40gb or 160gb?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cubedweller, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. cubedweller macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2007
    I'm planning on purchasing an :apple:TV today and was wondering what people recommend. I'm leaning towards the 40gb as I can just buy external hard drives and stream the content to the :apple:TV. My only hesitation is that I'm still on a "G" network and am curious as to how well this solution will work. The base-station will not be far from the :apple:TV (and I could hard-wire it but would rather not). Does anyone think this is a bad idea? Some opinions would be great.

  2. oursfan macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2007
    It really depends on what you will be syncing to the ATV. I have the 160G and only sync my music to it and stream all of the video. I have about 135g of music on it now so a 40 gig would not work for me if I wanted to continue to sync the music. I like the fact that I can just play my music over the ATV without having to have my Mac on. I have all of my video content on a separate external HD connected to my Mac and all of that just streams wirelessly to the ATV. I do not really see a reason for most people that have a large movie library to sync the video to the ATV because it will fill up quickly. So, just streaming is my vote for video and for audio for that matter. If your computer is going to stay on for the most part and the ATV can stream content from it, then stick with the 40gig. I am on an N network though, so I can not say that there will be a clean transfer over the G network. I am sure that it will be fine though. I think if you are going to have problems in the network area it will just be that it will take longer to download movies. Not much longer though. At least that is what I would guess.

    I got the 160g on sale and it only ended up being the same price as the 40g. That was a while back though. Before the price drop.
  3. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    Get the 40GB, it is pointless to me to buy a 160GB when I still cannot get all my movies on the ATV. I have about 1TB of movies, but you have to decide if you want to leave your computer on all the time like I do to watch movies, etc.

    The "G" solution should not be an issue if your router is not to far from ATV.

    Good luck and enjoy.

    EDIT: When I buy one for the kids room, I will probably buy the 160 GB and just sync the kids movies so the Mac does not have to be on or connected when they want to watch movies.
  4. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    This question has been posted a million times.

    Get the 40gig and use streaming. The 160gig is worthless because odds are that you would max that out as well. Streaming works beautifully for me.
    I sync my music collection and stream video.
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

    The odds are less that you'd max out the 160 by 4:1.

    Since the ATV2 update we routinely have stuttering issues with movies encoded with Handbrake's ATV Preset (MPEG4 H.264/AAC/AC3) with 2-pass enabled. The only solution is to sync files. And yes, we're using an 802.11n AEBS. Soon, mine will have a 750 gig drive.
  6. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    This is a very personal decision. The first question I think you need to ask yourself is: do you want to always have your computer on/awake? If your computer is always on and awake, then streaming will probably work fine. If you prefer to sleep your computer when you're not using it (for noise/reliability/energy/whatever reasons), you might prefer to sync most of your material.

    In my opinion, the 160 GB is worth the extra money. I sync most of my music and photos. I would have already maxed out the 40GB version with music and photos. I haven't put much video on it yet, though I will definitely be putting some movies on it after I get my MacPro in a few months (it just takes too long to convert DVDs on my old PowerMac to rip any movies right now).

    How do you plan to use it?

    And I would ignore advice from anyone who says one or the other is absolutely the way to go. They don't have the imagination to understand how someone else's needs and uses might be different from their own. You need to understand how you're going to use it and make the decision based on that.
  7. Maynerd macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2007
    I went with the 160gb version.

    I have about 90GB of music and I expect to have well over 160gb worth of videos.

    I felt the extra money to have my entire music collection on the ATV so I can play it without streaming was worth it.
  8. sfwidescreen macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2008
    I would wire it if you can. If you're wired, and you're leaving your Mac on all the time (I am for EyeTV) then you don't need any hard drive on the :apple:TV.

    If you're unwired or don't need to leave the Mac on, you need to consider the calculations above.
  9. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    I have 3Tb of movies and music so it didn't make much of a difference for me whether I got the 40 or the 160 since I figured I'd be streaming everything anyway. I stream all movies, tv shows, and music and I haven't had any issues with latency over my G network. Don't really know why everyone else has issues with streamed video being choppy, but it works fine for me.

    If your mac is on all the time anyway, save some money and buy the 40
  10. utekineir macrumors 6502

    Feb 20, 2008
    I stream everything, so hard drive size is irrelevant.

    But thats just what works for my situation since i've never had any connection issues, and i leave my desktop with the itunes library on all the time anyway.
  11. Maynerd macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2007
    3tb? DAMN! I hope you got that all backed up!
  12. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    I got the 160GB, so I don't disagree with your post generally, but the logic of your 4:1 statement is a little off. You're assuming that data usage tendencies increase linearly. In other words, for your 4:1 conclusion to bear out, people would have to be half as likely to use 2n GB than they are to use 1n GB, for all values of n. I strongly doubt this is true.

    The real reason why the 40GB is probably the smarter buy for most people is that I suspect there are plenty of people for whom 40GB will always be enough -- these are people who are mostly renting movies and storing a few home movies. The people who need more than 40GB probably are likely also to need more than 160GB -- so they might as well buy the smaller one and get used to streaming.
  13. cubedweller thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2007
    This was my initial thought. The extra 120gb is not all that much considering I store most of my media on a 500gb external. I'm going to go with the 40gb.

