Apple TV 2, External HDD and Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Shady Pioneer, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Shady Pioneer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I recently purchased Apple TV 2 to stream content from my Macbook Pro to the TV, I instantly came into problems with home sharing which I believe is a common thing at the moment due to a bug in the current firmware? I have to connect with ethernet for it to work at the moment as wirelessly it keeps dropping out.

    Anyway, regardless of this my question is I'd like to buy an Western Digital WD Elements 2TB HDD, I can pick one up from Tesco for £80 which is a steal (most retailers online are £100+). I'd like to partition it so I have a lot of room for my media (mainly films as I have a lot and don't want to clog up my MacBook's HDD), I also want to purchase an Airport Extreme soon to allow for better range in my flat for all of my products.

    So, can I use this HDD for Time Machine via Airport Extreme and also for my films to be streamed to iTunes (on a separate partition, I understand my MacBook would need to be on with iTunes running for this part to work).

    If someone could shed any light for me that would be excellent.

    Thanks you for reading.
     
  2. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    Yes you can, you just share the partitions with your movies on the network and them you can use home sharing on your computer so that the AppleTV can see and play the content.
     
  3. Shady Pioneer thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #3
    Excellent. Just what I wanted to hear.

    What would the transfer rate be like roughly? Obviously it's over USB 2.0 - Airport Extreme - MacBook Pro - Apple TV 2.
     
  4. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    ~5 - 7Mbps

    I'm sure you got your reasons to put it on the Router,,but it you connect it directly to the laptop, you'll bet ~25Mbps.
     
  5. Shady Pioneer thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #5
    As I don't have a base to put my MacBook I wanted a wireless option as I wouldn't be able to regularly connect the drive to the computer. Wireless is the best and easiest option I think.
     
  6. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #6
    Easiest....Yes

    Best....:( Specially if any of your movies are on HD, but give it a shot.
     
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #7
    As long as you have at least a half decent signal on your ATV2, there will be no problems streaming HD content using the native media player since it buffers the whole file (or as much of it as it can at least). This means that when watching a movie, the slower parts low bit rate) will allow for enough buffering to get through the more action packed parts (high bit rate) with no problems.

    This is a big plus for using the native player over say XBMC, since XBMC doesn't buffer very many seconds and will therefore stop to buffer from time to time if you don't have a good wifi signal, and sometimes even then - especially in action packed scenes.

    I've got my ATV2 in the bedroom rocking about -80 dBm on average (translation: a weak signal), and I'm watching two hour movies weighing in at 8 GB with no more than a twenty-thirty seconds delay from pressing play before it starts, and then no stops for catching up the buffering what so ever throughout the movie. Normal sized (4 GB) movies start within 10-15 seconds tops. With XBMC I can barely watch a 2h/3 GB movie in that location...

    And oh, I think the other poster is confusing MB with Mb.
     
  8. Shady Pioneer thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 22, 2011
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    #8
    Thanks for the info hafr. I am considering jail breaking it but trying to look into the benefits. Ideally I'd want to be able to connect an external drive directly to it but I don't think that's possible with ATV2. :(
     
  9. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    are you file on an external Hard Drive, the hug here is the external hard drive not the network, if the source would be connected to the Laptop, it will have no issues, OP want it on an external HD on the router. I stream the same type of file with no issues, however fair to say if I am playing xbox and my GF is trying to watch something on the other TV, you do get some loading sometime.
     
  10. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #10
    Oh, completely forgot that part :) I've the same setup as he wants to have. 4th gen AEBS with a USB-drive connected to it, on which my iTunes media files are stored.

    Although having the external directly in the laptop could actually be worse, since the videos then must be transferred wirelessly to the router and then wirelessly to the ATV2, instead of via USB to the router and then wirelessly to the ATV2. So the streaming would be dependent on two separate wireless connections instead of just one. If the laptop is wired to the router or has a really strong signal it shouldn't be any difference from having the drive connected in the AEBS though...
     
  11. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #11
    I must not be expressing myself correctly, if the external hard drive is connected to the laptop, it will not go into the router twice, it will go form the laptop, to the ATV going only once, if the external HD is connected to the Router it will go twice, the ATV does not support regular network share (unless jailbroken), it only see content share using OSX "Home Sharing", so the laptop is the one actually sharing the content, this way the data have to go from the router to the laptop and then from the laptop to the ATV, I don't have a Airport extreme, so I am not sure if maybe it support "home Sharing" from the box, in that case then the Apple TV will see it without the need of the laptop, but I don't think it does.
     
