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View Full Version : Best way to setup ATV2 and media




Kishme
Jan 5, 2012, 10:07 PM
Hi everyone. I'm new to Apple products and looking for some advice, or a point in the right direction. I'm looking for the best way to use iTunes with either a MBP or external hard drive, across multiple devices.

My boyfriend and I got an Apple TV 2 and iPad 2 for Christmas. We also have a Mac Book Pro, an iPhone 3GS, and a 1TB external hard drive with media stored on it. We can move the media to the MBP if that is the best way to stream from itunes. We want to be able to stream our library to the atv2, the ipad, the iphone.

(Also, can we stream our media to the iPad and iPhone from other locations via wifi?)

Is there a way to stream from iTunes without going thru the MBP? Ideally we want to just use the external hard drive. We could also get a wifi hard drive. But we don't want the MBP on all day.

We have a fast home and wireless-n network. What is the ideal setup here? Thanks in advance.



marc11
Jan 6, 2012, 12:33 PM
iTunes purchased movies and tv shows have drm and can only be played via iTunes or via iTunes home sharing. Music can be played via iTunes match on any of your account linked devices or any media player from and external hdd. On the atv if you jailbreak it you can use xbmc or Firecores media player to play drm free media from an external drive connected to your network (like via USB to your router or a NAS) with no running pc required.

Playing anything on the atv or iOS devices requires a running computer using plex, xbmc or iTunes using AirPlay, iTunes or a plex/xbmc server.

You can also set the MBP to wake on LAN with the lid closed the MBP would only wake to a very low power state when a call to steam media is made from a connected device. Once the call is over the MBP goes back to sleep. I do this along with using iTunes match and the Firecore media playing accessing an external hdd holding a lot of ripped DVDs connected to my aebs. Works great. I also use a lot if AirPlay (like the NFL gamepass) from the web to my atv and plex for other media.

ode2joy
Jan 6, 2012, 07:55 PM
Sweet Marc, that will solve my problem as well. I didn't know it was possible to wake without opening a MBP. How do you set this up?

Thanks, don't mean to hijack.

marc11
Jan 6, 2012, 08:09 PM
Enable wake on LAN in the power settings. If it is a laptop then it requires the lid to be open to wake. If you want it to wake in clamshell mode you need to have an external monitor connected....but you can trick it by just connecting the display port adapter to it.

mpaquette
Jan 6, 2012, 08:58 PM
If its a laptop I think it also needs to be connected to a power source. Going to test this on my MBP shortly.

mpaquette
Jan 6, 2012, 09:14 PM
If its a laptop I think it also needs to be connected to a power source. Going to test this on my MBP shortly.

Yep, my early 2011 MBP only wakes up when it's connected to a power source.

ode2joy
Jan 6, 2012, 09:24 PM
tried it with adapter, no luck. Tried it by hooking up an external kb/mouse to mac to initiate, no luck. power adapter is plugged in. I never can get my itunes account on my appletv2 without mac open. ughh.

swordfish5736
Jan 11, 2012, 09:22 AM
tried it with adapter, no luck. Tried it by hooking up an external kb/mouse to mac to initiate, no luck. power adapter is plugged in. I never can get my itunes account on my appletv2 without mac open. ughh.

If you go to system preferences->energy saver->power adapter there is a check box for wake for network access make sure this box is checked and try again

Arkangil
Jan 11, 2012, 09:55 AM
I just wanted to say, I use AppleTV to stream from iTunes on my Macbook Pro. I did not know I could wake in clamshell mode, and as I typically have mine closed, but connected to power, this will be great.

Not to try and hijack this thread, but I have a question I believe will apply to the OP as well.

Is there a way, either through the AppleTV or iDevice, to open iTunes on the computer remotely, so that AppleTV can then connect to the library? Or do I have to always have iTunes open, and then when AppleTV tries to access the sleeping computer, it will wake and iTunes will be ready to go.

brianbauer04
Jan 11, 2012, 10:12 AM
I recommend spending no more than $50 and buying a used Windows XP computer off your local craigslist. iTunes will appear to run like crap but a Pentium 4 has plenty of horsepower to run Home Sharing which is all you actually need.

Plug the external HD into the XP machine and keep them both in some out of the way closet in your house/apartment. If you want to be most safe, uninstall everything but iTunes and MS Security Essentials, have Windows Update run automatically, and set iTunes as a startup item so it always comes back up if the computer reboots.

This is what I did, except I only paid $25 for the computer because the CDROM drive was broken (it's so old it doesn't even have a DVD drive!).

This is a listing local to me:
http://chicago.craigslist.org/nwc/sys/2756008529.html
As crazy as it sounds, this $40 computer is overkill for what you actually need.

dgalvan123
Jan 11, 2012, 10:45 AM
Is there a way, either through the AppleTV or iDevice, to open iTunes on the computer remotely, so that AppleTV can then connect to the library? Or do I have to always have iTunes open, and then when AppleTV tries to access the sleeping computer, it will wake and iTunes will be ready to go.

If you always have iTunes running on your computer, and you check the box that says "wake for network access" in System Preferences --> Energy Saver, then yes: when the ATV tries to access the sleeping computer it will wake and iTunes will be ready to go.

That's what I do. It's really the easiest way to go. The computer will sleep when it's been inactive for long enough, and then will wake when the ATV needs to access the Homeshared iTunes library.

