Apple TV external drive help please

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gugy, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #1
    Hi I am a newbie so please bare with me, :eek:

    I would like to buy an Apple TV but the current 160 gig would not be enough to my dvd collection.
    I would like to have an external hard drive 1tb and connect it to the Apple TV usb port. and have it all local. So no use to have my mac on to stream.
    Would that work?
    Do I have to hack it?

    I want Apple TV to be like a server for my whole entire collection of music and movies.
    I would only sync Apple TV to my Mac to transfer movies and music that I just ripped. After that I want to only use Apple TV as local server.

    Am I dreaming or is this feasible?
    I appreciate any help.
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    No, it won't.

    Yes, you would to get that much storage.

    The ATV cannot act as a server. It does not have the software (that anyone has figured out) to do so. It is an end-of-the-line device only.

    It is conceivable to get a larger storage solution for the ATV. For sure, a 750 gig PATA drive can be added with a bit of hacking (44-pin to 40-pin adapter, then a cable out of the ATV to a 3.5" 750 gig PATA drive), or a 1 TB drive with a PATA to SATA bridge (not tested).
     
  3. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #3
    thanks for the input.
    Damn.
    I guess I have to be content with only 160gig. That unfortunately won't cut. So I guess I need to wait for a larger capacity Apple TV in the future.:(
     
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #4
    Your options are to replace the hard drive (250 gig is the largest 2.5" PATA drive sold) or do a major hack to run a cable from your ATV to another enclosure with a drive in it. I'm thinking of doing the latter myself. I'm awaiting Mac Mini announcements before I proceed...
     
  5. gcmexico macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #5
    there is a solution

    get ur external drive 1tb should be more than enough... transfer all your music and movies to it...now open iTunes while u have the external drive running...hold down the option button and click on the file u want to transfer to itunes..drag it to itunes (while still pressing on the options button)...and that's it... you will have to do this to all the files...Im pretty sure u can click on a bunch of them and drag it over...Apple Tv will now get the file from the external drive when u want to watch it... this works perfectly for me all my movie files are on my external drive...nothing is saved on my Imac or Apple Tv...only problem u might have is that Itunes and must be opened and external drive must be on when using the Apple Tv...small price to pay instead of hacking or opening the Apple Tv...I wrote this on my Iphone so if I confused u let me know and I will post the link that helped me
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #6
    That's not what he's asking for. He wants to plug a USB drive into the back of his ATV.
     
  7. gcmexico macrumors 6502a

    gcmexico

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    New York City
    #7
    I know that

    but the Apple Tv does not have that function...which is SO stupid...I still don't understand the purpose of that USB port...Im giving him the next best option...his concern is the small HD on the Apple Tv...my solution solves that problem
     
  8. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #8
    Guys, thanks for the replies.

    My ideal scenario would be having an external 1tb drive plugged to the Apple TV USB port. So when I turn on Apple TV it access the content on my external drive. All of this without the need of my Mac.

    There is new drive just announce 500gig 2.5" drive. Maybe if I hack Apple TV and replace the drive, it will do it for me.

    I just don't understand why Apple is not offering Apple TV in larger capacities or allow to plug external drives to the USB port. They must know lot of folks have tons of movies and they want to play it locally without have to rely on the Mac to stream it.

    My goal is to have my entertainment library available at all times without need to use my Mac. The Mac will only be use to transfer files after I ripped to my Apple TV.
     
  9. Jeff Hall macrumors regular

    Jeff Hall

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    #9
    Most of the "stupid" design limitations placed on the Apple TV are, I believe, a result of compromises Apple had to make with the studios.

    But folks, think about this. Why do you want to put all your media on a single drive that isn't backed up by RAID? Think how many hours it takes to rip/convert/transfer the files to the Apple TV.

    In my opinion, the best setup is to have a dedicated computer with an attached external RAID1 (or RAID5) with at least 1TB capacity. When (not if!) a drive fails, you will not lose your movies/music.

    Streaming over 802.11n is ideal, but most of us still have 802.11g. I've found this to be adequate for streaming music and standard definition movies. Occasionally I experience a stall. So if I know people will be coming over to the house to watch movies, I'll sync the movies we plan to watch before hand. Later when everything is 802.11n, I doubt I'll have to do that anymore.

    Additionally, I don't want a RAID box with fan noise in my home theater room, so it's better that it's back in the office connected to my Mac.

    I'm getting by just fine with 250GB+ of Apple lossless music and several movies stored on my OWC Guardian Maximus 1TB. My Apple TV only has 40GB and it's been sufficient as I don't watch 40GB worth of material in one sitting.

    But if having a dedicated computer on at all times is a show stopper, maybe the Apple TV isn't the media extender you want.
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    If you can figure this out without a hardware hack, there's $1000 waiting for you.

    You'll have to get a 44-pin IDE to 40-pin IDE to SATA bridge in there somehow, because the 500 gig notebook drives are all SATA.

    Nobody knows this either. But right now, the only confirmed way of getting more than 250 gigs (the largest 2.5" PATA drive) on your ATV is to use a 44-pin to 40-pin IDE adapter and snake a connection out of the ATV to an external drive that has a 3.5" PATA drive in it (current largest capacity of 750 gigs).
     
  11. Vikash macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    #11
    What you want is possible and it requires hacking.

    Check:

    www.atv4windows.com and www.awkwardtv.org

    It isn't that hard to do :)

    I have the setup you want @home just with a 360 GB instead of a 1 tb drive.
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    Well, isn't that timely. Does it work with the ATV2 or do you need to use it with NitoTV?
     
  13. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #13
    Thanks for the feedback!:D

    Vikash
    it seems that would only work on ATV1.
     
  14. gugy thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #14
    Jeff,
    I appreciate your comments.

    My problem is that I want my wife and kids, that are very ignorant or inexperienced about tech (wife specially);) to use it and access music and movies instantly without the need of a computer.
    That's why the a local set up would be a blessing for me. If I was the only one using, I would not mind to do something like you suggest.
     
  15. iowamensan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    #15
    My wife isn't hugely technical, and she has no problems with the Apple TV - as long as she can get the TV/Receiver on the right inputs. The new harmony remote should fix that for the most part. Anyway, I just told her to make sure my iMac is awake and that iTunes is open. Other than that part, it wouldn't matter if she was local or streaming.
     
  16. bergmef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southeast of Baltimore, USA
    #16
    I have only a notebook computer and an apple tv, I really don't want to have to turn it on to see my 'unsynchronized' movies. I was watching today to see if the updated mini would be released and considered getting it to use as a media server, but the synchronizing of iphoto and itunes (between the mini and the macbook), while easy the first time, is a pain when adding music, movies and photo's on a daily basis. Plus I'm thinking, why have a mac running all the time just to see all my movies. Take 2 is standalone, but it's only standing on one foot. I guess my wish is a bigger harddrive, enable the usb port and add a firewire 800 port (don't want much huh?).

    For reference, movie folder is about 340G, music is about 2G and photo's about 10 G.
     

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