With Plex having recently announced its own app for the $140 Apple TV, it was only a matter of time before VLC felt the need to cash in with its own contributions to the forthcoming set-top box device. Though little information has been made available on the video playback app at this time, the VLC team revealed VLCKit for Apple's new tvOS in a blog post, seemingly with the sheer intention of making its existence known.
"Some code to build VLCKit for the new tvOS was merged," wrote lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kemf. "It's very early though, but we have video playback."
Of course, we know nothing about VLC for Apple TV other than our experience with the software on other platforms. For instance, in the iOS app, you can initiate the playback of a variety of file types from cloud storage services like Dropbox, iCloud Drive, iTunes, and GDrive, among others.
This is different from Plex, which focuses on a proprietary media server consisting of files stored locally among different devices, but also bolsters support for providers of online media content as well as cloud service integration.
The main difference is cost. While VLC has historically remained free across a small assortment of devices, even the basic features of Plex require a paid subscription to use on supported devices, with the exception of the app on Chromecast, Smart TVs, and on the web.
With specific details being so sparse, it's unlikely we'll see a VLC, or even Plex for that matter, implementation as soon as the fourth-generation Apple TV hits next month. In the meantime, your best bet would probably be to stream MKVs to your Apple TV via AirPlay using either a Mac or iOS device.
AirPlay always was one of the most attractive features of previous Apple TV iterations and, even with the inclusion of a third-party app library this time around, will still persist in its grandeur -- at least until the App Store secures some momentum.