Nas-to-Home Sharing Apple TV vs Nas-to-Mac iTunes Airplay Stream?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by iOrbit, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2012
    is there some differences anyone here can explain between watching movies from my NAS device on my apple tv?

    my setup has my apple tv and NAS wired by Ethernet cable to my router which should be 1GB ethernet ports.

    my MacBook is on WiFi.

    i never thought about it until the other day, but is there a big technical difference in some way, between playing a movie through my apple tv's home sharing menu (computers) or playing a movie in itunes on my MacBook and airplay streaming it through itunes to the Apple TV?

    i ask this also because iv had some buffering issues lately on my apple tv.

    any help or knowledge in this area would be appreciated, thanks
  2. HMI
    macrumors 6502a


    May 23, 2012
    Most NAS devices are "file storage" not "file servers," which makes a big difference in the functionality of streaming services like iTunes over AirPlay.

    When you open iTunes, you are actually turning on an "iTunes Server" service in the background that is designed to be a media file server, and is far more advanced than just storing and opening a file. It is negotiating and managing the best way for two wireless devices to communicate in order to share files progressively over time across a wide variety of network configurations and conditions.

    This is why some people choose to use a Mac mini, because it is designed to run a full version of the iTunes server to better "serve" that content to your AppleTV.

    Your gigabit Ethernet will be super fast until the signal is broadcast over wifi by your router, which is usually much slower, and may reduce the signal speed by enough to ruin your media experience.

    Home sharing is just an on/off settings option that authenticates your eligibility to "share" iTunes content with yourself on a different device you are already authorized to use with your content, then enables your "right" and ability to do so.

    AirPlay, again, is the streaming service that Apple uses to play your iTunes content between your devices, and it may be dependent on Home Sharing being enabled (I don't recall off-hand if this always the case.)

    Obviously, there will be many different opinions on which methods and devices work best (and I've never personally jailbroken any devices to try them), but using specifically tested and recommended devices will be your best bet to make your media experience worthwhile.

    Hopefully, others here might provide you more specific details geared towards your own setup.

    Good luck!

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