PDA

View Full Version : Max number of Apple TV's sync'd to one iTunes client?




smiddlehurst
Feb 22, 2008, 01:18 PM
Hi all,

This is going to sound like a daft question but I'm thinking of convincing the powers that be to chuck out all of the ad-hoc music solutions used in our office and replace them with a nice 22" flat screen TV and Apple TV's. Advantages for us would be to control what music could be played (either a selection from the iTunes library with suitable copyright checking of course or a radio feed selected by the boss) and, when we have clients touring the business, replace the music at the click of a remote with either promotional videos or an image gallery all controlled from a central source.

For this to work however I need to know a couple of things:

1) How many Apple TV units can be sync'd with one copy of iTunes? We'd need between 5 and 10 units and possibly more and I need to figure out how many machines we'd need to feed them.

2) When iTunes is streaming Internet radio sis it just a single stream at once? In other words could you make multiple internet radio stations available for individual Apple TV users to pick from or is it one for all?

3) Does Apple TV still have a pathological hatred of all things non-widescreen? This isn't so important but we have several very nice 19" 4:3 LCD monitors hanging around that would make very nice display devices...

Thanks in advance for the help.



MikieMikie
Feb 22, 2008, 02:09 PM
1) How many Apple TV units can be sync'd with one copy of iTunes? We'd need between 5 and 10 units and possibly more and I need to figure out how many machines we'd need to feed them.


I can't think of any reason why 5 to 10 units wouldn't sync. Some people in the forum here have three units, so I would imagine the only limits would be bandwidth ones.


2) When iTunes is streaming Internet radio sis it just a single stream at once? In other words could you make multiple internet radio stations available for individual Apple TV users to pick from or is it one for all?


itunes can stream only one internet radio station at a time. There have been limited successes with adding radio stations to playlists, but this is not so much a feature as it is an unsupported bug. I would not count on more than one streaming station.


3) Does Apple TV still have a pathological hatred of all things non-widescreen? This isn't so important but we have several very nice 19" 4:3 LCD monitors hanging around that would make very nice display devices...


Well, my friend has a nice-but-old Sony which is capable of 480p, and the set has component connectors, and he uses it with his AppleTV.

What you are thinking of doing sounds intriguing.

Let us know what you decide.

FreeState
Feb 22, 2008, 02:53 PM
I can't think of any reason why 5 to 10 units wouldn't sync. Some people in the forum here have three units, so I would imagine the only limits would be bandwidth ones.

I can - the limit is 5 for iTunes purchased content (rentals excluded).

http://www.apple.com/legal/itunes/us/service.html

iii) You shall be authorized to use the Products on five Apple-authorized devices at any time, except in the case of Movie Rentals, as described below.

MikieMikie
Feb 22, 2008, 02:54 PM
I can - the limit is 5 for iTunes purchased content (rentals excluded).

Yeah, but I got the impression that, as a work device, they wouldn't be worried by the purchased content limitations.

FreeState
Feb 22, 2008, 03:02 PM
Yeah, but I got the impression that, as a work device, they wouldn't be worried by the purchased content limitations.

Yeah, however is iTunes limiting all syncs to 5 devices or just syncs of purchased content?

I have my purchased content authorized on 3 computers, on two iPods, two iPhones and an AppleTV - so thats a total of 8 - so Im assuming there are some holes in the system...

I guess the only true way to find out is to try it...

JimmyDreams
Feb 22, 2008, 03:03 PM
I believe I read somewhere on this forum that there is a limit of 6 :apple:TV's per household. I assume that's probably the limit of iTunes.

Beyond that, you might need commercial, like Muzac.

As for the 'commercial' playability, I'd suggest that unless you were using the music for some sort of direct profiting, who cares? Multiple units to spread background music around work shouldn't bother anyone.....using the music in promo-videos, on the other hand might prove problematic.

smiddlehurst
Feb 22, 2008, 03:40 PM
I can't think of any reason why 5 to 10 units wouldn't sync. Some people in the forum here have three units, so I would imagine the only limits would be bandwidth ones.

Thanks to everyone that replied on this point, I guess at this point it's a suck it and see project. Worse case scenario is we use two or three 'servers' for iTunes and knock up some suitable script-fu to keep the relevant libraries in sync.

itunes can stream only one internet radio station at a time. There have been limited successes with adding radio stations to playlists, but this is not so much a feature as it is an unsupported bug. I would not count on more than one streaming station.

To borrow a well known phrase, bugger. Oh well, pick a suitable easy listening station and dump a load of Jazz, Classical and *shudder* Pop into the iTunes library it is then. Or, better still, just put the music into iTunes and have done with it, that way no-one's using the backup ADSL line other than us IT workers when downloading, uh, large.. patch files. Yes, that sounds believable.

Well, my friend has a nice-but-old Sony which is capable of 480p, and the set has component connectors, and he uses it with his AppleTV.

What you are thinking of doing sounds intriguing.

Let us know what you decide.

I think the first step is to find a nice cheap 40Gb version for some testing. If it works with a 19" monitor then great, it saves us some cash in those places we don't need sound. If not, we have some fairly major electrical clients at the moment who can probably get us decent 19" or 22" widescreen LCD TV's for trade price as a backup. Stick monitor/TV on the wall, attach Apple TV to wall using a vertical mounting plate, trunk the cables and job done. As the iTunes library would be small (music, plus say 2Gb of photos and 10Gb of videos) it'd fit on the 40Gb version without a problem and that way it's not dependent on the wireless working when clients are walking around (first rule of technology, when the people that pay the bills come to call, anything that can go wrong will go wrong in the most spectacular way possible).

Thankfully all promotional materials will be set to non-commercial music so that's not an issue. Actually, thinking about it, as these are going to be located close to work stations all the promo stuff will probably see the speakers turned off when they're playing to prevent mass suicides (a five minute video on endless loop for the duration of a four hour client visit... think about the aural horror that would unleash).

It's a fascinating product though, so much grunt in a commercial bit of kit that small and with local storage makes it ideal for installations where you need flexibility but also need to hide the box. Display stands in retail locations such as a shopping centre spring immediately to mind.

Thanks to everyone that gave such a quick response on this, it really is a big help.

Alfie
Feb 22, 2008, 10:54 PM
One thing to keep in mind is that the max number of Apple TV's that can be SYNCED to iTunes is one. You can STREAM from 5 additional computers for a total of six. To my knowledge you cannot have one iTunes computer sync with multiple ATV's. I tried it with my two ATV's and it did not work.

I believe you said you wanted to set up syncing so you wouldn't have to worry about the wireless breaking down on you when clients were around. I agree...syncing is much safer in that respect, but remember that you can only sync one ATV at a time.

APPLENEWBIE
Feb 23, 2008, 10:19 AM
This isn't so important but we have several very nice 19" 4:3 LCD monitors hanging around that would make very nice display devices...

Or, you could just steam via the built in air-tunes feature and not use a TV at all.. would require some sort of audio amp/speaker setup...