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View Full Version : I'm Confused: New Apple TV, Time Capsule, and Home Theater




CPGuru
Sep 15, 2010, 11:02 PM
Here's the thing. I have a MacBook with not enough harddrive space to hold movies.

I have a home theater set up with a PS3 but I also want to add the new Apple TV.

What I want to know is whether an Apple TV is capable of streaming directly from a Time Capsule?

Here's the deal, I want to rip all my DVDs with VLC and Handsbreak, than save them only on the Time Capsule (not my MacBook), Then I want to stream them to the new Apple TV. Is this possible? If so, how do I do this? Will Airport or Gigabit Ethernet from Time Capsule to the Apple TV work better for HD? Do I even know what I'm talking about :) ???

Also, Will I be making a partition in the Time Capsule to separate it from Time Machine's back-up feature?

Edit: What is the best file format, bit rate, etc. to convert movies in Handsbreak to work with Apple TV and iPad? And as I mentioned above that I have a PS3, what is the best file format/bit rate to convert in Handsbreak (if possible) to stream to my PS3?
Thank You so much



DoFoT9
Sep 15, 2010, 11:08 PM
hello CPGuru!

the scenario you have outlined WILL work.

you will have to convert all of your movies into an iTunes format (using Universal handbrake setting) - you will then have to either
1. copy the movies to the Time Capsule, and set itunes NOT to copy them across to your macbook(this can be done through preferences)
2. make a new library on the TC (it will still have to be run on the mac)
3. set the save location for the media to the TC - the library preferences are still on the Mac

tihs will then allow you to stream bakc to your PS3/AppleTV

also, check out PS3Media Server - it will serve as a AppleTV replacement if you allow it to be ;)

wifi SHOULD be ok, a bit laggy - will recommend gigabit ethernet though.

PurdueGuy
Sep 15, 2010, 11:25 PM
I have to disagree. No, you cannot stream "directly" from a Time Capsule, at least as of now.

Even if your media is stored on the Time Capsule, the library is still served from the computer. So the media will transfer this way
TimeCapsule ---> Computer ---> AppleTV.

You'll still need the computer to be running. The media is just residing somewhere else (be it a Time Capsule, external drive, NAS, etc).

DoFoT9
Sep 15, 2010, 11:47 PM
I have to disagree. No, you cannot stream "directly" from a Time Capsule, at least as of now.
i never said you could, and i tried not to indicate that in my reply.

for bitrates: use the "Universal Preset" as outlined in Handbrake - make the audio bitrate quite high (+160kbps) but leave the resolution of video at ~720p so the appleTV can play it.

PurdueGuy
Sep 15, 2010, 11:52 PM
i never said you could, and i tried not to indicate that in my reply.

for bitrates: use the "Universal Preset" as outlined in Handbrake - make the audio bitrate quite high (+160kbps) but leave the resolution of video at ~720p so the appleTV can play it.

I realize you mentioned that iTunes has to be running, but that was buried in the details. The OP asked for direct streaming from Time Capsule to AppleTV, and you stressed "the scenario you have outlined WILL work."

The OP also asked about the connection from TimeCapsule to AppleTV, when there is really no direct connection. The flow is TC->Computer->AppleTV. In this case, the computer is a MacBook, probably wireless.

DoFoT9
Sep 16, 2010, 03:46 AM
I realize you mentioned that iTunes has to be running, but that was buried in the details. The OP asked for direct streaming from Time Capsule to AppleTV, and you stressed "the scenario you have outlined WILL work."
eh I was at work at the time and just want to blurt the details out. They were there :p

The OP also asked about the connection from TimeCapsule to AppleTV, when there is really no direct connection. The flow is TC->Computer->AppleTV. In this case, the computer is a MacBook, probably wireless.
well, physically the TC will be directly connected to the AppleTV (either via wir or wireless). However software wise yeh iTunes would see it the way you outlined, TC>computer>AppleTV

MacBoobsPro
Sep 16, 2010, 03:50 AM
Doing this the file gets streamed over the network twice and can become quite slow and often unresponsive. It works but its not very elegant.

OllyW
Sep 16, 2010, 04:17 AM
What I want to know is whether an Apple TV is capable of streaming directly from a Time Capsule?

I've got the old Apple TV and my movies are all stored on a USB drive connected to my AirPort Extreme Base Station. I rip them using the Apple TV preset in Handbrake and stream them over ethernet and it works perfectly.

Doing this the file gets streamed over the network twice and can become quite slow and often unresponsive. It works but its not very elegant.

This has never happened with my set up.

CPGuru
Sep 16, 2010, 08:29 AM
Thank you for all the replies. It really helped me because I've been trying to get a time capsule or an airport for a while. I guess I'll be going with the TC.

