Any performance difference streaming to ATV from internal HD versus external?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GhostMac24, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #1
    Probably a stupid question but figured I'd ask if anybody has any real world experience with this. I really like the idea of uploading my DVD collection onto the computer so it can stream to the ATV's throughout the home. The only problem is the HD in my new iMac is only so large (1TB). I thought about getting a really big external drive (i.e., 4TB or larger) and just moving my entire iTunes library folder there (music and movies). Any issues, performance or otherwise?

    Also open to any other options for the best way to store and steam a large collection.

    TIA for any replies!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    even USB2 is more than fast enough for streaming. I personally prefer FW800, but that is because it can be daisy-chained and has no CPU hit. No issue streaming video to a single device, although if you have enough TVs all trying to stream at the same time you might be able to notice an issue.
     
  3. macrumors 68030

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #3
    As @Panch0 said not an issue. If you have a new iMac you can use a USB 3.0 external drive, which will have more than adequate performance for any streaming needs.
     
  4. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    No. The only issue is that a lot of externals these days are energy conservation-oriented (which is good), spinning down drives that are not in use. As such, when you are at your television and want to watch something, there is sometimes a delay while those drives spin up. If you are going straight from an internal drive, it might already be spun up, so that brief delay can be mitigated (however, internal drives will also spin down when not in use so this isn't always the case).

    Bottom line: if the external is primarily for media storage, odds are pretty good that it will be spun down most of the time. If so, you'll deal with the delay of waiting for it to spin up when you want to watch something. It's not a huge delay but can be anywhere from 5 to 20+ seconds (which sometimes feels like a longer period of time). Since you asked for "Any" performance difference, I felt that qualifies.

    Solution: if you have money to burn, make your media drive out of SSDs. There is no spinning up with them. Or be patient while waiting for a hard drive(s) to spin up from sleep.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    #5
    The wait isn't really too bad. Worth it IMO. Much better than having to get out a disc, insert it, and then retrieve it afterwards
     
  6. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #6
  7. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #7
    uncompressed blu-ray rip = 4-7 MB/s
    USB 2 = 20-30 MB/s

    so the highest bitrate that's probably going to be in most peoples library is well within what USB2 can handle.

    anything purchased from iTunes is going to be a lower bitrate.

    and...
    if you're using wireless ethernet, USB2 is just as fast or faster than your network connection.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #8
    Wow, great replies. Really appreciate it.

    Have a great weekend!
     
  9. macrumors 68040

    Wicked1

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2009
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    I run my iTunes Shared Library on my 2012 MBP off an external USB 2.0 drive without any issues, no lag or skipping, but then again you need to make sure you have a good router and signal in your house. I use the Apple router and it works perfectly.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    NC
    #10
    Just thought I'd come back and post an update since I have the system up and running now for a few weeks. I have my entire iTunes library on an external 4tb drive connected to my iMac. I had to make sure to uncheck the power saving box in preferences that says "turn off hard drives when possible" so it wouldn't fall offline. I also have to close and open itunes every so often as the ATV boxes lose connection. Really irritating but whatever. Everybody is hooked up via Cat6 and the speeds are really good. No lag, even on HD movies.
     
  11. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Location:
    Great White North
    #11
    For others reading this later on, what I do is keep everything on my external, except for the current season of a show I'm watching. I watch a lot of tv so whenever I try a season I mov it to my internal sad and stream it Dom there so I don't have the wait time of my hard drive waking itself up. The external is for media only so I like tht it puts itself to sleep
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #12
     

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