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Apple TV Hard Drive Question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Pandaboots, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular


    So, what is the hard drive on the :apple:TV really used for if you have a computer with iTunes? Is it just used to temporarily store downloads you make from the :apple:TV? Or is the movie watching experience enhanced by actually running it from the :apple:TV drive vs. streaming from the computer?

    It would seem that 40GB is all anyone needs for temp storage of rentals or to move a couple movies over for the weekend if performance is actually better; and the 160GB would be too small to actually store everything on so why spend the extra $100 for it? Am I missing something here or is the 40 GB truly the smarter option? Thanks
  2. macrumors regular

    You can also store all your photos and music on it. For those of us that have a fairly sizable music collection we want to keep on the ATV, the 160GB makes sense.
  3. macrumors regular


    Is this just to free up space on your computer's hard drive or is there a benefit from a performance point of view in regards to how quickly they can be shown of storing them on the :apple:TV? I guess that's what I'm trying to clear up.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    For me it means I can watch my tv shows, music videos or listen to music without the need for my iMac to be on.
  5. macrumors 68020


    In my case, I have a MacBook Pro as my main computer. I have a 160GB :apple:TV.

    I'm able to transfer all my music, photos and movies to the :apple:TV so that I don't have to turn my MacBook Pro every time I view/listen to my content.

    Another advantage is that you'll have another redundant backup of all your media (I have all my media on my iPod, :apple:TV and of course Time Machine).
  6. macrumors 65816


    Ah, now this has always been a wonder of mine. Since the :apple:TV is a one-way device, should you sync all your music over there, then your MacBook's hard disk crashes... can you get the files back off the :apple:TV?
  7. macrumors 68020


    Unless the upcoming software update changes matters, the answer is no as it is configured. However, if you hack your AppleTV, I am pretty sure you could ftp them out of there.
  8. macrumors 65816


    I figured as much. It's a shame, but I understand their reasoning.
  9. macrumors 6502


    In my case, my only computer is my iMac, which is always on, and which has a 750gig drive it it already. And since I will probably get a Time Capsule for backups etc, I can see NO reason to get the 16gig :apple:tv.

    I've already got plenty of space.... I think it'd be a waste
    of $$ to get the 160gig version.

    Am I missing anything??
  10. macrumors regular


    Ok then, since the :apple:TV is really not a storage solution for media in the sense that it can double as a backup, there's really no point in getting the bigger hard drive from my point of view. It would seem the 40 GB is plenty big enough to store the rentals for 24 hours and even be able to store a copy of favorite videos/photos/music. I'm still looking for a definitive answer on why I should pay the $100 premium for getting the 160GB. I realize that the "geek" could finagle the :apple:TV to be a storage solution, but even at 160GB, I'd hardly consider that much of a storage solution for video.

    I think Apple dropped the ball again on this. They should have combined :apple:TV with Time Capsule and made an all in one solution for wireless networking/storage/iTunes. Price-wise they could have bundled all this for $499 for a 500GB solution. Every Leopard user would jump on this due to time machine and so many people sitting on the fence about :apple:TV. Hell, even the average windows user would gobble that up. IMO, Apple could have surely cornered the market on movie rentals because everyone looking for a better and more convenient storage solution just got an :apple:TV thrown in to try out as well.

    I figure wireless storage should be more than Firewire, which is more than USB, so $499 would be a great deal for all of this. Apple is all about being minimalist and simple, why do I have to buy so many devices from them to enjoy the total Apple experience now? I think this is why people were underwhelmed about this year's Macworld...They introduced a lot of cool things but they are all so disconnected and costly.
  11. macrumors 65816



    The problem is that some people want just the opposite. They already have a NAS and don't want to be forced to spend $500 as entry to the AppleTV user interface. Basically, this is a modular system... you buy the pieces you need, don't buy the pieces you don't. The thing is, the ultimate goal is to have the modular system include communication between many types of devices. In order to make AppleTV useful in that regard, it has to be as basic a bridge and user interface as possible... capable of being whatever the given application needs it to be, rather than being a router with a hard disk that plays movies.

    Time Capsule makes sense as it is because network storage should be centralized with the network itself.

    Look at it this way...

    You've got a living room and a computer room...

    In the computer room you've got a Time Capsule to be central storage for your entire LAN.

    In your living room you've got an AppleTV to be the central access interface bridging your computer room with your home theater.

    Why is this smart? Well, aside from centering storage at the network router, there's all the added noise generated by such components which is a nuisance in a home theater. Stick too much crap in an AppleTV and you're going to need a fan sooner or later that interferes with the practically inaudible noise floor of optical audio in a home theater.

    In fact, I can see AppleTV getting a 64GB SSD in the immediate future for one purpose and one purpose only... to buffer 720p HD and possibly larger formats. SD doesn't need it, music doesn't need it... these stream just fine over a g network.

    You forget that one big convenience of the AppleTV is the UI itself that gives you single point of contact with your entire media library regardless of where it sits on your LAN. Say you have two kids and each has a computer... do you really want to spend all day reorganizing media and centralizing it to the AppleTV? Why when you can stream it from wherever it is? Let's say I *just* took some pictures and I connect my camera to one computer... I want to see the images immediately without resizing them and bumping them over to another machine... AppleTV allows me access to that library, wherever it is.

    In the future, the communication will likely include iPhone and other digital devices, all wirelessly... use iPhone as a "remote" to browse your NAS library and stream it to the AppleTV.

    I'm not saying you don't have some valid points but look at it from these angles. Also, consider that any time you stick more specific things in AppleTV, someone is going to complain they already have a DVD player, or a NAS, or a something... and why should they repurchase it and why cant they just buy the bare bones AppleTV... Well, here's what I am pretty certain Apple is aiming at... Instead of jamming all that crap into AppleTV, encouraging the industry to make all the OTHER peripherals speak IP over wifi so they can all communicate with AppleTV and vice-versa.

    That's the ultimate in backward and forward compatibility.
  12. macrumors regular


    thanks for an insightful reply. I can see where you are coming from. Hmmm SSD :apple:TV..now that sounds real appealing.
  13. macrumors newbie

    I have heard some say that one advantage of the larger drive is that you can more easily bring a larger library of movies with you when you travel by just grabbing the ATV and a cable. If there is an HDTV where you are going that is ...
  14. macrumors newbie

    So I just got my new aTV yesterday and plugged it in last night. Like many of the folks who've posted here, my computer is always on so I figured 40GB was plenty and I would just stream most everything. But I'm running into a problem:

    - If I tell iTunes I want to sync all my content with the aTV, then it fills up the disk with all my video and some of my music. Then the aTV will stream the music it didn't copy over (which is great) but won't find any of my photos (which is bad).

    - If I tell iTunes I don't want to sync my video or music, then it seems to think I don't want to access it at all and it doesn't give me the option of streaming it.

    I currently have less than 160GB of content, so I know if I had bought the 160GB aTV, I would be in fine shape because everything could sync. But surely there must be some way to get it to sync the content that must be local (e.g., photos) and stream the rest (video and music). What am I missing here?

  15. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    In the Photos tab of ATV pane of iTunes, select "Sync photos before other media".
  16. macrumors newbie

    This is great; I'll totally do this when I get home!



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