Airport Extr + USB drive + ATV2 = awesome?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by haukl, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. haukl macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    Oh Hai,

    So I intend to purchase the following home theater arrangement.

    An Airport Extreme that's got a 2TB (eventually more of course..) external drive connected to it.

    Content will be dumped on the drive by various computers in the household.

    The ATV2 will run XBMC and the intention is to then stream all content from the USB drive... a simple NAS, if you'd like.

    Will this work? Will the USB be quick enough to actually stream HD content for instance? The network will be fast enough, but I'm worried about the USB being a choke point...
  2. Koll macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Apple TV

    We've just bought a new Apple TV and it's just about to go in the dustbin. Had loads of hassle setting it up, little help available, and we managed to watch the first movie rental last night (SALT) in HD. It was great, except the ATV lost the internet connection 5 minutes before the end......nothing else losing connection anywhere in my house!

    I'm no techie, so I'm going to start a topic on it when I've got a moment, and ask on this forum before it gets the sledgehammer.
  3. TheHoff macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2008
    If you have to buy the Time Machine and the external drive, you're getting close to the point where you might as well buy a Mac Mini. Maybe a refurb? You'll be much, much happier with a real Mac running real XBMC vs. the ATV2, I think.

    Like the guy above, I got sick of the ATV2. It couldn't stream reliably and isn't even close to the Mac Mini for flexibility and speed.
  4. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    I've got a small home built PC server which has all my movies/tv shows library and have my ATV2 wired to an AEBS. XBMC works great. Make sure you hard wire it, it will help out a lot.
  5. djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2008
    USB performance is HORRIBLE on the Airport Extreme. It might be sufficient enough to stream video to the AppleTV2, but moving up to high def, not sure if it would work.

    They may have improved things since the last time I looked into it, but who knows... ;)

    If you already have wireles-n in your house, I'd recommend investing in a NAS device instead, hard wired into your router. ;)
  6. haukl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    So 720p also works Ok? Are you on wired network or wifi? If you could elaborate on your setup and what type of media files you're using that'd be great.

    Mine will be XviD's in RAR archives.

    The only hardware I don't have already is the Airport Extreme, and I'm very happy with the ATV2 in other regards.

    I'm not going to put a Mac Mini under the 3 screens I've got in my house but I will buy an ATV2 for each. Everyone is using laptops so dumping content on the USB drive seems convenient.
  7. iVeBeenDrinkin' macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2008
    I like movies and so on, but I am not obsessive about them. I find HandBrake's :apple:tv2 preset to be perfect for my needs. It compresses DVDs from 7-8GB down to 1GB, and I can use them on all my Apple products.
    I am sure I could find a more length process to get better quality compression, but HandBrake is quick and easy, and it works.

    My AEBS is wired to the :apple:tv2 for a faster connection.
  8. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB

    If you're willing to spend a little bit of money for the ideal, I'd recommend THIS. Hard drives to put in it are cheap enough to come by these days; it takes any SATA drive. Read the second review (C Blevins) for my assessment of the unit. Works great directly connected to my Linksys N router.
  9. haukl thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    yea I guess a NAS is ideal, but then I have to buy that + the router. How much is a decent Linksys then? Perhaps half of the AE? When I already have the 2TB drive?

    Not sure if it's _that_ much better... =)

    Anyway people on XBMC's forum seems confident it'll stream fine so I'll go with this and report back how it's working out.
  10. BeachChair macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2008
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I'm doing this. It works, even with 720p files.

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