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AppleTV & Storage Expansion

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mgrove, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. macrumors newbie

    I'm a novice looking for some help. I would like to use AppleTV to play media without running through Itunes on a separate computer. It seems that the only way to do this is to synch the media to the AppleTV itself. My problem is that I have way more media than the Apple TV HD can handle. I know you can crack the case and upgrade the HD in the machine but the largest HD I've seen for this purpose is 320GB which still isn't enough storage. So I see a few potential solutions/have a few questions:

    1) Is there a bigger HD (at least 1TB) on the market that can be put into an AppleTV?

    2) If not, is there a way to attach an external HD via the AppleTV's USB port and use that at the machine's HD and therefor not need to run through a separate computer with itunes?

    3) Right now my media is stored on a network attached storage device (not running windows or apple os). Can I put software onto that device to have it act as the Itunes device?

    Thanks for any help/advice!
  2. macrumors newbie

    Speaking from one novice to the next, let me try to shed some light:

    1) Yes (no). Meaning: yes, there are bigger HDs available but not at least 1TB. To the best of my knowledge, that is. I just installed a 320GB WD drive last weekend myself, it was the biggest I could find in PATA. You could use SATA with a SATA-PATA converter (if it fits) and go to 500GB.

    2) There are possibilites making this possible. I, for one, am not a big fan of the hacks needed to do this. I wanted to stick with the original clean and well-functioning interface of the :apple:TV. If I wanted to hack I'd have gotten a Popcorn Hour in the first place ;-) Hint: google ATV patchstick

    3) Most likely not.

    Hope I could be of some help :)
  3. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    I have an Airport Extreme with a 1TB external drive attached via "AirDisk" which streams to my :apple:tv, works flawlessly with ZERO hacks. :cool:
  4. macrumors newbie

    But you have to leave your MBP on all the time, or are all the posts I've read so far utterly wrong?
  5. macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    No, you are correct. I do have to have my MBP running in order for my setup to work, but that usually isn't a problem. In a perfect world I'd love to have a mini running as my server. :eek:
  6. macrumors 6502

    No, there aren't 2.5" 1TB drives yet. As you probably know, the ATV takes a PATA drive, not a SATA one, although you can get around that with a converter (might make things tight inside). When the appropriate drives come out, here are the instructions for an upgrade that should work regardless of drive size. They were written before 320GB PATA drives were available, but have been used for those drives as well:


    Yes, you can do that. That could get you up to 2TB. Not sure if you run into a limitation somewhere with drive size or not. CAVEMAN has a thread about it:


    Some network devices will run as an iTunes server. The problem is that they will only do it for audio content and then only for non-DRM content. You could have everything stored on the NAS, but served off your MacBook or desktop computer which would simply connect to the NAS as any other drive, but use it as the location for your media storage. Lots of people do that. It still requires the computer to be on to do the streaming though.

    This all gets to the missing piece in the Apple eco-system, in my opinion. That is, the home server. Everything Apple has in their media world requires storage space. Right now, the central hub of that storage space is a desktop computer. Or at least a single computer. From that computer you manage multiple iPods, AppleTV's and other computers. TimeCapsule is a move in the right direction for backup, but it would be better if it were a little bigger and a full-fledged media server with large disks for media storage and backup. That would solve a lot of problems, especially as people move to more portable devices like MacBooks which, by their nature, have smaller hard drives.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Yes, you can easily attach an external drive on the aTV, and you can use it either to sync with itunes or as an additional hard drive for non-Itunes files.
  8. macrumors newbie


    Hi,new member and new to Apple

    I have the Apple TV with the 160 gig hard disk.
    I just got it on close out,My goal is to load it with music,in wave files.
    I would like to swap out hard drives to a 360 gig or better a 500gig if it's available in pata. Then load it with around 800 CD's.
    Then through a glass optical cable into a stand alone DAC,and use the 65 inch DLP as the screen to select play lists.

    Any advise,or links to the best choice of hard drives would be helpful.
    Has anyone done this?
  9. macrumors member

    This guy claims to be squeezing 1Tb drives into 1st gen ATV tho I can't find anyone else who has:

  10. macrumors member

    1.5 TB drive

    I have one of the original aTV's with a 40GB drive. I invested $50 in aTV Flash and absolutely love it. It makes the otherwise useless USB port active, which enables me to have an external drive (currently 1.5 TB) that is completely transparent to the iTunes and the aTV. You have to format it properly via another PC before you hook it up but the instructions are easy to follow on how to that ... it was really cool the first time I saw the sync screen in iTunes after doing this and there was all that unused disc space.
    Added to that I get Boxee which means I can stream MLB.com to my aTV via my 802-11N network and see my Fightin' Phil's whenever I want (and, unfortunately, my wife and son's NYY's).
    Cool stuff.
  11. macrumors regular

    +1 for ATV Flash. Super simple to install and now I have a 1TB drive attached directly to the Apple TV.

    If you look through the forums and are technically savy, you can do what the ATV Flash does for free with something called patchstick.
  12. macrumors newbie


  13. macrumors 6502

  14. macrumors 68030

  15. macrumors 6502

    I guess nobody has done this. ;) How does it sound with the external DAC? :D
  16. macrumors 6502

    ...they..make..adapters.. am i using enough periods?...
  17. macrumors newbie


    It sounds very good.You should know I heard yours first.I sent to a guy on ebay and it's comming back a 500 gig apple TV. My next move is to add a large heat sink to the bottom and convert the optical out to a BNC out.
    I wonder if you go up stream from the optical out can you tap in another small circit and a 75 ohm BNC digital out?
  18. macrumors 6502

    I'd spend my time listening to the music instead of worrying about the optical output. ;)
  19. macrumors newbie


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