1st Gen Apple TV with Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Dregor104, May 13, 2017.

  1. Dregor104 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 13, 2017
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a first gen Apple TV with a hard drive which I would like to start using at the cottage but I can't seem to see it in iTunes to load movies onto it when connected to my network. Does anyone know if I can still use this device for this purpose? I have purchased a number of movies from iTunes over the years which I could load onto this device for the lake. I have no internet access at the lake so the 1st generation Apple TV is perfect for this use if I can still download movies from iTunes onto it. Thanks for your time.

    Regards,
    Dregor104.
     
  2. Longkeg macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #2
    Does it boot up properly? When you connect it to a TV (via HDMI cable) and turn it on what do you see?
     
  3. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    #3
    Hello Longkey,

    Thank you for responding. Yes it boots up properly and I see the main menu apple TV menu screen on the TV (Movies, TV shows, etc...), it is different then the new Apple TV menu screen of course.

    Thanks,
    Dregor104.
     
  4. Longkeg macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #4
    If i recall correctly the set up/pairing process in iTunes was a little different with the 1st gen ATV. Like the early iPhones they could only be paired with one iTunes/computer at a time. Have you tried a full factory restore of the ATV? Look in the settings menu for this option. A restore should erase any previous pairings and allow a normal set up. In the mean time use your Google skills to research this old beast. If you're going to be loading your own content you'll want to make sure your stuff is compatible. The ATV1 was pretty picky as to file type and resolution.
     
  5. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    #5
    Hi Longkeg,

    That's a good idea which I have not tried yet. I will look to see if I can reset it back to its factory settings. All the media files I would be using are Apple media files actually. I have purchased my library from the Apple store over the years. I had some .avi movie files from back in the early to mid 90's but I had burnt them to disk a long time ago. Thank you for your time.

    Regards,
    Dregor104.
     
  6. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    #6
    Hi Longkeg,

    I just wanted to thank you for your help because your suggestion worked. There was a factory reset option in the settings menu and once done I was able to sync it to my current computers iTunes account. I feel kinda silly for not thinking of that myself now but I didn't, so thank you:). As long as it keeps running this should work for me out at the lake.


    Take care,
    Dregor104.
     
  7. Longkeg macrumors regular

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    S. Florida
    #7
    No problem and good luck with it. Keep in mind that the ATV1 doesn't do 1080 resolution. So even if your content is bought from Apple, 1080 stuff won't play or even load. You'll have to use the SD versions.
     
  8. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    #8
    DOH!... This will be the next hurdle for me to get over. I can see that the movies are in 1080 resolution within iTunes. Maybe I will have to find another solution for the lake - lol. Thanks again Longkeg.


    Regards,
    Dregor104.
     
  9. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
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    Inside
    #9
    You should have the option of downloading the 720p version of the movie in either iTunes or on the Apple TV itself.
     
  10. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    #10
    Oh good, thank you Intell. I will look into downloading the 720p versions of the movies I have purchased.


    Regards,
    Roger.
     
  11. Longkeg macrumors regular

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    Jul 18, 2014
    Location:
    S. Florida
    #11
    Agreed. If the content was legitimately bought from Apple you should be able to log in to the iTunes store on the ATV and re-download all purchases. The proper version will automatically be downloaded to the device. If for some reason that doesn't work there's always Handbrake, a free app available for Mac or PC. It can, among many other things, resize your content so it will play on your ATV (but there is a bit of a learning curve and it is time consuming).

    At this point I have to ask if you have an iPhone or iPad. If you do and if it has a decent amount of storage, a $50 HDMI dongle (from Apple) will turn that iOS device into a full HD video source. Legacy devices, like the ATV 1 are called obsolete for a reason. Apple has moved on. You'll see the ATV 1 mentioned a lot on these forums because expert hobbyists love to hack it and make it do things it was not designed to do. For the general consumer however it's usually not worth the time and effort.
     
  12. Dregor104 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 13, 2017
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    Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
    #12
    Hi Longkeg,

    Well this is interesting... HDMI dongle you say...? We are a total Apple family with 4 iPhones, 2 iPads, 1 iPad mini, 2 -27" Macs, 1 older (2010) MacBook Pro laptop, Airport Express time capsule (3TB), airport extreme to extend the network and 7 Apple TV's of various versions. I could even be forgetting about an Apple device or two... In the mid 90's I gave up on PC's because I spent most of time updating software, drivers, hardware, etc... I did purchase a Surface Pro 4 this past Christmas but I returned it after a month. I learned I am to old to bother relearning Windows again even if it has improved. My iPhone is a 6 plus with a capacity of 60gig which should be good to download a couple movies. It would be nice to watch these movies in a higher resolution if available. For the past few years the 1st gen Apple TV was just sitting in a drawer (retired) but it has a hard drive so I figured hey why not try and use it for the lake since you can download movies onto it but this HDMI dongle sounds like an even better idea... This is an awesome place to ask for help. I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to assist me in this. I am not totally technology illiterate but I obviously don't keep up with the most recent toys or options available:).

    I am going to look into this HDMI dongle and probably put my Apple 1st Gen TV back in the drawer:). Who knows maybe in another 10 years it will be a collectors item - lol.


    Talk soon,
    Dregor104.
     
  13. Longkeg, May 19, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017

    Longkeg macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    S. Florida
    #13
    That 2010 MBP along with a cheap mini display port to HDMI adapter dongle (check eBay) and maybe a USB portable external hard drive for extra storage capacity would make a sweet portable entertainment system. Just verify that you MacBook supports audio over HDMI. 2010 is right about the time Apple started doing this. Older models only supported video over HDMI with the audio coming from the audio jack.

    You may find you won't need to wait 10 years for your ATV1 to be collectible. Those "expert hobbyist hackers" are always looking for new projects.
     
  14. rmm805 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    #14

    IMO, the Apple TV 1 is still a great device if you're looking for something that can do offline playback.

    As mentioned, just make sure in your iTunes preferences that you de-select the option to download the full HD movies (or something to that effect). iTunes will then download the 720p copy of the movie which can be synced to your Apple TV.

    You can even easily open up your Apple TV and upgrade the HDD to a larger capacity version.

    The nice thing about the Apple TV vs using the video out on your iPhone is that you can still use the included remote.
     

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