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ssdeg7
Jul 29, 2010, 05:28 PM
I'm Planning on buying an :apple:TV because I have more than 300GB in movies stored on my iMac but I would like to know if the following is possible:

1- Store everything in the :apple:TV so I don't need a computer to stream everything (which makes the Mac almost useless while watching the movie)
2- Connect and external HD to the :apple:TV and store everything there (have the Mac send once the movies to the :apple:TV and then be able to erase it from the Mac).

I would really appreciate it if somebody could help me out with this.



emaja
Jul 29, 2010, 05:38 PM
1- Store everything in the :apple:TV so I don't need a computer to stream everything (which makes the Mac almost useless while watching the movie).

That is not true. I stream everything to my Apple TV which using my Mac all the time. I didn't want to clutter my home theater setup with external drives, so that's why I chose this setup. I am extremely pleased with the performance.

ssdeg7
Jul 29, 2010, 05:46 PM
That is not true. I stream everything to my Apple TV which using my Mac all the time. I didn't want to clutter my home theater setup with external drives, so that's why I chose this setup. I am extremely pleased with the performance.

Thanks for the appreciation, now, is 160GB enough?
If I only want to sync my movies can I do that?
Will the Apple TV work even while my Mac is turned off?
Can I plug in an external drive so that I have more than just 160GB?

emaja
Jul 29, 2010, 06:03 PM
Is it enough? Depends on what you want to sync and what you want to stream. If you are streaming everything like I am, then of course it is plenty.

You can pick and choose what you want to sync, so yes you can sync only movies.

If you sync, the Mac does not need to be on. If you stream, then it does.

External drives on the Apple TV have been done, but they seem to be more trouble than they're worth since streaming works so well. I have all my media on an external drive connected to my MBP that I stream to the ATV.

ssdeg7
Jul 29, 2010, 11:51 PM
If you sync, the Mac does not need to be on. If you stream, then it does.


What does steam require? Does it use internet or just a local network? Will it slow down my internet speed while watching movies or not? Do they have to be connected to the same access point?

Markusp
Jul 30, 2010, 10:14 AM
You can add an external hardrive to the AppleTV rather easily. I used a product called ATV Flash which hacked the AppleTV to allow an external hard drive to be attached to the USB port. The ATV Flash product also allowed me to tell the AppleTV to use the external hardrive instead of the internal one via a simple menu selection within the main menu. BINGO - instant increase of storage capacity for little money or effort. I own the 40G version of AppleTV and now it is a 1TB version.

I keep all my music stored on the AppleTV and stream my movies as movies take forever (maybe longer) to sync to the AppleTV since it has no gigabit ethernet ability. I will eventually swap out the 1TB drive for a 2TB drive and then simply sync a selection of movies each night when I go off to bed. Should take a couple of weeks or so to load them all.

ssdeg7
Jul 30, 2010, 10:33 AM
You can add an external hardrive to the AppleTV rather easily. I used a product called ATV Flash which hacked the AppleTV to allow an external hard drive to be attached to the USB port. The ATV Flash product also allowed me to tell the AppleTV to use the external hardrive instead of the internal one via a simple menu selection within the main menu. BINGO - instant increase of storage capacity for little money or effort. I own the 40G version of AppleTV and now it is a 1TB version.

I keep all my music stored on the AppleTV and stream my movies as movies take forever (maybe longer) to sync to the AppleTV since it has no gigabit ethernet ability. I will eventually swap out the 1TB drive for a 2TB drive and then simply sync a selection of movies each night when I go off to bed. Should take a couple of weeks or so to load them all.

That's exactly what I wanted to do, so if I want to sync my movies I have to use internet to do it or does it use the local network instead? Is there any way to connect the External HD to the Mac sync the movies and then connect it to the AppleTV? Just one more question, which External HD should I buy? A good quality, doesn't matter if it costs a bit more.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to answer my question, that's just what I want.

HarryPot
Jul 30, 2010, 10:50 AM
That's exactly what I wanted to do, so if I want to sync my movies I have to use internet to do it or does it use the local network instead?

It uses your local network. The first sync normally takes some time, but leave it syncing overnight and it should be done in the morning.

