max number of ATV2's

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by EvilC5, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    im considering downgrading my cable and turning in several of the cable boxes that we have now. my question is, can I have 2 older ATV's, and 5 new ATV's using my shared library with no issues. Doubtful that more than 2 would ever be pulling from the library at the same time.

    flow will be HD DVR cable box>Eye Tv HD to transcode to ATV format>Server >itunes to stream

    if successful, I think I can save myself aroung 1000 bucks a year at least....:D
  2. macrumors 6502a


    Interesting question.

    I would be interested in an ATV2 for my bedroom TV if two ATVs can be supported by one Mac/library.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    I know 4 can because I have that now, but im wondering if 7 can. it seems that 5 is the magic cutoff for allot of itunes things....
  4. macrumors regular

    I've said it once, I'll say it before, the limit is theoretically down to your network infrastructure.

    I'm willing to bet you can drive 10 AppleTV2s simultaneously if your iMac is connected to Gigabit wired ethernet. Clearly the absolute maximum throughput your AppleTV2 will ever need is 100mbps, because Apple didn't opt to put a Gigabit ethernet port in them.

    Obviously, most streams wont get anywhere near that sort of throughput. So I'd bet you could just as easily run 20 simultaneously, probably even more as the AppleTVs handle slowdown reasonably gracefully and have local caching.

    There *might* be a soft limitation on the number of clients iTunes can support, but I can't see any reason why Apple would want to limit your purchases.

    If anyone wants to put this to the test, I'd love to hear the results. I only have 2 with no intention of purchasing any more for a while.

    You'd probably want a dedicated box if you're serving a lot of clients, though.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    my mini server is dedicated to only converting and streaming media to apple tv's on my network. as far as network infrastructure, I have the AEBS running in the dual mode so it gets pretty good speed to my macbook when I need it. but I see what you are saying, im sure a wireless network could get pretty saturated with video streams. I was thinking of even getting the ethernet over power wire setup if it became an issue.

    I might pick up 2 more ATV2's today and put it to the test....
  6. macrumors 6502a

    ok, I put it to the test.....

    I started off with streaming to my 160gb ATV, and my ATV2 over wireless, and with the ATV2 playing a "HD" encode, I tried to acess another "HD" movie on my 160gb and it choked (locked up the ATV and had to reboot it). 2nd test, streamed HD movie to ATV2, and accessed a SD movie on my 160 ATV, and it worked fine.

    replaced my 160 for an ATV2, and tried the same test again and it worked fine no matter what I played. NetFlix>ATV2, HD to ATV2, SD to ATV2, pretty much everything I could think of worked fine.

    so it makes me wonder whats going on with the 160gb ATV, I pulled it out and left the ATV2 in that setup mainly because of the nexflix access (I just signed up this weekend, and its pretty cool).

    I hooked up a 3rd in our bedroom and replaced the 160 ATV in there too because of netflix but havent tried streaming to 3 yet...I will put that to the test today. I also have a 4th ready to add to the mix at some point soon, but would like to figure out why the 160 locked up on me so I can use them as well.

    its amazing how quick you can eat up some free time playing with this stuff....:D
  7. macrumors 6502

    Do you think your 160gb choked because it could not handle the stream? I have converted all of my DVD movies using the high profile preset in Handbrake. Even though they all play perfectly on the ATV2, the ATV1 chokes when trying to play them. They are not HD movies so I figured they would play on the old one with no problems.
  8. macrumors 6502a

    its possible, I only tried a couple of different movies and most all of mine are in high profile/rf18/no filters/large filesize support

    as long as the ATV2's work, I can use the 160's in other rooms.
  9. macrumors demi-god


    Any thought though on what Apple's imposed limit might be on the number of Apple TVs?

    I currently have 3 original 40GB Apple TVs and I'm thinking about adding 3 new Apple TVs.

    I'm not worried about feeding all 6 simultaneously, but I'm concerned that there may be a limit to the number of boxes permitted by iTunes. Not sure if 3 original + 3 new would be supported.

    May have to ask at the Apple store for confirmation.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    in the next few days I will see how 6 will do, but as was stated earlier, why would apple limit you to only buy so many of their products.

    im adding a ethernet over powerline kit to take my network to my basement family room since wireless doesnt do too well down there even with my airport express set to extend my network. this should take some of the load off the wireless part....but its very doubtful that I will ever stream video to more than 3 of them at any one time.
  11. macrumors 6502a

    The only limit is the network. I've streamed to 4 atvs1 over ethernet without an issue. Wireless for 2 gave me grief. Power networking for 2 was fine. These were all atvs1, haven't hooked up my atv2 yet, but can't imagine an issue with that.

    HD movies....haven't had luck running high profile to atv1s very often. I sync that content. Of course I expect the atv2 to handle them fine seeming I have no choice but to stream to it.

    So, it's all down to the network.
  12. macrumors regular

    Just to throw in my experience, i don't have 6, but i did get my 3rd atv2 yesterday (sold my original 3 atv 40gigs). They are all connected over ethernet and I had an HD encoded movie streaming to each at the same time. no surprise it worked without a hitch. No delay in startup time and never paused or hickuped (as far as I can tell checking each room). I let them go for a half hour and everything seemed fine. I use my pc for streaming and I was using photoshop and doing other things on it while it was happening, I didn't notice any impact on my computers performance.

    I have a fourth on order, will see try the same with four when it comes in a week or two.


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