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Apple TV 40GB vs 160GB

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wPod, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. macrumors 68000


    I am surprised I have not seen this asked yet in the Apple TV forum, seeing how frequent the 15" vs 17" MBP threads can be. (or maybe I just missed it, I hope not!)

    So anyway here is the situation. I have a mac mini set up as a 'media server' with all my music/videos on it. I am getting tired of watching all of my movies on the computer screen and would rather watch on my couch on the TV screen. So here fits the apple TV. Currently I have about 100GB of Movies and 60 GB of music. I steam all my music to my airport express so I see no need for sotring the music on an apple TV. That leaves 100GB of movies. Is it better to get the 160GB and store all the movies on the apple TV, or get the 40 GB and just stream everything? (in this case I would really need 0GB because I would just stream everything, I would also upgrade to full 802.11n if i go this route) So is there a good reason to go one way or the other?
  2. macrumors member

    i stream everything and see no need to have the extra storage on the aTV. the only thing i keep on the aTV are movies that havent been watched yet, so basically using it as a way to sort the content.

    Also the $100 difference between the two, i feel, can be spent on a much larger external drive that you could use as you see fit for both media and computer related files, where as that extra space on the aTV can only be used for aTV content.
  3. macrumors member

    40 Gb vs 160 Gb

    I bought my 40 GB Apple TV before they came out with the 160 GB model. I also have the Apple Extreme 802.11n, and have never had a problem streaming to the Apple TV. I also have around the same amount of movies/music. I believe the 40 GB has proved to be enough storage for my usage.
  4. macrumors 68040


    I always feel sad, when I go for the low end and regret it.

    Not with the Apple TV!!! 40 GB is fine because streaming works perfect. I only have a G network, and streaming works fine for me.

    Personally, I say save $100.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    I have a 40Gb :apple:TV, and way more content than it can hold, so I use the streaming function all the time and it works great.

    The downside to streaming is that you occasionally have to re-select the computer as the streaming source (like if you restart the computer, and it temporarily becomes unavailable to the :apple:TV, the :apple:TV defaults back to its HD as the source). Each time you have to select a computer as the streaming source the :apple:TV scans the iTunes library on the computer, which takes several seconds, depending on library size. This is not really that big of a deal though. Also, each time you start to watch some streamed content there is a very brief buffering period, that is never more than a few seconds.

    OTOH, content that is synced to the :apple:TV's HD is available instantaneously and is very slick.

    My advice would be this: If the extra $100 isn't a big deal to you, go for the extra HD capacity for convenience and optimized user experience, but if you'd rather not spend the money you can just get the smaller HD and rely on streaming. Streaming works so nicely that the HD could be just big enough to manage the :apple:TV's system files and you could stream everything.
  6. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The only compelling reasons to sync are:

    1. You use iTunes on a laptop that must be taken off the network on occasion.

    2. You do not have 802.11n between your ATV and iTunes machine(s).

    Number 2 is tenuous because most H.264 files stream fine on 802.11g. I've only had frame-dropping when the video was encoded at 2500 bit rate and 720 by 4xx pixel dimensions.
  7. macrumors 68000


    well, i went for the 40 gig last night to save money, cause there doesnt seem to be much of a reason to go to 160. set it up and it seems to work. i wanted to get the airport extreme to have the N wireless but they didnt have any of the new ones at the apple store. so, i set it up on my G network and everything worked, even streaming movies worked well. i did have the apple tv sync podcasts and that took a while over the g network, but the important thing is the steaming movies worked. now im wondering if i actually need the airport extreme. i will probably hold off on buying that unless i run into troubles on my G network.
  8. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Both versions of the square AEBS are 802.11n. The updated one from Tuesday just adds gigabit ethernet (vs. 10/100 in the pre-Tuesday version).

    You probably won't notice any issues with g unless others are using the internet connection while you're watching streaming ATV. Another instance in which you might have issues if if you try to stream HD content or very high bitrate content to your ATV.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Yeah, I want the gigabit ethernet of the new airport for swapping files quickly b/w computers.

    So far I haven't had issues with G, and the apple tv, the only thing that worries me is I have an airport express and sometimes when I stream music to that it cuts out so im hoping that an N wireless network wont crap out on me when im streaming movies. but ill stick with the G till i have problems streaming movies.
  10. macrumors member

    Rather than starting a new thread, I'll just ask my question here.

