Why doesn't Apple TV offer support for external HDDs?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ss957916, Jul 22, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #1
    I so desperately want an ATV but just don't see the point in buying one when, if I ripped all my DVDs I'd have about 1TB of data.

    Can anyone hazard a guess as to why Apple have crippled them so as not to allow an external drive to be added? Seems a really odd move to me.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    MI
    #2
    So they can have a reason to update if they ever do. :p
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    #3
  4. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    Because the idea is to stream from your iTunes library on your Mac.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #5
    I'm really not interested in hacking stuff - don't want to spend £300 on a product that doesn't do what I want it to and then immediately void the warranty in an effort to make it better.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #6
    If you want to avoid hacking you could do what I did: buy an Airport Extreme and attach an external 1TB hard drive to the USB port.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #7
    Don't get me started on Airports!!

    Nice idea but I use an airport express so I can stream music to my hifi so would rather not have another base station, but that's food for thought.

    If only the airport extreme would stream music too. Another case of apple crippling their products!
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #8
    Interesting that no-one has said why (except so they have a reason to update) so maybe I'll just keep waiting til they're updated... Anyone know when that might be?
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    To force you to have iTunes open so you can stream, which means they have more chance to sell you something, as the computer is likely to be connected to the internet and all the sales and rentals will be a couple of clicks away. If it were all on a local hard drive it wouldn't need an computer connection to work, so there is less temptation.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    BTW streaming works very well IMO and you can easily get away with a 40GB :apple:TV, mine was £132 from the refurb store, they usually come up once a week, check just after 00:30hrs for the best chance of getting one.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    #11
    Ah ok - didn't know you could stream stuff from your computer! Thanks for that - I'm off to read further!!
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #12
    Although streaming is one way to get around the storage issue, it isn't always convenient (and sometimes wasteful) to leave your computer on, particularly when your only computers are notebooks (Snow Leopard will get around this issue, however).

    I seriously hope the next update to Apple TV will bring expandable storage, or at least larger hard disk capacity at reasonable price.
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    #13
    Just get a cheap old Mac and set it up as an iTunes server. I have a G4 450 PowerMac in my basement with about 1.2 TB worth of external HDD hooked to it to stream to the :apple:TV.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #14
    I'm not convinced that there's a large enough user base who needs a large capacity Apple TV. I bet that the problem mostly exists for us (the enthusiast crowd) and we find ways to work around the issue. I also think that Apple's true solution is a Time Capsule in conjunction with the streaming improvement coming in Snow Leopard.

    I think Apple would be very smart to allow users to stream directly from the iTunes Store and let users stop worrying about storing/backing up their purchases.
     
  15. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #15
    I have the apple TV. Ordered the refurb 40gb, because I don't want the media stored on the device itself. I have it hard wired from the Apple tv, to a 8 year old Dell desktop found at a garage sale, with a 1tb hard drive running itunes. Works like a charm. I have never had issues with delays, lags, ect. Just works perfectly.

    Apple Tv was $200, drive was $100, machine was $25....for $325 I have hundreds of Tv shows, movies, and songs pumped through the TV. Just love it!
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    upinflames900

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    #16
    It is a software hack only, so I am pretty sure that would not void the warranty. You can always restore it to its original state and no one would even know.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Maserati7200

    #17
    Yes, but with the 2nd version of :apple:TV you don't need a computer. You could download movies directly onto an :apple:TV without using a computer.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Galley

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #18
    Why would you want an external hard drive attached to the :apple:tv? Everytime you wanna add something new to it, you have to unplug it, connect it to your computer, and transfer the new stuff to it. That's why :apple:tv streams everything. so there's no hassle.
     
  19. macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
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    #19
    But the idea is to back that up in iTunes... and then stream. It's all about the streaming.

    There is one Apple TV. The second version of the software, yes, but there has been only one Apple TV.
     
  20. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #20
    So I don't have to leave my iMac on. I want my 750 GB of video painstakingly ripped from DVD to my AppleTV so I can let my iMac sleep. I want to have all the speed of direct attach (even over USB2) instead of having to go through the latency of going to Shared Videos -> iMac Library (this takes a long time)-> before picking something. Heaven help me if I put my iMac to sleep while my kids are watching a video. If Apple would support it, iTunes could keep track of the videos on any drive they cared about and the external would never need to unplug, plug, replug / whatever hassle you dreamed up.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #21
    This had been one of my issues with the Apple TV. The network latency involved in streaming had exarcerbated the occasional sluggishness of the Apple TV software. Moreover, I've found that letting your computer go to sleep would cause Itunes to forget that the Apple TV was there even when the computer awoke from sleep. Supremely annoying to my non-techy wife when the only movies to appear were the 40 GB of synced content.

    With the ATV flash hack (and other (free) solutions) you can attach an external and make the Apple TV see that drive as its primary storage. Itunes plays along as well. For example, my Itunes shows the capacity of my 40 GB unit as 1 TB thanks to my external.

    Been working pretty well for about a week. The downside with this approach is that you need to sync the files to the Apple TV rather than just dump them on the external.

    I know there are solutions that let the Apple TV see an external without the need to sync movies but I wanted to keep the experience for my wife as close to the non-hacked Apple TV as possible.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    iStudentUK

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #22
    I sympathise with the OP, many users here have suggested work-arounds but this doesn't change the fact that this shouldn't be a problem in the first place.

    Apple TV is a great concept, but the device is crippled. There are of course ways around the problem of no external hard drive support (hacks, streaming etc) but I do not want to hack and void warranty or have my computers on to stream data- I just want it there on the device!

    The other major problem it has is the lack of supported codecs, what about Divx or the very common avi?!

    The product really needs an upgrade (who still makes 40 GB disks?!), it could be great and pave the way for the transfer away from optical media, but Apple seem to have forgotten about this little device.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Mirai 11

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    #23
    Can you tell me how you did this? I'm tryin to get that to work and understand but no luck so far.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #24
    It definitely needs an update. The one problem with Apple's reluctance to offer even minor updates midstream is stuff like this. Prices on stuff go down (like HDDs), and yet it's about a year and a half since the last update at the same price. Why can't the 40GB version drop to $199 or get a HDD boost?

    I also can't curse the UI/OS of ATV enough. It should be reworked a lot and given a spiffy remote that can do more than an old-school NES controller.
     
  25. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2006
    #25
    SuperDA,

    Here is a link to the Wiki for the ATV Flash method. I've seen other threads here that go over the steps as well. Follow these steps and it works.

    http://wiki.atvflash.com/index.php?title=USB_Primary_Storage

    You don't need to purchase the ATV flash package to make this work as long as you have used a patchstick.
     

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