Is there any way to connect the External HD to the Mac sync the movies and then connect it to the AppleTV?

Remember that everything in the Apple TV is synced/streamed thru iTunes. If you have movies in an external drive, which are not in iTunes, they won't sync/stream to your Apple TV. Also remember that iTunes does not support codecs like AVI or mkv. So if your movies are in those format, you would first need to convert them to an iTunes friendly format.

Supposing your movies are in the correct format, then yes. You can connect the external to your Mac, import the movie to iTunes, and then sync/stream them to your Apple TV. BUT, you need another HD in your Apple TV to store the movies.

As for connecting the external drive to your Apple TV, out of the box it can't be done. You need to hack it. For this ATV Flash is GREAT.

I installed it about 6-8 months ago, and so far I have had no problems at all. ATV Flash offers you many options, of which the next are the most relevant:

- You can connect an external drive.
- You can play AVI files.

Having this two options practically eliminates the need to sync/stream movies from your Mac. This way you don't depend on having your Mac turned on.

The only things I sync to the Apple TV is my photos and music. All my movies are in an external drive and connected to the Apple TV.

I hope i was clear enough. If not, do ask me any doubts.:)

ssdeg7
Jul 30, 2010, 11:05 AM
It uses your local network. The first sync normally takes some time, but leave it syncing overnight and it should be done in the morning.



Remember that everything in the Apple TV is synced/streamed thru iTunes. If you have movies in an external drive, which are not in iTunes, they won't sync/stream to your Apple TV. Also remember that iTunes does not support codecs like AVI or mkv. So if your movies are in those format, you would first need to convert them to an iTunes friendly format.

Supposing your movies are in the correct format, then yes. You can connect the external to your Mac, import the movie to iTunes, and then sync/stream them to your Apple TV. BUT, you need another HD in your Apple TV to store the movies.

As for connecting the external drive to your Apple TV, out of the box it can't be done. You need to hack it. For this ATV Flash is GREAT.

I installed it about 6-8 months ago, and so far I have had no problems at all. ATV Flash offers you many options, of which the next are the most relevant:

- You can connect an external drive.
- You can play AVI files.

Having this two options practically eliminates the need to sync/stream movies from your Mac. This way you don't depend on having your Mac turned on.

The only things I sync to the Apple TV is my photos and music. All my movies are in an external drive and connected to the Apple TV.

I hope i was clear enough. If not, do ask me any doubts.:)

Thanks again, that's exactly what I need, I have all my movies in iTunes with tags and all that stuff already converted to AppleTV format. I just want to sync my movies to ATV so they are stored in the External HD, the rest I could just steam them.

Now I was watching aTV Flash videos to see how it works and I think that's an excellent choice, which version of aTV Flash should I download in order for it to work with the latest software update of the AppleTV?

Once again thanks for your time.

mstrze
Jul 30, 2010, 01:01 PM
I second the 'just stream' comments.

I do not store anything on my AppleTV, it just streams from my iMac's external drive over my wireless network with no noticeable or appreciable degradation of functionality from my iMac....and we are talking maybe 400GB or so of media content.

It's not a true 'streaming' in the sense of how you might think of it from the internet...meaning, it's not continually sending info to the AppleTV for two entire two hours that the movie is playing, it transfers the movie file (but starts playing it immediately). I have not watched my network traffic as this happens, but I assume that with my laregst HD movie file, it's done within a minute or so....and this happens in the background...as I said the movie starts to play immediately.

You need to always have iTunes up and running...although I do 'sleep' my computer and have it 'wake on wireless' so it only comes up when needed.

I also tend to think going trough the hoops to attach an external is too much work for little essential benefit.

AppleTV works very well as originally designed. It just seems that most folks try to think about it too much and try to create complex ways of treating it like a standalone unit when really it function like a wireless iPod connected to iTunes, only ATVallows you access to your ENTIRE library, despite it's small HDD space whereas an iPod limits you to whatever you can fit on the internal drive. ATV is MUCH more powerful and functional that that.

utazdevl
Jul 30, 2010, 02:02 PM
I have about 1.5 TB of videos (500 GB in movies, 1 TB in TV Episodes) and for the longest time, I streamed to my AppleTV (which only has a 40GB HD in it). This meant I needed my MacBook Pro to be on whenever I wanted to watch something. I never had a problem with stuttering on streaming, and everything was fine.