As for the Time Capsule - MacBook - Apple TV connection, I'm aware that the MacBook needs to be running for the set up to work. I only meant streaming from TC to ATV in terms of where the file is stored.

One more question though, If I go with an Airport Extreme, can I connect an external HD to it via USB and run the same set-up as the TC or is the transfer rate in USB not fast enough to support movies? (in this case, eSATA would work best, but we all know how much Apple dislikes it.) [EDIT: Basically OllyW's set-up] In that case, will any Airport Extreme work or only the new draft-N?

Again, thanks a lot.

OllyW
Sep 16, 2010, 08:35 AM
One more question though, If I go with an Airport Extreme 802.11 Draft N, can I connect an external HD to it via USB and run the same set-up as the TC or is the transfer rate in USB not fast enough to support movies?

As I stated above, my HD is connected by USB and I've had no issues with the transfer rate. I'm connecting to my AirPort Extreme over ethernet though.

DoFoT9
Sep 16, 2010, 08:35 AM
One more question though, If I go with an Airport Extreme 802.11 Draft N, can I connect an external HD to it via USB and run the same set-up as the TC or is the transfer rate in USB not fast enough to support movies? (in this case, eSATA would work best, but we all know how much Apple dislikes it.)

Again, thanks a lot.

the airport extreme (ABES) does support external USB drives in exactly the same manner as the TC (TC can have external USB hdds too!). USB benchmarks slightly faster as well for some reason, so whatever you want to do.

MacBoobsPro
Sep 16, 2010, 08:48 AM
This has never happened with my set up.

Its not always unresponsive. Its obviously slower as you have to wait the TC to wake up, stream to your Mac then stream to the ATV.

Sometimes though if you try and pause or go back to the main menu the whole thing freezes and it requires an ATV restart which is a pain in the ass because that requires switching off at the main which for me is really hard to access (hidden behind a giant TV).

I'm on wireless N but have iPhones etc that probably drop it to around G. If its purely n or wired ethernet you probably wont even notice any lag.

jaw04005
Sep 16, 2010, 02:26 PM
As I stated above, my HD is connected by USB and I've had no issues with the transfer rate. I'm connecting to my AirPort Extreme over ethernet though.

That’s the key. At least with the AirPort base station (802.11n, simultaneous dual-band), streaming an iTunes library wirelessly to a MacBook then to the Apple TV saturates the network and is buggy (for me anyway).

You’re essentially going: AirPort/Time Capsule to PC/Mac to AirPort/Time Capsule to Apple TV.

Apple really should update the Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme to support direct streaming. At this point, there’s no excuse for iTunes not having a “service” server component on those devices AND the Mac/PC. They’ve had plenty of time to implement media sharing service so that iTunes doesn’t have to be running constantly.

They already have the Bonjour service installed.

kiranmk2
Sep 16, 2010, 02:31 PM
I'm fairly sure the media is streamed direct from network drive to ATV - the computer running iTunes just tells the ATV where to find the media. Hopefully, as Apple moves towards mobile computing more, we'll get iTunes for the ATV and iOS devices so you don't need a computer running to stream media from a massive NAS drive.

PurdueGuy
Sep 16, 2010, 03:03 PM
I'm fairly sure the media is streamed direct from network drive to ATV - the computer running iTunes just tells the ATV where to find the media. Hopefully, as Apple moves towards mobile computing more, we'll get iTunes for the ATV and iOS devices so you don't need a computer running to stream media from a massive NAS drive.
I doubt that it streams directly. My machine has network monitors, and I can watch the downsream and upstream usage when streaming. iTunes reads the file (via network) and streams to the AppleTV.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think the current Time Capsule has the smarts to be a server for iTunes. Yes, it can serve up the files, but that's different. To be a server, something needs to manage the database, etc. and the Time Capsule doesn't have that capability. It would just host the database files, and leave the "smarts" to a computer.

DoFoT9
Sep 19, 2010, 05:51 PM
I doubt that it streams directly. My machine has network monitors, and I can watch the downsream and upstream usage when streaming. iTunes reads the file (via network) and streams to the AppleTV.
correct, everything goes through your iTunes and therefore your computer.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think the current Time Capsule has the smarts to be a server for iTunes. Yes, it can serve up the files, but that's different. To be a server, something needs to manage the database, etc. and the Time Capsule doesn't have that capability. It would just host the database files, and leave the "smarts" to a computer.
unfortunately that is the case. that would require the TC to be runing a host OS compatible with everything. you can get non-apple products that achieve this scenario.

mkaiser1
Sep 20, 2010, 09:46 AM
I've got the old Apple TV and my movies are all stored on a USB drive connected to my AirPort Extreme Base Station. I rip them using the Apple TV preset in Handbrake and stream them over ethernet and it works perfectly.



This has never happened with my set up.

