Apple TV 2 guide

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mysteryliner, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. mysteryliner macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    This is my first device from :apple: that I really hate!

    Since I've spent a fair amount of time and money on building media systems into my home to work without a computer on.

    All i can use the ATV2 for in that way is to watch video's on youtube & vimeo.

    Is there a way to make the ATV2 work from the media stored on my NAS? (or with the usb bus)

    I would really appreciate it!
  2. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    You need
    1 a computer running iTunes with Home Sharing turned on
    2 your media converted to play on iOS (Handbrake ATV2 setting)
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Jailbreak and install XBMC. That will allow you to use the media directly off the NAS without having to convert it. I normally recommend Plex, but that requires a running server.
  4. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    Thank you for your reply.

    The whole point of a mediaplayer to me is: to play movies & music without having a computer on.

    Otherwise i would just buy a long HDMI cable. and control my computer with a remote controller like teamviewer.

    the apple TV (in this state) to me is nothing more than a streaming receiver & a rental box.
    like buying a car that doesn't drive by itself but need to be towed!

    @blevins321: Thank you, that is what i'm looking for. I'll look into that
  5. scienide09 macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    Out of curiousity, why did you buy it?

    Honestly, not trying to troll. I just don't understand why someone who's obviously well-invested in their home theatre setup would buy a device that doesn't do what they want.

    At any rate, I echo the previous poster and suggest that you JB your ATV, then install Nito-TV and XBMC.

    If you're interested, go a step further and install the the following plugins within XBMC:

    Totally worth it!
  6. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I have owned many NAS, RAID5, Home Servers, etc (22TB worth)... and at the end of the day... for many reasons... I have come to the conclusion that the best home storage system is a computer that stays powered on 24/7/365.

    One of the biggest reasons I like it best is because it is the easiest, and least expensive devices to keep backed up.

    I have simplified my environment to include a single iMac as my "home server". My primary data currently resides within the 2TB drive... but next year I'll need to upgrade to a 3TB or 4TB drive. With TB, it is essentially unlimited while retaining native performance. I dual back-up that machine to a TC... and RAID NAS box. I am ready to decommission the RAID box because it is totally redundant and a power hog.

    Most importantly... by using a computer as my "server"... I can use very inexpensive cloud storage for off-site backup. I use crashplan+ which costs only about $3/month for unlimited offsite secure backup. I have not found anything even remotely comparible for NAS and other home server solutions.

    In my case... keeping iTunes running on the computer is trivial... and much better than when I tried any other solution.

  7. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    @scienide09: because it is marketed as a mediaPLAYER
    it comes with a usb port.

    just like if you buy a car... And it has an engine that works...
    you expect that engine to move the car from A to B
    ... guess apple forgot to put in a driveshaft

    anyway... thx for the plugins & info
    @flynz4: i chose the NAS for the power usage. 4w is nothing.
    While my computer is used for my work as well (photograph-video's) (2 heavy GPU's, 2 separate CPU's, ... that thing sucks electricity)

    i'm sitting on 9TB in computer
    8TB external drives
    and 2x NAS set RAID each with 8TB

    as a music system I Have various Sonos unit around the house
    that works supers and seamless around the house and with the NAS.

    Only black sheep for now is the Apple TV.
  8. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I also have a NAS, I keep all my movies and music on it. No big deal to run iTunes on my Mac when I want to watch a movie or listen to music. I use the Remote app or AirPlay from iTunes and it's all very slick.
  9. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    It just seems like a giant waste of electricity, money, and a source of lots of noise.

    my graphic cards alone use 240W each!!

    entire computer is sucking in 583W right now just typing this.
    If i leave it on for 3-4 hours the room temperature rises 11°

  10. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    You can also AirPlay from an iOS iPod. Sync the movie(s) via WiFi to or USB and it'll play just fine. Want more storage then perhaps Seagates Satellite 500GB iPad/iPod WiFi drive might be just the thing.

    Other option

    Return the ATV2 and look into DNLA (modern TVs and some media players plus a DNLA NAS i.e. Synology, QNAP) Windows 7 has a built in DNLA server. Problem is a rather awful interface.
  11. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    @blueroom: Thx, appreciate the info.

    I had a WD TV Live before and didn't use it because of the aweful interface.
    Now i have a super interface but so much restrictions i can't play anything

    i'll need to do some thinking about what option i'll chose.
    thx again
  12. monkeylui macrumors 6502

    Oct 11, 2011
    A Galaxy far, far away
    Omg & I just found a new love for the ATV2. I have my MacBook running with iTunes all the time. I have my NAS on. I use stream to me to stream from my NAS to my iPad & use AirPlay mirroring to my ATV2. Whew. I'm about of breath. But this way I can play any type of file.
  13. Moccasin macrumors 6502a


    Mar 21, 2011
    Newcastle, UK
    I agree that only being able to play media through iTunes is a huge drawback. I have a ReadyNAS which runs the itunes server for a Squeezebox boom and a couple of AV devices that can run some of the files on my NAS but the interface is so clunky that I rarely bother. If I want to play music on my stereo I normally have the laptop on and play via Airplay through my Airport Express

    The lack of functionality plus the need to get a new receiver to take HDMI inputs and simplify my setup, plus the need for a computer running itunes has held me back from getting the ATV. I could use my old Win7 laptop as the itunes server but even then, I'd have to spend £300 on a decent receiver. Even then, what would I actually get?
  14. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    It seems to me like you bought a car you thought were automatic and you're getting annoyed because you're busting up the transmission ;) Seriously, next time you buy something - don't just look at the name, actually read about what it can and can't do. And having several Apple products already, you shouldn't be surprised that they're locking their media player to iTunes... It'll save you a lot of grief ;)
  15. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    :) All my other Apple products are indeed locked to iTunes.
    But not in a way that completely impairs all functionality of the device.
    Both iPhone and iPad require iTunes only ONE time!!

