Apple TV, Macbook Pro, Wireless Hard Drive

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by justinpignatore, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. justinpignatore macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2006
    I have a lot of my media on an external hard drive thats attached to my network. Will Apple TV be able to play movies that are store on that external as long as those files are in my itunes library?
  2. jhsfosho macrumors 6502

    Jun 9, 2006
    Houston, TX
    I'm pretty sure it can. It works with an external attached drive, so I don't see why it wouldn't work with a networked drive. Streaming might be a lot slower though, as it probably gets transfered to the mac, and then to the Apple TV, not from the hard drive to the Apple TV directly, decreasing the wireless bandwidth.
  3. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Absotively. As long as iTunes has a reference to those movies, you can stream them to an Apple TV.

    It's what most of us do.
  4. oursfan macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2007
    I have this set up and it does not completely work for me. I can stream songs but not video. It could be the fact that I have a Powerbook G4 though and it is just not fast enough to perform all of the streaming it would require for video. Time to upgrade I suppose. Has anyone successfully got this to work with video?
  5. drumlat80 macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008
    Apple TV, Macbook Pro, Wireless Hard Drive

    I have the same setup as you.. and I think the bottleneck is my wireless G network. I get stuttering with videos.

    For now, I have all my videos on a firewire drive attached to the macbook pro, and everything streams nicely to the Apple TV.
  6. agwilson macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Assuming you have a wireless connection to the laptop and a wireless connection to the AppleTV you would get a bottleneck in the wireless. The laptop would ask for a portion of the movie from the hard drive. This request would be sent over wireless to the router then retrieved from the hard drive. This data is then broadcast back to the laptop. Once the laptop has it then it is broadcast back to the router which then rebroadcasts the signal to the AppleTV.

    Now the problem exists when multiple devices are trying to broadcast because there is collision of signals in the air. Not all devices can broadcast simultaneously. The other problem is inherent to wireless since it does a broadcast and then wait to see if the signal is received. A wired network checks to see if a signal is being sent on the line and sends if the line is clear.

    A remedy to this problem is to attach the laptop to the wired network.

    *Note: it has been awhile since I had my networks class so this may not be completely correct. I think the theory is correct. Feel free to enlighten me if I am wrong.
  7. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    And is your HDD USB 1? 2.0? Firewire?

    Network "g?" "N?"
  8. oursfan macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2007
    USB 2.0... I am assuming it is because of the older, slower powerbook G4. I just ordered an iMac, so that should clear up my issue.
  9. pjdrsd macrumors newbie

    Feb 12, 2008
    This is a pretty accurate description of what I am encountering right now. I have a MacBook and bought the newest AEBS about three weeks ago, and have been very disappointed with the results after connecting two external USB hard drives to the base station through a hub. By the time I finally get the drives to show up in Leopard (in the tool bar) and open iTunes and AppleTV to sync, iTunes locks up, AppleTV spins, and in the middle of it all the Finder tells me the drives have lost connection. I have read about issues with the Western Digital HD going to sleep after a while, but this is even after resetting them. I had not thought of it in terms of signal traffic. The worst part is it typically will lock up the base station as well and force me to restart it. Considering the whole wireless idea of this, it seems way too complicated to have a) a laptop with wireless connection and iTunes talking to b) the airport basestation providing the signal, with drives containing the content for the iTunes talking to c) the AppleTV trying to pull content from iTunes on the laptop, which is getting it from the hard drive which is connected to the base station.

    All that said, I'd be interested to hear of any alternative setups using a similar list of hardware. I've done lots of searching on this and other forums, including Apple's, but nothing has worked so far. I had a glimmer of hope that Apple would open up that USB port and the drives could just be connected to the AppleTV, or that somehow 10.5.2 would fix the airdisk issues. At the same time, it doesn't make sense to have to physically connect the hard drives to the laptop to get it all to work, which is the only way I have had it stream. Perhaps there are special settings on the base station?
  10. martinmartin macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    I'm also curious to hear responses to the post above.

    I have a MBP + AEBS and have been thinking about getting an AppleTV. The plan was to hook up an external drive to the AEBS and stream from there.

    Don't want to be tied down to the external hard drive with my laptop.

    Does streaming work from a hard drive hooked up to an AEBS???
  11. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    A wireless solution with a laptop and external drive is not an ideal sitch for using an Apple TV. Time to get a desktop or tether a drive to your laptop.
  12. martinmartin macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Does it make a difference if the apple tv is ethernet hardwired to the AEBS where the external drive is hooked up?
  13. FreeState macrumors 68000


    Jun 24, 2004
    San Diego, CA
    It may - the bottle neck will still be the wireless between the laptop and the AEBS though.

    Here is how I have mine set up

    AEBS N - Ethernet to Mac Mini with USB drives connect to the Mini
    AEBS N - wireless to AppleTV

    I never experience any stutter.

    I did have a lot of stutter with the USB drives connected directly to the AEBS USB port - even with the MacMini connected to the AEBS ethernet port. (which is the opposite of what your setup would be)
  14. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    I have the same setup and it works perfectly.
  15. JackRDeen macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    I currently have a MacBook and would like it leave it wireless if possible. If I have a harddrive attached to my AEBS(n), would I be able to stream to the Apple TV from the MacBook if the Apple TV is connected to the AEBS with an ethernet cable as opposed to being wireless which seems to be causing people problems? The important thing here is that I would like to leave my MacBook wireless, including from the external harddrive that is currently attached to the AEBS. I dont have an Apple TV yet, but my AEBS is right next to my tv so this would be easy for me to do.

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