    Thanks for all the replies :D
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    It's just ball park to make a point. The truth is, if you sync and your content is less than 40 gigs, then there's no chance you'll fill either. If it's 100 gigs, then there's a 100% chance you'll fill up the 40 gig drive and 0% chance that you'll fill the the 160. If you have 200 gigs, then the chance is 100% that both drives will fill up.

    Do you have any evidence to support the term "most"?

    And evidence for this? A randomized survey of Apple TV owners would be sufficient to satisfy me.
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    1. Do you have children in your house for whom you'd like to control what they see on the ATV?

    2. Provided you are using wireless, do you have other devices on your network that might compete with bandwidth?

    3. Do you encode DVDs with the Apple TV preset (AAC and AC3 audio)?

    These are the three reasons I want more, not less, ATV hard drive space.
  16. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    I have to weigh in on this one. I bought the 160, and don't regret it for a moment. We have a lot of music, a lot of images/photos, and have enough free space on Apple TV to not have to worry.

    I am not done acquiring music. Or art. Or digital images.

    Are you?

    Buying a 40 seems, well, short-sighted, unless you plan to use it solely for streaming.
  17. cubedweller thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2007
    Not sure if this is appropriate for these forums but I plan on patching the :apple:TV to support other media types. In doing this, it was my understanding that I would have to stream any file type that isn't supported by iTunes. So in this case, most of my media would be streamed -- am I wrong in this assumption?

    Other than that, my main reason for purchasing an :apple:TV would be the ability to rent movies on the fly. I'm not sure if it will replace my DirectTV (I doubt it) but the library of "movies on demand" would be vastly increased with the :apple:TV.

    And lastly, to play music easily via the surround sound. I'm not a huge music collector -- I probably have over 40gb but I only sync about 3gb to my iPhone and it seems to be more than enough for me. Will this grow? Probably. But I don't see it growing beyond the 40gb capacity. I maybe have another 4-5gb in photos which I would like to sync over. So now I'm at about 10gb of media that I know I will sync instantly. The rest, I feel, will end up being unused space.

    Thanks again!
  18. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    You'd best get a definitive answer about hacked Apple TVs being able to rent. It's my understanding they canNOT.

    Do not take my word for it. Go to awkwardTV and find out for yourself.
  19. cubedweller thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2007
    Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely read up on that before I purchase one.

  20. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    The 40Gb Apple TV seems like the better deal provided you don't mind leaving the computer on and you have a good network. I am on a wireless G network and all content loads instantly on it. If the Apple TV could stream photos I would not even need its internal hard drive.
  21. Tom Sawyer macrumors 6502a

    Tom Sawyer

    Aug 29, 2007
    General question for you guys streaming: Any way around it having to be iTunes sharing out a library to stream? Specifically, I have a 2tb NAS (Infrant ReadyNAS NV) which can do all types of streaming uPnp, AFP/SMB, etc. Even can act as an iTunes server for audio files. I currently use XBMC for accessing video on my NAS but the hardware is not exactly slick by todays standards, and limited only to SD source, not enough power in the old hardware. I appreciate any thoughts on this. What would be optimal is being able to somehow create a link in the appleTV to my AFP share for my video like I can for Front Row on my iMac.
  22. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    i am grappling with this as well. I have a MBP though and it goes where I go in my apt. Its 120gb HD wouldn't really be enough to hold all my movies (i have a big dvd collection) and I would like to have my movies all ripped to the :apple:tv like a movie server. I have an airport express and like sctreaming my music to it which is connected to my ht system.

    I don't care about music, its movies i am looking to use with the :apple:tv.

    I'd like to know if anyone here uses their :apple:tv with a MBP/MB?
  23. Sol macrumors 68000


    Jan 14, 2003
    Apple TV is limited to MP4 and H.264 videos that are in your iTunes library so you have to drag files like that into your iTunes before the device can stream them. So long as the external hard-drive or network drive that holds those files is mounted on your computer Apple TV should be able to play them. In iTunes preferences there is an option to copy files added to your library into the system drive or leave them where they came from so choose the later option.

    I believe there are software hacks you can do to modify the Apple TV for playback of other type of files like DivX but from all accounts it is a pain to do so and not worth the effort.
  24. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I do. I've got an external USB drive attached to my laptop that holds all of my movies and TV shows. More often than I expected, I've been watching a movie via AppleTV and wanted to bring my laptop in to the room while watching it but could not because I needed to have the USB drive plugged in. It's also annoying for my roommate if I go away because I usually take my laptop and he's left with whatever I've sync'd to the AppleTV. I feel like the biggest hard drive available to put into the AppleTV would be a 250gb (maybe 320?) but my movie collection even exceeds that.
    What I'm considering doing is either putting the biggest possible drive into my AppleTV and syncing as much content as I can then hopefully not needing to stream much OR purchasing the 1TB time capsule (or airport router + usb drive) and then the external drive will be wirelessly connected to my laptop at all times and I can move the laptop around where I want and still stream. I'm not sure, but from what I've read if your network is quick enough streaming from the router to your computer and then from your computer to the AppleTV is fine, but even if you have to let it load a bit at the start, it's much more convenient than having a laptop that you can't move around while watching the AppleTV.
  25. lowonthe456 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    yeah, this is what i am thinking. though I have been considering upgrading the hdd in my MBP to the largest i can find but i don't know. i might go the time capsule route too

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