    If my computer had to be on every time i wanted to listen to a song or video on those devices.
    I would have...... 0 :apple: devices

    I worked with an Apple TV 1 at a friends house and I expected pretty similar functions since apple didn't state any major limitation on it's site, (or a notice stating removal of functions/ Downgrade)

    Requirements For their (so called) mediaplayer
    I have met all those requirements. But i can only RENT media. (=loss of $$)

    Same as when you have used the iPad 1 for years and upgrade to iPad 2 only to find out that it suddenly needed a computer powered on all the time to listen to music or video's!!!
  16. Shorties, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011

    Shorties macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2007
    Southern California
    Yeah this is kinda the downside of the newer Apple TV, the old one use to let you sync media with it, this one is purely a streaming device. The nice thing is, if you use it to listen to music, and you have iTunes match, everything is stored in the cloud so you won't have to use your computer. But as someone else said, you might want to try jailbreaking your Apple TV, and installing XBMC or something else for streaming directly off your NAS. And it really is strange that you can't access a NAS device from the Apple TV, even if its connected to one of Apple's routers, or is a Time Capsule Device.
  17. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    @Shorties: i already did the jailbrake thing, and it now works with the nas.

    Minor drawback with that is that it loses some of that special apple look&feel.
    - Controls
    - remote (with other I-device) not working 100%.
    - Subtitles on some movies come out horrible.

    but good enough for the time being.
    I did ask around on QNAP's forum if they have a nas that can run itunes, might switch that if it would be possible.
    wouldn't mind going from a 8w to a 30w nas (compared to a 550+w computer)
  18. peterjcat macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2010
    Since there is no iTunes for Linux IOU won't find it in a QNAP or anything like it. You'd need basically a custom server running OSX, Windows or their server equivalents.
  19. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    My bad, i looked at their product line and the PRO devices have Windows Server 2008 Server virtualisation.
    Thought that meant i could just install itunes there. :eek:
  20. lexar macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2011
    I also tried aTV flash. Its pretty slick.

    1. Uses the same interface as AppleTV unlike xmbc
    2. It plays all my content off the NAS (xvid, dvix, mkv, mt2s etc...) without me having to convert anything or keep my PC or Mac on.
  21. jmhays macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2011
    Look at Synology I just bought the DiskStation DS1511+ which has 5 drive bays that hold 3TB drives each. I also bought the Synology DX510 which is an expansion unit that also holds 5 3TB drive bays. I can attach two more DX510 expansion units for a total of 45TB of JBOD storage.

    I am currently streaming music to my Sonos units (using playlists from iTunes) and ripped movies and TV shows (from DVD) to my AppleTV2. There is no need to have my computer running in the background.

    Synology does allow you to install an iTunes server, the DS1511+ (and I am sure other NAS products they have) can work as an iTunes server to share Music within a local network.

    As for the power savings aspect (which is why I am using this instead of a PC) an average PC operates at 200W, a 4-bay Synology DiskStation with hard drives fully loaded generally requires only 40W.

    I also jailbroke my AppleTV2 with aTV from Firecore. I then installed (I think) media player, it does NOT have the nice, slick iTunes interface, but I also do not have to re-rip the 1,500 movies and 100+ TV Series that I already have stored on the NAS device.
  22. noisycats, Nov 8, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  23. hfthomp macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Can we not get back to the fact that this guys computer raises the temperature in his room ELEVEN degrees by being on for 3 to 4 hours?

    A) How big is this room? Closet size?
    B) How big is this computer? Are we talking 1960's era NASA mainframe computer size?

    I have a 27" imac that I leave running all the time that streams perfectly to 3 apple tvs. Not sure what the power consumption is on the iMac with its screen off compared to a NAS but I doubt it is much different. I have no noise issues by leaving the computer on since it is basically silent.

    Question, do you have have to have 3 or 4 industrial strength fans blowing on your "computer" at all times? I could see noise being a problem then.

  24. peterjcat macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2010
    This is true, but the "iTunes server" that most NAS units come with is not actually iTunes but a reverse-engineered implementation of the audio streaming protocol. As a result it works with music but not with video, since video uses a different protocol and needs an actual copy of iTunes running. If you want to play video from a NAS without a computer on, you'll need to jailbreak the ATV2 as you've done (or maybe AirPlay from an iOS app?).


    I don't think that's what it means -- it is reportedly possible to install a virtualised instance of Windows (Server) on the Intel QNAPs but it's not for the faint hearted :)
  25. mysteryliner thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    @Lexar: thx, i'm looking into aTV flash
    @jmhays: just like synology, QNap has a iTunes function.
    - Sadly, like peterjcat stated; the function is not a real iTunes server

    @noisycats: Thank you for your input :rolleyes:
    @hfthomp: -A) my room is 7 by 4 m (23 by 13ft) temperature increase was 11°fahrenheit or 6°Celcius
    - -B) Mid size computer Mid size computer (minus side fan!)
    So: Front Fan, Rear fan, Top fan(silent), CPU1 fan, CPU2 fan, GPU1= 2x fan, GPU2= 2xfan
    Case fans don't need to be on (but cannot be turned of) but most noise comes from GPU fannnns
    also: comparison 4bay NAS= 20w - 27" iMac= 300w

    @peterjcat: Hope to hear back from Qnap soon with news that it does work. Or maybe stating that converting to some sort of workable Windows is just a few clicks work ##Hope,Hope :)

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