Hi OllyW,

Sorry to be slightly dense here, but I just want to check something: You have an Airport Extreme with an external HD attached via USB. This external HD stores your movies. The Airport extreme is also connected to your ATV via an ethernet cable. Your ATV plays the media that is stored on your external HD. And it does all this directly? IE, there is no need for you to have a MAC/PC turned on with iTunes running? If this is case, could I do exactly the same thing using either a TC or an Airport Express in place of your Airport Extreme?

Sorry to be so precise about this, but if I can store my media somewhere centrally (currently all stored on my TC) like an external HD and have this connected and able to play via an ATV directly without needing to turn on my Mac/MacBook, then I'm definitely getting an ATV! :)

OllyW
Sep 20, 2010, 09:57 AM
Hi OllyW,

Sorry to be slightly dense here, but I just want to check something: You have an Airport Extreme with an external HD attached via USB. This external HD stores your movies. The Airport extreme is also connected to your ATV via an ethernet cable. Your ATV plays the media that is stored on your external HD. And it does all this directly? IE, there is no need for you to have a MAC/PC turned on with iTunes running? If this is case, could I do exactly the same thing using either a TC or an Airport Express in place of your Airport Extreme?

Sorry to be so precise about this, but if I can store my media somewhere centrally (currently all stored on my TC) like an external HD and have this connected and able to play via an ATV directly without needing to turn on my Mac/MacBook, then I'm definitely getting an ATV! :)

It's connected as you describe with my iMac also connected via ethernet. Normally to stream the iTunes media from the drive connected to the AirPort Extreme, the iMac must be turned on with iTunes running, unless you decide to hack the Apple TV.

If you hack the Apple TV and run XBMC, Boxee or nitoTV, then you can access media files stored on any NAS without powering up your computer. You won't be able to access any copy protected material bought from iTunes using this method, you will need to start your computer and run iTunes as you would on the un-hacked box.

It's not known yet whether the new Apple TV can be hacked in a similar manner.

mkaiser1
Sep 20, 2010, 10:13 AM
It's connected as you describe with my iMac also connected via ethernet. Normally to stream the iTunes media from the drive connected to the AirPort Extreme, the iMac must be turned on with iTunes running, unless you decide to hack the Apple TV.

If you hack the Apple TV and run XBMC, Boxee or nitoTV, then you can access media files stored on any NAS without powering up your computer. You won't be able to access any copy protected material bought from iTunes using this method, you will need to start your computer and run iTunes as you would on the un-hacked box.

It's not known yet whether the new Apple TV can be hacked in a similar manner.

Ah! Thanks for the response. I guess the short of this all for me is that the ATV will not (unless hacked) play files from an external HD no matter how it is connected unless it plays it via iTunes. This is such a shame for me. I want to have my media all stored in one, central place and backed up. I then want to be able to play my video media on my TV. Shame. This new model came so close. I guess my only solution is a MacMini at a mere 700 for functionality I neither need nor want!!! LOL...That ain't happening! :mad:

Thanks again for the help OllyW anyway. I appreciate your assistance :)

OllyW
Sep 20, 2010, 10:22 AM
Ah! Thanks for the response. I guess the short of this all for me is that the ATV will not (unless hacked) play files from an external HD no matter how it is connected unless it plays it via iTunes. This is such a shame for me. I want to have my media all stored in one, central place and backed up. I then want to be able to play my video media on my TV. Shame. This new model came so close. I guess my only solution is a MacMini at a mere 700 for functionality I neither need nor want!!! LOL...That ain't happening! :mad:

Thanks again for the help OllyW anyway. I appreciate your assistance :)

Have you looked at the WD TV Live (http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdeu/en_GB/DisplayProductDetailsPage/categoryID.33656100/parid.13831900/catid.13834700)?

It will do exactly what you want but obviously won't play copy protected iTunes content.

mkaiser1
Sep 20, 2010, 10:26 AM
OH YES! Now this looks good - how have I not heard of this before?! Make my day and tell me I can also control it with my iPhone somehow...go on...please!

OllyW
Sep 20, 2010, 10:32 AM
OH YES! Now this looks good - how have I not heard of this before?! Make my day and tell me I can also control it with my iPhone somehow...go on...please!

It's very doubtful you'll get an iPhone app because wi-fi is an optional extra.

mkaiser1
Sep 20, 2010, 10:40 AM
...Just been reading the thread about WDTV Vs ATV and there's some interesting points made about each device. I have come to this conculsion. I think I'll hang fire and see if the new ATV can be hacked to have an external HD hanging off it. If it can, that's what I'll do methinks. If not, I may need to accept that for perfect integration with all my media (regardless of where it was purchased) and for ease of use (and reduction in number of remotes) I should pluck for an ATV nonetheless and accept that I need to turn the MacBook on.