Sounds relatively innocuous, but streaming means iTunes has to be open if someone if watching a movie/show. That means no restarts/software installs without stopping viewing for 5 minutes. I also noticed that after 3 years, he computer constantly being on was beginning to take its toll on the hardware.

Recently, I installed aTV Flash and attached a 2TB drive to the AppleTV. It took about 10 days of nearly 24/7 transferring, but all my media is now on the AppleTV, and I can watch the AppleTV without the computer being on. It is a HUGE help.

Also, that 2TB drive on the AppleTV, though formatted specifically for the AppleTV use, functions as a secondary back up to all my media. In a dire situation, I can take the 2TB from the Apply TV and put attached it to my Macbook Pro, and pull off copies of all the files transferred. I tested this, and the folder structure is excessive and the files are renamed, but they are there in a pinch.

My Two Cents, storage over streaming.

mstrze
Jul 30, 2010, 07:31 PM
Sounds relatively innocuous, but streaming means iTunes has to be open if someone if watching a movie/show. That means no restarts/software installs without stopping viewing for 5 minutes. I also noticed that after 3 years, he computer constantly being on was beginning to take its toll on the hardware.

Absolutely untrue.

My iMac sleeps until I need it and it wakes on demand from ATV via wifi. I have it sleep automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity which it does after it's done transferring my movie file to the AppleTV....which rarely takes more than a minute or three.

Restarts..or software installs I will give you, but needing to have the iMac and iTunes constantly up-and-running is false.

emaja
Jul 30, 2010, 07:48 PM
I also noticed that after 3 years, he computer constantly being on was beginning to take its toll on the hardware.

Nonsense. I have left every computer I have had over the last 15 years on virtually 24/7 and never had a problem.

utazdevl
Jul 30, 2010, 09:51 PM
Absolutely untrue.

My iMac sleeps until I need it and it wakes on demand from ATV via wifi. I have it sleep automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity which it does after it's done transferring my movie file to the AppleTV....which rarely takes more than a minute or three.

Restarts..or software installs I will give you, but needing to have the iMac and iTunes constantly up-and-running is false.

Sleep still means that your computer is on, just in a lower functioning/hibernation mode. iTunes is still open and the computer is still on.

utazdevl
Jul 30, 2010, 09:54 PM
Nonsense. I have left every computer I have had over the last 15 years on virtually 24/7 and never had a problem.

The heat that my Macbook Pro generates definitely takes a toll on the machine itself. I have started to get minor screen burns from the heat at the bottom of my screen.

Have any/all of the machines you have left on for 15 years been MacBook Pro's?

bradandbree
Jul 31, 2010, 03:13 PM
The OP was asking if syncing to external storage was possible, and the answer is yes (with a hack, of course). Clearly that's not the most popular choice around here, and I'm not going to fan those flames. But I wanted to add my experience and say that syncing to external storage is my choice as well, and it works great for me. Couple other points I'd like to make:

1) I have absolutely nothing against ATV Flash, but I hacked my ATV with a free patchstick and it was dead simple. Everything I needed to know to do this I got from the MacRumors Forums.

2) The question was asked what HD people use to expand the storage capacity of a hacked ATV. I use a Western Digital Elements 2 TB USB hard drive. Small, cool, so quiet you will check it just to make sure it's on, the power light is dim and in the back, and the unit is in black so it disappears when the lights are at TV/movie viewing levels. Transfer speeds are fairly slow for USB 2.0 standards, but this seems to be a common WD Elements issue and it's my only complaint so far.

3) Other than the ability to use the USB port on the ATV for an external drive, the main reason I hacked my ATV was for the ssh access. I have now customized my menus so that only the items I use are visible and in the order I want them to be. This is trivial to most, but it's not possible without hacking the ATV. And as long as you're hacking the ATV anyway, might as well add an external drive. ;)

I also agree totally that another copy of my files that I've spent so much time preparing (20,000 songs, 200 movies at this point) adds a level of comfort for when something unexpected happens. Disk space is relatively inexpensive now, so I have the primary hard drive, a backup drive, and the USB drive attached to the ATV in another room.

