Apple TV with no hard drive?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by motox25, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    #1
    Why doesn't Apple release an Apple TV with no hard drive? I am considering purchasing one in order to stream my media (movies and music) from my Mac Pro to my home theatre system. The Mac Pro is currently connected to my system via a HDMI cable and toslink cable. This setup works well but I'd prefer to not have to have all the cables. I find it interesting Apple doesn't have an option of this sort available, as I simply need a device to stream my media to. The small HDD in the Apple TV wouldn't come close to holding all my media and I wouldn't use it unless it serves some other purpose I don't know about. I've considered getting a mac mini for my home theatre PC but I think this is overkill for simply streaming media content.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #2
    The Apple TV uses a form of progressive download when streaming. Given a fast enough network and/or internet connection it actually buffers about 30 minutes of content to its internal hard drive which makes for better responsiveness (fast forward, etc.) and also helps it to recover from interrupted/paused streams. Thus, as long as you have a network that can keep well ahead of the playback it's almost like having the streaming content local to the Apple TV. The same is true (only more so) for movie/TV rentals from the iTunes Store, the stream is saved to the Apple TV's hard drive and can then be accessed anytime within the rental period (even up to 30 days later).
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    #3
    Ha Ha, Can we really say that about the AppleTV? ;-)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    pacmania1982

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    #4
    The Apple TV's OS and restore partitions live on the hard drive, so does any media you choose to sync (if any) like photos and music.

    It would still need some form of storage on it to boot up from, and I'm sure would be more of a pita if it was in some ROM somewhere

    pac
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    2contagious

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    I don't understand what you mean.. my Apple TV has been really snappy :confused:
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #6
    If you use iTunes bought content you probably wont notice any lag high quality torrents or boxee etc will slow it down a lot!
     
  7. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2008
    #7
    ha this lag you speak of, is it that bad? Say on an "N" single band wifi network? I don't have much HD content on my Mac, mainly just DVDs I've ripped from my library. I've tried using connect 360 and streaming the content to my xbox, but the lag was terrible and I had problems where the sound and video timing would be off.
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    I stream to my Apple TV (have used both wireless and wired) and I've never seen a problem with video timing (sound and video are always in rock solid sync). When streaming, there can be delays in starting video playback but they are usually pretty short and much faster than trying to load up a DVD (for the first time -- once the DVD is loaded, however, you'll probably see better performance on the DVD player than you will when streaming to the Apple TV).
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #9
    Since we tested using vbv with AppleTV encodes (both SD and HD) in the #handbrake IRC channel, I've had no problems with playback lag or studdering, except maybe in the first few seconds. These changes have been reflected in the latest development snapshot AppleTV preset, and will be present once .9.5 is released.

    Once it has had a chance to fill some of its buffer, it plays without issue. My network config is a little unique as well; I think if the media was hosted locally on my iMac it would behave even better.

    NAS -> Gigabit Ethernet -> iMac -> Airport 5GHz 802.11n -> AppleTV
     

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