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Will AppleTV Work For Me?[updated]

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ddeadserious, May 30, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    I'm trying to decide on a setup for which to enjoy my media.

    I currently have an old PC running FreeNAS containing all of my music and movie rips(.avi, .mkv, .mov). About 270GB total of media of my 500GB HD.

    I use it as a server for the computers in my house(sharing with others in my home, about 3 computers, all Macs), as well as a UPNP server to view/hear some of this media to my Xbox 360.

    Well, time has come to sell my Xbox 360, I just am not playing it anymore, so I might as well buy a device that intended for use with media.

    It seems that the Apple TV will play most, if not all of my media. I have a few questions though.

    It looks like(from my limited research) that the internal HD can be upgraded, so I'd like to pick up a 500GB laptop drive to drop in there.

    The question regarding that is, can I use this to replace my media server? Will my Macs be able to view this as a shared drive that I can take/put files to and from?

    If not, will I be able to move individual files from my server to the aTV through the aTV? Or will I have to move files from one to the other via a computer?

    If not, that's fine, it'd just be nice to have all my media in one place, rather than dropping files on to flash drives before I can take the aTV to a friends house to watch movies.

    Given my preferences, do you think this would work well for me? If not, what are some other suggestions?
  2. macrumors 6502a


    From what I'm reading, it seems like the WD TV might be a bit more suitable for me due to its versatility and ability to simply surf folders rather than have everything organized in iTunes, etc.

    I'm such a sucker for Apple though, and I love the Front Row UI...
  3. macrumors 6502a


    Ok I've swayed back to the idea of an Apple TV. I just want to confirm that this plan will work.

    I'm going to put all of my media on my 640GB portable HD. I'm going to keep this HD plugged into my Airport Extreme so that the data is still available to all the computers in my house, and then when I leave, I can take the drive with me and the Apple TV.

    Having the drive attached to the Airport Extreme should cause it to feed to the Apple TV, correct?

    I will "hack" the Apple TV so that I can plug the HD into the USB port on the back.

    Lastly, most of my files are .avi and .mov. Will I have issues playing these files? If so, are there [reliable] codecs that I can install to prevent any issues? I use Perian on my MBP and it seems to do the job well.
  4. macrumors regular

    The Apple TV can't play .avi files so you'll have to re-encode those into .m4v files, I suggest using Handbrake for that.

    Not sure about the .mov files though.
  5. macrumors newbie

    To be honest, AppleTV has a lot of flaws and avi incompatible is just one of them...:cool:
  6. macrumors 6502

    Billy Boo Bob

    He says he's going to "hack" it, so if he runs one of the many patchstick options on it, then he'll end up with Perian which will then allow .avi files to play. The .mov files will play ok on it, assuming the video track and audio track are properly encoded (.mov is just a container... the key is the encoding on the tracks). With Perian on board, you'll be able to play pretty much anything (except for high bitrate .mkv files... Most downloaded .mkv files are too much for the ATV to handle, so you'll want to re-encode them with HB).
  7. macrumors 68020

    To be honest I would not consider .avi incompatibility a "flaw". In fact I would consider the atv's incompatibility with avi's a feature. Avi sucks at best as a modern video container. Proof of this is available ad nauseum.

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