I suppose, if you didn't want iTunes running all the time (for some reason I don't understand), and yet were willing to have the computer always running in sleep mode, you could use an app for your iDevice that does "wake on lan". I think Rowmote might do this, but if you search for "wake on lan" you should find several options on the app store. Once the computer has woken, you could use Rowmote to launch iTunes on the mac (from your idevice), at which point (after a minute or two) the ATV should be able to see the homeshared library.

But that seems unnecessarily complicated and a hassle to me. If you're going to leave your computer on all the time anyway, you might as well leave iTunes running as well.

mstrze
Jan 11, 2012, 10:48 AM
Is there a way, either through the AppleTV or iDevice, to open iTunes on the computer remotely, so that AppleTV can then connect to the library? Or do I have to always have iTunes open, and then when AppleTV tries to access the sleeping computer, it will wake and iTunes will be ready to go.

You need to always have iTunes open. It's not a big deal I have found. I have probably been running iTunes for the last 4 years constantly. Waking-on demand of course. :)

If I may ask, why do you have concerns about keeping iTunes running? When it's not doing anything, it's far from a resource hog...even when serving up media files remotely, it's not overtaxing your system...or shouldn't be.

Arkangil
Jan 11, 2012, 11:29 AM
I actually don't have a reason for not running it all the time. I have been on OSX for about 2 years now, and I guess I still haven't shaken the need to close everything that comes with Windows use. So I always fully close all open applications before putting the computer to sleep, restarting, etc. etc.

Knowing I can do the clamshell wake on lan from AppleTV, I think I will start leaving it open, and try to set it to open on bootup.

Another quickie. Assuming iTunes is open, and the computer sleeping but plugged in, when I open Remote on my iPhone, or access my AppleTV and go to Computers, will they see my iTunes in sleep mode, and therefore wake the computer? If not, how do I send that initial wake up command?

swordfish5736
Jan 12, 2012, 10:09 PM
I actually don't have a reason for not running it all the time. I have been on OSX for about 2 years now, and I guess I still haven't shaken the need to close everything that comes with Windows use. So I always fully close all open applications before putting the computer to sleep, restarting, etc. etc.

Knowing I can do the clamshell wake on lan from AppleTV, I think I will start leaving it open, and try to set it to open on bootup.

Another quickie. Assuming iTunes is open, and the computer sleeping but plugged in, when I open Remote on my iPhone, or access my AppleTV and go to Computers, will they see my iTunes in sleep mode, and therefore wake the computer? If not, how do I send that initial wake up command?

If it works the same as using vnc to connect to the computer as soon as you connect it will wake up. Turning on that wake option will allow this I've never tried it with an ATV but if worse comes to worse get a VNC app from the AppStore on your iPhone and wake the computer using that before you want to use the ATV

GarrettL1979
Feb 15, 2012, 03:57 PM
I'm having trouble getting our appletv to access the MBP when it's closed. I selected "wake for network access" within preferences. I even tried connecting a thunderbolt - hdmi adapter to it. It worked once for an extended period of time, but for the most part it doesn't work, or it takes forever to connect and then drops the connection. If the MBP is open, it works great-- but it would be nice to be able to access iTunes through my appletv without having to open it every time. Is there something I'm missing here?

marzer
Feb 15, 2012, 04:14 PM
I'm having trouble getting our appletv to access the MBP when it's closed.

I'm pretty sure that's exactly how its supposed to work. That is, when closed its suspended and will NOT respond. You need to keep the lid open as you've already found out.

marc11
Feb 15, 2012, 04:15 PM
No so long as the MBP has power it should wake up on clamshell mode. You need to ensure wake on lan is turned on.

GarrettL1979
Feb 15, 2012, 04:22 PM
excuse my ignorance, but does "clamshell mode" mean fully closed?

marzer
Feb 15, 2012, 04:25 PM
No so long as the MBP has power it should wake up on clamshell mode. You need to ensure wake on lan is turned on.

Must be a feature of newer models. If I close my 2008 Macbook it suspends and doesn't wake up, even with WOL active.

GarrettL1979
Feb 15, 2012, 04:39 PM
Must be a feature of newer models. If I close my 2008 Macbook it suspends and doesn't wake up, even with WOL active.

My MBP is a late spring 2011 model running Lion

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According to apple support, the display needs to be open for this to work with laptops: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.7/en/mh27905.html

Marc, you suggested using a display port adapter to trick it. Shouldn't my thunderbolt - hdmi adapter work for this?

marc11
Feb 15, 2012, 05:16 PM
Right I forgot to mention that I trick it into thinking it is in external output mode. Can't see why this same trick wouldn't work for Thunderbolt too.

hafr
Feb 15, 2012, 05:25 PM
Right I forgot to mention that I trick it into thinking it is in external output mode. Can't see why this same trick wouldn't work for Thunderbolt too.

I thought you needed a keyboard and a screen connected to the MBP to make it run i clamshell mode, could this be the issue?

marc11
Feb 15, 2012, 05:29 PM
You do but there is a way around that. I happen to have them but osx daily just wrote an article on how to run in clamshell mode without the need of an external keyboard or mouse. As for the screen, for me as long as my mini dv to hdmi connector is plugged in the MBP will wake on demand from the Apple TV.