Apple TV 1st or 2nd gen...?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dearlouise, Nov 11, 2011.

  1. dearlouise macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    My iMac is nearly at full capacity due to the 300+ movies on there.

    Do I...

    Buy 160gb apple tv 1st gen so I can transfer most of the movies across?

    Buy apple tv 2nd gen & get additional storage via ext hard drive?

    Or something else...???
  2. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Personally, I'd buy an ATV1 and upgrade the HDD to a size big enough for all your movies.
  3. mmagbee macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2009
    you actually have a few options. You can:
    1. do what the response above suggests as its a great idea.
    2. Buy an external TB hdd and move your music and movies to it and then use the aTV1 or 2 to stream your content. If you do buy the TB drive it would be cheaper to buy the ATV2 plus the ATV2 seems to be a bit quicker.

    I have both ATV1 and 2. and I use a MACPro with a 2tb drive with all my items on it. Just change the location of your itunes directory within itunes.

    Both options work. however the ATV2 with a bigger HDD on your iMAC is a longer term solution.

  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    If you get the ATV1 you have internal storage upgradeable to at least 1 TB, plus you can use the USB port to connect an external HDD for additional storage space...
  5. HobeSoundDarryl, Nov 11, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    You shouldn't think of :apple:TV version 1 as a storage device (even though you can sync movies to it's internal hard drive and/or upgrade that hard drive to create even more space). Syncing means that a copy of the movie is pushed to that :apple:TV hard drive; it does not mean you can store 1 single copy there and then delete it from your iMac. This approach will work until the next time you want to sync (say- to push over a new movie) at which point the deletion of the movies from your iMac will sync the deletion of movies on the :apple:TV (you'll have no copies of the movies left).

    What you need- either way- is a big media hard drive to attach to that iMac, move all those movies out to that drive to free up the space, and then go with either :apple:TV version 1 or version 2 for how you get the movies from that (new) drive to your TV screen.

    There are a few other options (modestly more complicated) such as jailbreaking version 1 so that you can attach a USB hard drive to it to give you more space than internal drive (upgrade) sizes. The general concept of both version 1 and version 2 is to keep your master (media) files on your computer, not delete them and have only 1 copy on version 1.

    If you have 300+ movies at about 2GB (I'm guessing) each, you need at least about 600+GB of external storage for them. If you want to buy some space for future movie additions, you probably should look to about 1TB or more. just did a quick search to see that a variety of 1TB external firewire drives are under $100 right now (and 2TB drives are under $130). At about 2GB per movie, a 1TB drive would give you capacity to grow your collection up to about 500 movies and 2TB would give you space for about 1000 movies.

    My suggestion, buy 2 such drives so that you can backup your movies (or maybe a 1TB for movie collection storage and a 2TB+ for Time Machine to automate the backups). Then, either an :apple:TV version 1 or version 2 can be your transport of movie files to the television AND you'll free up all that media space from your iMac (and maybe add a bunch of additional free space to boot on your new external drive).
  6. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Yes, and the ATV1 will delete content at the drop of a hat. Quite aside from syncs wiping content, the first time it crashes there's a real risk that it'll reboot to a nice pristine empty library.

    The ATV was *always* a content streaming system, the 1st gen was just a little more tolerant of network downtime.
  7. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    I've had the original Apple TV since its introduction (about 4 1/2 years ago) and there has been only one issue that caused unexpected/undesired loss of content. A few years ago there as a nasty behavior in the iTunes application that would cause it to delete all of your purchased content from the Apple TV if the iTunes application itself couldn't connect to the iTunes Store (I think it was a very badly conceived copy protection thing). This was a problem in the iTunes application that was running on the Mac/PC, not a bug in the Apple TV. In any case, the iTunes app was updated and this problem was fixed a few years ago and I don't think I've lost a single piece of content since that time.

    However, it's absolutely true that even with the ATV1 you need to maintain a complete copy of your media within the iTunes application on your Mac/PC. Otherwise (as has been noted) any sync between your Mac and the Apple TV will cause the content that is missing from the iTunes application to be deleted from your Apple TV.
  8. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Mine has lost content three times. Once through a purchase that went weird (the download failed and all other episodes in the season got blown away). Once after a crash, which lost everything. And once which I believe was situation you described.

    I like my ATV, but I don't trust it to store anything more critical than my remote control preferences.
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Best advice so far. At this point, there are only a handful of scenarios where the :apple:TV1 would be the better choice (poor network connectivity for streaming, the desire to be able to take your :apple:TV with you without the need to also bring a laptop and wireless router, or not wanting to leave a computer on with iTunes running). The :apple:TV 2 can handle significantly higher movie bitrates, has access to more content (Netflix, NHL, NBA, Vimeo), won't raise the temp of your room by a few degrees, allows AirPlay, etc. Get some external storage and an :apple:TV 2 and you'll be all set.
  10. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    Gen 1 is useful if you need a bit more heating in your living room as mine used to get hot enough to fry an egg on. I wouldn't want to have the only copy of anything important on there for that reason alone. Gen 2 is a much better device and concept despite the lack of local storage, which I missed a lot initially.
  11. dearlouise thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2011
    Thanks for the wonderful advice. This is definitely informed me fully & I now have a plan! Excellent!

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