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View Full Version : Can I put 4 Apple TVs in different buildings?




DBerky
Jan 7, 2011, 01:43 AM
I would like to place an Apple TV unit in four to five different buildings. Right now each building can access the main server at one of the buildings and get to the files on that computer. How would I link all the Apple TVs to that one server that has the Itunes one it in order to play the pics/movies?



RandomNinjaAtk
Jan 7, 2011, 04:42 AM
You would need to have them all on the same network and then it doesn't matter where they are located.

dXTC
Jan 7, 2011, 07:37 AM
And remember, if these are :apple:tv 2s, then you'll need to have iTunes up and running on that server. (I know you've probably already done this, but so many people have complained about not being able to simply grab the files straight off the server or a NAS without having the computer on or running iTunes.)

One other thing: The Ethernet port on the :apple:tv is only 100 Mbps, so a Gigabit connection is overkill. If you can establish a sufficiently strong WiFi N connection to some of these, it might be faster than Ethernet.

newagemac
Jan 7, 2011, 07:56 AM
In theory, N speeds are supposed to be able to match or even beat 100 Mbps Ethernet but in practice that is rarely true and you can count on Ethernet to be more stable and consistent than wireless. If at all possible, always use Ethernet.

dXTC
Jan 7, 2011, 09:40 AM
In theory, N speeds are supposed to be able to match or even beat 100 Mbps Ethernet but in practice that is rarely true and you can count on Ethernet to be more stable and consistent than wireless. If at all possible, always use Ethernet.

I guess I've gotten lucky with my residential N setup, then. And admittedly, that doesn't compare to the OP's situation, which deals with multiple separate buildings. Ethernet probably is the best connection solution in this case.

DBerky
Jan 7, 2011, 10:26 AM
Each Apple TV will be connected via ethernet connection at each of the locations. Currently the computers at each location are set up to be able to access the main computer at one of the locations to pull files from and to save files to.

From what I am hearing, if I have a computer at on e of the locations that has iTunes on it running all the time and tell each Apple TV to access that perticular computer fo content it will work, even though they are in different buildings?

Another question....In my home I would like to place 3 Apple TVs hooked to a single computer with all the content on it, they will me using a wired connection and would need to have central computer running iTunes all the time?

Will each Apple TV in both scenarios be able to pull info from the main computer and play it at the same time? For example one location wants to play Alladin and so does another location, will the content be able to go to both units and be able to be played?

rayward
Jan 7, 2011, 10:36 AM
In theory, N speeds are supposed to be able to match or even beat 100 Mbps Ethernet but in practice that is rarely true and you can count on Ethernet to be more stable and consistent than wireless. If at all possible, always use Ethernet.

+1.

Ethernet (or N) is more than fast enough to stream 720p content.

rayward
Jan 7, 2011, 10:43 AM
Another question....In my home I would like to place 3 Apple TVs hooked to a single computer with all the content on it, they will me using a wired connection and would need to have central computer running iTunes all the time?

Will each Apple TV in both scenarios be able to pull info from the main computer and play it at the same time? For example one location wants to play Alladin and so does another location, will the content be able to go to both units and be able to be played?

I have 4 ATV1s at home - two wired, two wireless - all hanging off one iTunes library through my iMac. It works beautifully. And, yes, you can watch the same content on different units at the same time!

If you have a newer Mac (maybe 2009 or later, but I'm not sure), it can "wake on network". This means you can let the CPU sleep, and it will wake up and service the ATVs as necessary (this is a feature of Snow Leopard, but older Macs don't have the necessary hardware).

Shawn Parr
Jan 7, 2011, 11:10 AM
Each Apple TV will be connected via ethernet connection at each of the locations. Currently the computers at each location are set up to be able to access the main computer at one of the locations to pull files from and to save files to.

The number of buildings and computers don't matter, the way the network is setup does.

Is it one network? Or is it segmented into subnets with routers in-between?

Typically when a network involves multiple buildings each building has a subnet and managed routers handled the traffic.

Here is the potential issue: I'm pretty sure Apple TV uses bonjour to find the computers running iTunes to connect to (this may be assisted now with Home Sharing). Bonjour typically doesn't cross between subnets, unless your routers have been specifically reconfigured to allow that to happen (this would require a network engineer who knows what they are doing).

Find whoever setup the network. If they just strung ethernet cables between buildings and it is one LAN than it should work no problem. If there are unmanaged routers between the buildings, you are likely not going to have any luck. If there are managed routers/switches between them, you will need to work with the network engineer who manages it to make it work.

The network itself has no knowledge of 'buildings' only its own connections.

rayward
Jan 7, 2011, 11:23 AM
The network itself has no knowledge of 'buildings' only its own connections.

Until it reaches full consciousness, of course. But then it will kill us all so it won't matter.

dXTC
Jan 7, 2011, 12:40 PM
Each Apple TV will be connected via ethernet connection at each of the locations. Currently the computers at each location are set up to be able to access the main computer at one of the locations to pull files from and to save files to.

From what I am hearing, if I have a computer at on e of the locations that has iTunes on it running all the time and tell each Apple TV to access that perticular computer fo content it will work, even though they are in different buildings?

Another question....In my home I would like to place 3 Apple TVs hooked to a single computer with all the content on it, they will me using a wired connection and would need to have central computer running iTunes all the time?

Will each Apple TV in both scenarios be able to pull info from the main computer and play it at the same time? For example one location wants to play Alladin and so does another location, will the content be able to go to both units and be able to be played?

The answer to all of your questions is Yes.


Yes, each AppleTV, whether it be in different rooms in your home or different buildings at work, can each hit the server's iTunes library for content.
Yes, different AppleTVs can stream the same media file simultaneously.
Yes, the "iTunes server" computer needs to have iTunes actively running, with the desired media files in the Library.