what is currently playing with playing:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 playing
    Media type: Music
Device state: Playing
    Position: 0/397s (0.0%)
        Repeat: Off
        Shuffle: False

Artwork with a specific size (width,height):

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 artwork_save=300,-1

Using -1 will let the device decide that parameter in order to keep aspect ratio.

Remote Control

Navigation and playback control:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 left
$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 menu
$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 play

Seek in the currently playing media:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 set_position=123

Device Information

Check operating system version:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 version

Or all device information (same as seen with atvremote scan):

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 device_info
Model/SW: 4K tvOS 13.3.1 build 17K795
        MAC: 00:11:22:33:44:55

Supported Features

$ atvremote -n Vardagsrum -s features
Feature list:
Up: Available
Down: Available
Left: Available
Right: Available

Available: Supported by device and usable now
Unavailable: Supported by device but not usable now
Unknown: Supported by the device but availability not known
Unsupported: Not supported by this device (or by pyatv)


Show active app:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 app
App: Musik (

List installed apps:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 --companion-credentials `cat companion_credentials` app_list
App: Podcaster (, App: Filmer (, App: TV (, App: Bilder (, App: App Store (, App: C More (se.cmore.CMore2), App: Arcade (, App: Sök (, App: Emby (, App: TV4 Play (se.tv4.tv4play), App: Datorer (, App: YouTube (, App: Test (in.staahl.TvOS), App: SVT Play (se.svtplay.mobil), App: Plex (com.plexapp.plex), App: Viafree (, App: Inställningar (, App: Apple Events (, App: discovery+ (, App: Netflix (, App: Viaplay (se.harbourfront.viasatondemand), App: Musik (

Launching an app:

$ atvremote -s --companion-credentials `cat companion_credentials`


Play a video via AirPlay:

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 play_url=

Stream an audio file via AirPlay (RAOP):

$ atvremote --id 00:11:22:33:44:54 stream_file=sample.mp3

Stream audio from another process (ffmpeg in this case):

ffmpeg -i sample.wav -f mp3 - | atvremote -s --debug set_volume=80 stream_file=-

Power management

You can turn your Apple TV on:

$ atvremote -i 00:11:22:33:44:54 turn_on

Or turn it off:

$ atvremote -i 00:11:22:33:44:54 turn_off

Or check the current power state:

$ atvremote -i 00:11:22:33:44:54 power_state

Logging and debugging

You can enable additional debugging information by specifying either --verbose or --debug. See Logging for additional log options.

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