About to get new ATV and have some Qs

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by m7ammed, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. m7ammed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    #1
    Hello,

    I've decided to switch to ATV/iTunes for my media consumption. I'm about to get an new Apple TV by the end of this week. After some research I realized that the ATV can only stream and not store any media I purchase from iTunes. Here are some points about my situation:
    • Currently using a 2010 13" Macbook pro with a 500GB HD (only 50 GB free) and planning on replacing that with an iMac in the future not sure when though.
    • Other Apple devices we own at our household are : mine(iPhone 6 plus, iPad Air), wife's(iPhone 6, 2012 13" MBA)
    • only internet connection I have is through cellular, and until now seems to be a hit and miss every now and then. I have no other options. This means I would prefer to download stuff then view instead of stream most of the time. If the connection is good then streaming would be fine .
    So now for the questions:
    1. As you can see I currently have limited storage on my MBP, whats the best way to go about finding a solution/setup to this problem? Can I buy a Apple time-capsule and store my iTunes library on there for example? a solution that would also allow content access from various apple devices would be a good one.
    2. When getting a season pass for a TV show, does that mean that I bought the season, and episodes downloaded will still work even after the season has ended? My understanding is a season pass is just buying a season but at a discount, is my understanding correct?
    3. When streaming does the ATV buffer? Would I be able to start a movie pause it and let it load for while?
     
  2. ielessar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2015
    Location:
    WJ
    #2
    1. You can buy an external hdd and set it as your itunes library, but I don't know how a Time Capsule works. I guess its possible.
    2. Can't answer this, I never bought a season pass.
    3. Yes, you can do this.
     
  3. Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #3
    kinda correct on the season pass : https://support.apple.com/en-au/HT202729

    I would bet its a discount.....

    Apple TV does buffer content. so providing a TV show/movie is buffered in full, it won't be internet connection again. so it will start playing faster
     
  4. Boyd01, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    I tried putting my library on a 2TB Time Capsule for awhile. It works, but there are a lot of "gotchas". The time capsule disk spins down instantly unless it is being accessed, so you frequently wait for it to spin up. There were many instances were a movie would pause for awhile for no obvious reason. Even bigger problem is that iTunes is not happy if it doesn't find the library when it starts. If anything breaks your network connection, it can corrupt the iTunes library. I had to rebuild mine twice during the few months I used the Time Capsule.

    It's also a pain to backup your library. You cannot do this with Time Machine or locally on the Time Capsule. You need to plug a disk into your computer and run a backup program. This is really slow with a big library because the Time Capsule disk is really slow over the network. Using gigabit ethernet, it maxes out around 50MB/sec.

    Was not happy with the whole setup, so now I just use the time capsule for what it was intended - backing up my my Mac! :)

    I got a base model Mac Mini with a 3TB drive and it just runs iTunes 24/7 with home sharing. That makes everything available to my 2 Apple TVs, MBA, iPhone 6s+ and my guests i-devices. Really happy with this setup, has been trouble free for the past 18 months.

    You could just put your library on a USB external drive and use your MBP if you like though. If you do this, I suggest you also locate the iTunes database on the external drive. Normally it defaults to your internal drive even if the media is on an external drive. This is where you get into trouble if you start iTunes and the external drive isn't connected. As long as both the media and database are on the external though, you should be ok.

    I found this article very helpful: http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/articles/comments/moving-your-itunes-library-to-a-new-hard-drive/

    I'm in a rural area and the best internet connection I can get is DSL that maxes out about 1megabit/sec (on a good day). I find that pretty poor for streaming. Frequently pauses, even though I have things set for standard definition. So I just don't use streaming. Most of my media was ripped from DVD, but I have a few movies purchased on iTunes. It can take a few hours to download a 720p movie, but after that it's in my library and available when I want it.

    Never bought any TV shows so I don't know how that works.
     
  5. m7ammed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    #5
    I might do the external HD thing until I get an iMac which can be on all the time. Thanks for tips!
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
  7. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #7
    Agree TC is not a good solution it's always powering down the drive and takes an age to wake up.
    Go for NAS, more expandable and it's not connected to other devices still.
     
  8. m7ammed thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 21, 2010
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    Saudi Arabia
    #8
    Any NAS recommendations that will work well with an all Apple setup?
     
  9. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #9
    Any, I have a Synology device but the great thing about NAS is it's complete independence.
     
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    Well, except that no NAS supports iTunes Homesharing, at least not directly. I run a Windows VM on my NAS for that purpose, but otherwise you still need a computer with iTunes running if you want to be able to select iTunes content on the Apple TV.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 24, 2016 ---
    Hopefully you have a wireless plan with unlimited data volume without throttling. A single TV episode in HD is typically 1.5-2GB on iTunes ...

    You need a computer running Mac OS or Windows with iTunes to serve iTunes content on your local network. The cheapest way is to use an old computer or an inexpensive Windows box. The most elegant solution is to use a small form-factor computer like a Mac Mini or something like an Intel NUC with a 2.5" HDD slot.
    Buying a season pass just means that you prepurchase a season before all episodes are available. So yes, the episodes are yours to keep.
    In theory yes, in practice this doesn't always work as expected. On a slow connection, you may face long delays before you can watch. Downloading in advance is usually better in such cases.
     
  11. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #11
    That is exactly why I got a mini for an iTunes server. And it is simplicity itself; it boots right into iTunes and really needs no care or feeding. I rip new movies on my MBA, then copy with file sharing to a folder on the Mini where they're automatically added to iTunes. Carbon Copy clones the media drive to another external drive every night.

    If you want all your media to be available through the standard AppleTV interface (via the "computers" icon) then you need a machine running iTunes. I guess there are more options now with the ATV4 using Plex, but that wasn't available when I setup my system. And it's more complicated and doesn't support your iTunes purchases either.

    Whatever you get, make sure you have a method for backing it up. And I don't consider a RAID as a backup personally. I want a removable drive that I can store in another location.
     
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #12
    I have pretty much the same setup (including the "add to iTunes" folder), but it's running in a Windows VM on the NAS (a QNAP TS-451). The QNAP has a feature called "Virtualization Station" that allows you to run VMs directly on the NAS. Performance isn't great for interactive use, but it's plenty for an iTunes Homesharing server. I just upgraded the RAM on the NAS.

    I used to use a computer as well, but my media collection has grown so big that even a 6TB drive doesn't have enough capacity now. :D
    Yes, a NAS is not a backup solution. But NAS software typically provides convenient ways to make backups on external storage. I currently use a mix of "naked" SATA HDDs via a USB 3.0 docking station that's connected to the NAS, and cloud backup of some critical files to Amazon S3. The cloud backup is done on a schedule, and the HDD backup jobs are started automatically when I insert a drive into the docking station. Very convenient.
     
  13. m7ammed, Jan 24, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

    m7ammed thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Location:
    Saudi Arabia
    #13
    So an all the time on 5k iMac connected to an external storage that is backed up to another disk should do the trick. I will use the external disk method from my MBP until I get an iMac for the next 2-4 months.
     
  14. AFEPPL macrumors 68020

    AFEPPL

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2014
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Well for ATV correct, music, no.
    I used to do that, but i got rid of the mini and moved library onto a windows PC (physical not virtual) which i have to say has been more stable than my mini was.

    If i had to do my time or setup again, i would defiantly be going for an Intel NUC rather than a mini for the compute element and as a dedicated media PC. I only used the other PC as it was around and doing nothing really. I was even surprised how fluid the windows OS on a 2010 HP when compared to OS X on the mini.
     

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