    I'm thinking about getting the 40gb atv because I also want Time Capsule. With Time Capsule I really have no need for the extra space of the 160gb model, right? I can just hold my itunes library on Time Capsule and stream my itunes library between my macbook and atv as needed. Or is this a bad idea for some reason?
  11. macrumors 601


    You probably should have started a new thread, but it's OK.

    Just some things you should know:

    1. The Time Capsule cannot stream to the Apple TV directly. You'll have to stream content from your Time Capsule to your MacBook and stream content back out from your MacBook using iTunes to the Apple TV. Essentially, you're doubling the amount of network activity.

    2. It's a bad idea to store your iTunes' library on the Time Capsule solely. You should always keep a backup either on an additional external hard drive, physical discs or both. The Time Capsule's internal drive is not user accessible. In case of a failure, you won't be able to recover any data without opening the Time Capsule which will void your warranty. Speaking from experience, Apple has no recovery service program (free or paid) for getting data off a failed Time Capsule device.
  12. macrumors member

    Oh, OK, that answered a lot of questions. Thanks. So now I'm thinking maybe I should go with the 160gb. My only concern is that 160 is not really that big, so I'll probably need an external hard drive regardless if I get the 160 or 40, so just go with the 40gb and buy a large external hard drive. One of the reasons I wanted Appletv is for the convenience over having physical copies, but this is turning out to be a bit more inconvenient than I assumed. Unless transferring from an external hard drive to the appletv is really fast and wireless, which I would prefer. I just want a way to store approximately 500 dvd's in a convenient way and be able to quickly watch them on my tv, macbook, or ipod touch whenever I want.

    Would a 40gb appletv and a large external hard drive do the trick?
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers


    Look into boxee. My setup: Airport Extreme, External hard drive (just about any kind), and of course apple tv.

    Basically, i'm able to stream movies from my hard drive to apple tv, via boxee which is installed on my apple TV. I've been using this setup for 6-7 months now and it's awesome.

    FYI, You still have the option of syncing/streaming itunes content as well.
  14. macrumors member

    Awesome. Have any recommendations for a 1tb hard drive?
  15. macrumors 6502a


    buy the 40 gb,then upgrade the hard drive
  16. macrumors newbie


    Streaming works fine 99% of the time, even with a large library. The only thing that has to actually be synced to the AppleTV are photos. So 40GB should be large enough.

    There can be some lag and temporary freezes when navigating menus when all the media is streamed over the network. Having all the content on the ATV hard drive would make navigation faster. But in my experience, steaming over a wireless network works swimmingly.

    Save the money and go 40GB!:cool:
  17. macrumors member

    I ordered the 40gb and it should arrive this week. Thanks for the advice.

    I'm sure I'll fill it up quickly, then I'll be on the look out for a nice external hard drive.
  18. macrumors member

    OK, one last question. Do I need Airport Extreme? If I want to have a large external hard drive that holds all my movies with the option to quickly stream them to appletv, then I just hook the hard drive up to airport extreme, then I can wirelessly transfer any file I want to atv, right? Sorry if this question has already been answered, but I'm new to most of this and find it a bit confusing.
  19. macrumors 603


    From what I understand is that, you need a computer with Itunes running so that you can stream its content to the ATV.

    U cannot just connect a USB hard drive to the extreme and stream off of that, u need a computer running Itunes. So you can build yourself a cheap pc and use it as a server, stick 2 1.5TB hard drives in there and have all your content there.
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    I have a Lacie, but I don't think it matters too much (DON'T quote me).
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Not that simple. You need Boxee which will communicate with the hard drive through Airport Extreme.

    Buy Airport Extreme + EXternal HD (conect to Airport Extreme via USB) + Apple TV (of course)

    You NEED them. There is of course another alternative involving a Mac mini :) I'm actually thinking about changing over to that route instead.
  22. macrumors member

    I have an Airport Extreme with a Lacie 2TB USB HD connected, which works well and is cheaper than a Time Capsule. It streams well between MacBook Pro and Apple TV. I would recommend a wired ethernet connection between the Apple TV and Airport to save the WIFI bogging down with two signals for every operation.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Where'd you get the 2TB?
  24. macrumors 6502a

    My vote is for the 40GB

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