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View Full Version : What is the USB port on the Apple TV *really* for?




b0lls1nne
Mar 6, 2007, 02:27 PM
Well, it's not for "maintenance", because it is a host connector. Here's how it works:

A USB system is asymmetric, in that it has exactly one host (such as a Mac) and a number of devices (printers, USB disks, ...). To make sure the cables are connected correctly, the Mac/PC has a different connector than devices. The Apple TV has the same kind of connector as you will find on the back of your Mac.

Hence, you can't easily connect an Apple TV to a Mac/PC using this connector, which I would assume "maintenance" would mean. (OK, there is this USB2Go thing, but that seems like a really odd choice here.)

So what is the USB port for? Storage? A game controller? Or for connecting the iPhone for really nice video conferencing?

Let the spin begin...



Mr Skills
Mar 6, 2007, 02:37 PM
Interesting point!

Of course, there's always the possibility that it's purely a "just in case we think of something" option...

andiwm2003
Mar 6, 2007, 02:47 PM
charging your iPod?

maybe showing pics and playing music from your iPod?

at least charging the iPod should work.

Antares
Mar 6, 2007, 02:52 PM
I think it's for connecting peripherals. For future "add-ons" to :apple: TV. Like a camera so you could video conference on your big screen tv. For a future hard disk expansion. For directly connecting a keyboard or mouse. For a holographic emitter attachment. For anything Apple thinks up in the future....

peterjhill
Mar 6, 2007, 03:59 PM
Well, it's not for "maintenance", because it is a host connector. Here's how it works:


Why do you think it is not for maintenance.. that is exactly what it is for. If it breaks, how do you think the apple store people will fix it? They will connect a keyboard and mouse to it and probably press some combination of keys and it will give them some sort of access to the base operating system.

They could have even done some other clever things.. perhaps have a usb key drive that has some sort of diagnostic image that the mac tv will look for when it boots, and if it sees it, will boot a different image.. Like the Mac Hardware Diag DVD.

We can come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories, but to disregard apples stated reason right off the bat without any reason is a bit harsh IMHO.

mike dunx
Mar 6, 2007, 07:29 PM
I think it should be for updating it....


and then the update will let you plug in iPods and external HD's.

jaw04005
Mar 6, 2007, 08:30 PM
A USB system is asymmetric, in that it has exactly one host (such as a Mac) and a number of devices (printers, USB disks, ...). To make sure the cables are connected correctly, the Mac/PC has a different connector than devices. The Apple TV has the same kind of connector as you will find on the back of your Mac.

So you assume because the USB port on the back of the :apple: TV is type A and the USB port on the back of your Mac is also type A the two can't be connected?

Wow. They do make USB A to A cords. I hate to burst your bubble, but the "service" port on the back of my HDTV is also A, and I've personally watched a technician connect it to his notebook to update the firmware. :rolleyes:

tombarnes
Mar 7, 2007, 07:19 AM
I like to think that the USB port is for connecting a USB hard drive to. I don't think I will be content with just a 40GB! I have 101GB of stuff in my itunes (Movies, Songs, TV Shows)!

Fingers crossed! :)

Diode
Mar 7, 2007, 10:47 AM
I'm sure it's used for service like apple states.

Now if someone can hack it and open it up for devices is another more likley posibility.

I am guessing the ATV won't have drivers for mounting hard drives at the moment but might in the future.