Hope this helps the OP understand his options a little better.

ssdeg7
Aug 1, 2010, 07:12 PM
The OP was asking if syncing to external storage was possible, and the answer is yes (with a hack, of course). Clearly that's not the most popular choice around here, and I'm not going to fan those flames. But I wanted to add my experience and say that syncing to external storage is my choice as well, and it works great for me. Couple other points I'd like to make:

1) I have absolutely nothing against ATV Flash, but I hacked my ATV with a free patchstick and it was dead simple. Everything I needed to know to do this I got from the MacRumors Forums.

2) The question was asked what HD people use to expand the storage capacity of a hacked ATV. I use a Western Digital Elements 2 TB USB hard drive. Small, cool, so quiet you will check it just to make sure it's on, the power light is dim and in the back, and the unit is in black so it disappears when the lights are at TV/movie viewing levels. Transfer speeds are fairly slow for USB 2.0 standards, but this seems to be a common WD Elements issue and it's my only complaint so far.

3) Other than the ability to use the USB port on the ATV for an external drive, the main reason I hacked my ATV was for the ssh access. I have now customized my menus so that only the items I use are visible and in the order I want them to be. This is trivial to most, but it's not possible without hacking the ATV. And as long as you're hacking the ATV anyway, might as well add an external drive. ;)

I also agree totally that another copy of my files that I've spent so much time preparing (20,000 songs, 200 movies at this point) adds a level of comfort for when something unexpected happens. Disk space is relatively inexpensive now, so I have the primary hard drive, a backup drive, and the USB drive attached to the ATV in another room.

Hope this helps the OP understand his options a little better.

Thanks, this was what I was expecting, I think i'll buy an ATV and search for one of those External HD (I think 2TB will be enough)

ctakim
Aug 1, 2010, 07:25 PM
Thanks, this was what I was expecting, I think i'll buy an ATV and search for one of those External HD (I think 2TB will be enough)

While hacking the ATV is not the hardest tweak to implement, just be aware that is a far cry from an out of the box solution (which I hope we will see in the next iteration of this much loved and much neglected little device). It took me 3 or 4 tries to get the ATV flash working and mosre recently I lost all video output and had to factory restore the unit. But if you are the type that loves your jail broken iPhone and you don't shy from Unix commands on the terminal go for it.:)

bradandbree
Aug 2, 2010, 11:15 AM
While hacking the ATV is not the hardest tweak to implement, just be aware that is a far cry from an out of the box solution (which I hope we will see in the next iteration of this much loved and much neglected little device). It took me 3 or 4 tries to get the ATV flash working and mosre recently I lost all video output and had to factory restore the unit. But if you are the type that loves your jail broken iPhone and you don't shy from Unix commands on the terminal go for it.:)

Agreed! Modifications like this are not for the timid, and require patience, calm, and meticulous attention to detail. You should also be ready for the possibility of conflicts and not freak out if they occur. For example, I attempted to install a plugin that said it was compatible with ATV 3.0.1, which I initially assumed meant 3.0.1 and beyond (my ATV is 3.0.2). After a restart, I had no video at all and started to panic. Fortunately, I'm comfortable with UNIX and simply removed all traces of the plugin, and I was back in business. So I want to agree with ctakim -- if you're not comfortable with a fair bit of tinkering, do not attempt this!

kiranmk2
Aug 2, 2010, 04:05 PM
Sleep still means that your computer is on, just in a lower functioning/hibernation mode. iTunes is still open and the computer is still on.

And I believe not all routers support the wake-on-wireless protocol. So in these situations, your computer does have to be awake with iTunes running. Also, if your main computer is a laptop, it doesn't help people when you take it out and they can't watch anything even though the AppleTV and external drive are still in the house - if the iTunes computer isn't there it won't work. definitely the current weak-link in the chain.

dynaflash
Aug 2, 2010, 04:09 PM
You could also consider the eSata hardware mod, which allows you to attach any eSata external drive right to the apple tv.