  12. hafr macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #12
    I knew you had to have iTunes running, but I thought it was just to "send the signal" that it could use the file on the hard drive. Kind of like giving the okay, nothing more. I guess there is some kind of transcoding taking place in iTunes then...

    But when it comes to going direct from the laptop to the ATV2 I'm not so sure, doesn't ALL traffic go through the router? Having the disk connected to the computer would then be disk-computer-router-ATV2, and connected to the router it would be disk-router-computer-router-ATV2. Or am I mistaken again? :)
     
  13. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #13
    That sounds right. Connecting the disk to the computer reduces the number of WiFi hops from 3 to 2. There is no transcoding going on in iTunes, but it is the program which fetches the data from the disc (local or remote) and streams it to the ATV.
     
  14. hafr macrumors 68030

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    Sep 21, 2011
    #14
    Okay. Seems like quite an unnecessary detour though, that puts more strain than needed on the network. Wouldn't iTunes be able to just "okay the file" and let the ATV2 stream it from where ever it's located, instead of first taking it and then giving it?

    I wonder if it's to make sure you can't override the need of iTunes running...

    ----------

    I missed your post completely, sorry. Nope, that's not possible. It is on the ATV1 though...

    The biggest benefit as I see it is that a jailbroken device can have a media player installed that plays videos in any format and from any shared location, which removes the need for converting the files into iTunes friendly formats and also the need of having the computer running.
     
  15. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #15


    Yes you are correct, when I said "directly" I meant "one way", all traffic goes to the router.

    And yes it should be as simple enough to just read the drive but Apple doesn't want that, they want you to use iTune, and thats why all my Apple devices are jailbroken. =)
     
  16. IXDoubleDXI macrumors regular

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #16
    I'm in kind of a similar situation, subbing a Roku box for the Apple tv, and Plex for iTunes. I've got a WD hd running into an Airport Extreme and the video quality is kind of lacking. I'm going to hook the drive up to my main Mac and see if that helps the situation. Thanks for the info on this post.
     
  17. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #17
    Great, i just wanted to find at least one person with this current setup! Been thinking about this for ages, as i have a 2tb library on an external HD that I've had to reduce to 500gb in order to fit on my MBP.

    Im used to having to keep the MBP running while watching the ATV2, so this is no problem for me.

    The only downfall is that my library wouldn't be "mobile" anymore. As soon as I leave my house I don't have access to my music/movies etc. I may leave my iPhoto library on my MBP for this reason.

    This setup will enable me to choose a faster SSD drive MBP, once I upgrade in the summer. And I guess iTunes match gives you cloud access to your music library, even from your mac?

    And especially with Apple moving to 1080p movies now, it seems like the right time to purchase an AEBS in order to share my Media Library wirelessly.

    I will report back once I have got everything working :D

    I just hope putting an AEBS into my wireless setup, doesn't disrupt my other wireless devices around the house....
     
  18. pheenix11 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    #18
    Interesting thread. I have a 1TB external hard drive connected to my Macbook and it is kind of a pain because it basically turns my laptop into a desktop. I was contemplating getting an Airport Extreme as well and connecting my hard drive to it. Given that the ATV3 will be streaming larger 1080p files do you guys think we will run into quality issues using an Airport extreme? I ask because the Airport is $180, maybe I'd be better off saving my money and getting a Mac Mini to be my permanent iTunes server and free up my MacBook that way?
     
  19. Che Castro macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #19
    This extreme router i read that it only works with fat32 drives is that true?

    So if you have movies over 5gb this is no good for you
     
  20. hafr macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #20
    Why would you even post something like this? No, it's not true. I can't even imagine where you would have heard such a thing, and you could have found out the answer in five seconds by using google.
     
  21. ayzee macrumors 6502a

    ayzee

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #21
    As the ATV2/3 buffers before it displays content, this shouldn't be a problem, just 1080p files may take longer to load . But we truly don't know until the ATV3 gets released and tested.
     

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