New AppleTV owner. What is USB for?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by thejakill, Jun 13, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502

    thejakill

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    #1
    what is the USB for on AppleTV? what can you do with it? can you attach an extra hard drive?
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Places
    #2
    "Service"
    but for hacking, and some use external keyboard. etc. google around for fun with it.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #3
    Yes, you can attach an external HD - it can either be used instead of the internal hd or additionally.
    To use the USB port, you need to hack your ATV with a so-called "Patchstick".
    The external drive has to be formatted in Apple format (HFS+) or FAT.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Airforcekid

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    United States of America
    #4
    You can hack it to play hulu check out ATV Flash.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    thejakill

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    #5
    do i have to hack it to use an external keyboard?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #6
    well there aren't any functions built in to the apple tv that would necessitate the use of a keyboard. you would have to hack it and install hulu, couch surfer, xbmc, etc anyway in order to need the keyboard for anything!
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #7
    ATVFlash does not support Hulu outside of US. If you are outside US, check patchstick.ca for full vpn integration
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #8
    The hacks that need an external keyboard (e.g. Firefox) are pretty cumbersome to use. You can use Apple's Remote app for iPhone / Ipod Touch to enter text on the AppleTV.
    Another possibility to control aTV is to use Rowmote
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #9
    I really wanted to have an external hd since my itunes library is currently over 450gb so I went the patchstick.ca route. It seemed cheap at $25 to enable usb and make it the primary sync drive but I didnt realize I had to also purchase a subscription to their patchstick service. Now I've paid $30/year and $25 once to get it working. Its still cheaper then buying a 320 gig internal drive that still won't fit all I need. I already have an extra external drive to use. I'll let you know when its all up and running to see if its worth it, they are still activating my account.

    Zack
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    thejakill

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    #10
    ok. new appleTV is up and running. using a new dell 20 monitor and my bose speakers. the whole thing looks and sounds great. syncing works great with my itunes on my powermac.

    the only problem i have is that i'm trying to rent gran torino off the appleTV. it's downloaded 32% and now it's stopped. i've tried restarting everything, resetting the internet, the airport extreme base station. nothing seems to work.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    TRAG

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Louisiana, USA
    #11
    Can Plex be ran on the ATV? I was looking into getting a Mac mini but from knowing I can hack it to run an external HDD and Hulu, that's good too. I have a MB for that. I just can't decide. Do any of you think that the ATV will be updated? I have a feeling it might.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    Just know that you cannot add an external HDD and have it function with the original interface (which to me is the ATV's real strength). If you add an external HDD with all your media files on it, you need to access them through one of the third-party add-on apps. Granted, they can be made to look really nice, and I'm be no mean demeaning those (nice work, developers), but they are AFAIK not able to use the video-card, and thus your movies may stutter.
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, this is just based on my own experience.
    I also know that you can add an external drive and have the ATV think it's its main drive, but I don't know what happens when there is a software update and your hacks are suddenly erased (thus I never dared try this).
     
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #13
    No, you cannot run Plex an the ATV.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #14
    That is not true - i use an external HD on my ATV and play my files with the ATVFiles plugin (which is very lean and nicely done) and there is no stuttering.
    You can also use the external HD as the main HD to sync with itunes

    You will have to re-enable that symlink to get it running again. But usually you deactivate the automatic update function and only upgrade the firmware when new plugins for the updated software are available.
    This is what I recommend and it is done automatically by our software.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Well, as I said, you have to use 3rd party software, which ATVFiles is. And I have used it, and, depending on how your files are encoded, it stutters on files the original software can play smoothly (CABAC, 5000 kbps). It is my understanding that this is caused by lack of access to the video-hardware for any 3rd party software (got that from the XBMC forums).
    What I'm saying is simply, if adding an external HDD to an ATV is a deal-breaker for a potential buyer, be aware of what is meant by "ability to add an external HDD". And remember that there are free patchsticks available that works just as well as anything you pay for.

    And now, to the OP, sorry for that bit of thread-jacking, I don't know why your ATV does not just download the file. In my experience, it always just works. It cannot be caused by some download-cap or router problems? Is the ATV still connected to the internet when it stops downloading? (then it may be on Apple's side - mail them!)
     

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