AIR for TV application descriptor properties

As with other AIR applications, you set the basic application properties in the application descriptor file. TV profile applications ignore some of the desktop-specific properties, such as window size and transparency. Applications targeting devices in the extendedTV profile can use native extensions. These applications identify the native extensions used in an extensions element.

Common settings

Several application descriptor settings are important for all TV profile applications.

Required AIR runtime version

Specify the version of the AIR runtime required by your application using the namespace of the application descriptor file.

The namespace, assigned in the application element, determines, in large part, which features your application can use. For example, consider an application that uses the AIR 2.5 namespace, but the user has some future version installed. In this case, the application still sees the AIR 2.5 behavior, even if the behavior is different in the future AIR version. Only when you change the namespace and publish an update can your application have access to the new behavior and features. Security fixes are an important exception to this rule.

Specify the namespace using the xmlns attribute of the root application element:

<application xmlns="">

AIR 2.5 is the first version of AIR to support TV applications.

Application identity

Several settings should be unique for each application that you publish. These settings include the elements id, name, and filename.

<name>My Application</name> 

Application version

Specify the application version in the versionNumber element. When specifying a value for versionNumber, you can use a sequence of up to three numbers separated by dots, such as: “0.1.2”. Each segment of the version number can have up to three digits. (In other words, “999.999.999” is the largest version number permitted.) You do not have to include all three segments in the number; “1” and “1.0” are legal version numbers as well.

You can also specify a label for the version using the versionLabel element. When you add a version label, it is displayed instead of the version number.

<versionLabel>1.23 Beta 7</versionLabel>

Main application SWF

Specify the main application SWF file in the versionLabel child of the initialWindow element. When you target devices in the tv profile, you must use a SWF file (HTML-based applications are not supported).


You must include the file in the AIR package (using ADT or your IDE). Simply referencing the name in the application descriptor does not cause the file to be included in the package automatically.

Main screen properties

Several child elements of the initialWindow element control the initial appearance and behavior of the main application screen. While most of these properties are ignored on devices in the TV profiles, you can use the fullScreen element:

  • fullScreen — Specifies whether the application should take up the full device display, or should share the display with the normal operating system chrome.


The visible element

The visible element is a child element of the initialWindow element. AIR for TV ignores the visible element because your application’s content is always visible on AIR for TV devices.

However, set the visible element to true if your application also targets desktop devices.

On desktop devices, this element’s value defaults to false. Therefore, if you do not include the visible element, the application’s content is not visible on desktop devices. Although you can use the ActionScript class NativeWindow to make the content visible on desktop devices, the TV device profiles do not support the NativeWindow class. If you try to use the NativeWindow class on an application running on an AIR for TV device, the application fails to load. Whether you call a method of the NativeWindow class does not matter; an application using the class does not load on an AIR for TV device.

Supported profiles

If your application only makes sense on a television device, then you can prevent its installation on other types of computing devices. Exclude the other profiles from the supported list in the supportedProfiles element:

<supportedProfiles>tv extendedTV</supportedProfiles>

If an application uses a native extension, include only the extendedTV profile in the supported profile list:


If you omit the supportedProfiles element, then the application is assumed to support all profiles.

Do not include only the tv profile in the supportedProfiles list. Some TV devices always run AIR for TV in a mode that corresponds to the extendedTV profile. This behavior is so that AIR for TV can run applications that use native extensions. If your supportedProfiles element specifies only tv, it is declaring that your content is incompatible with the AIR for TV mode for extendedTV. Therefore, some TV devices do not load an application that specifies only the tv profile.

For a list of ActionScript classes supported in the tv and extendedTV profiles, see Capabilities of different profiles.

Required native extensions

Applications that support the extendedTV profile can use native extensions.

Declare all native extensions that the AIR application uses in the application descriptor using the extensions and extensionID elements. The following example illustrates the syntax for specifying two required native extensions:


If an extension is not listed, the application cannot use it.

The extensionID element has the same value as the id element in the extension descriptor file. The extension descriptor file is an XML file called extension.xml. It is packaged in the ANE file you receive from the device manufacturer.

If you list an extension in the extensions element, but the AIR for TV device does not have the extension installed, the application cannot run. The exception to this rule is if the ANE file that you package with your AIR for TV application has a stub version of the extension. If so, the application can run, and it uses the stub version of the extension. The stub version has ActionScript code, but no native code.

Application icons

Requirements for application icons in televisions devices are device-dependent. For example, the device manufacturer specifies:
  • Required icons and icon sizes.

  • Required file types and naming conventions.

  • How to provide the icons for your application, such as whether to package the icons with your application.

  • Whether to specify the icons in an icon element in the application descriptor file.

  • Behavior if the application does not provide icons.

Consult the device manufacturer for details.

Ignored settings

Applications on television devices ignore application settings that apply to mobile, native window, or desktop operating system features. The ignored settings are:

  • allowBrowserInvocation

  • aspectRatio

  • autoOrients

  • customUpdateUI

  • fileTypes

  • height

  • installFolder

  • maximizable

  • maxSize

  • minimizable

  • minSize

  • programMenuFolder

  • renderMode

  • resizable

  • systemChrome

  • title

  • transparent

  • visible

  • width

  • x

  • y