Apple TV2 Streaming issues (USB External Drive)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mac'n'nz, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. mac'n'nz macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    Havelock North, New Zealand
    Hi All.

    Apologies if this has already been covered.

    My iMac 500gb drive has filled up (mainly TV shows) , so I transferred the media to my 500GB USB2 WD external drive, and re-added it to iTunes (With the "Copy new media to iTunes folder" feature turned off.

    However, now when playing the media, Apple TV becomes unresponsive and Errors out. (only on the USB media, not the media on the iMac Hardrive).

    The work around at the moment is to pause the video and let it buffer. It still sometimes errors out ( about 40% of the time).

    My questions are:

    1) Is the lag purely because Apple TV is sourcing a movie through the iMac which has to come from the hard drive (as USB2 is quite slow) , and

    2) If i purchased an AC powered 1TB external (WD) that has a FireWire 800 connection, will this lower the lag?

    Thanks in advance guys.
  2. Dan DRC macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    FW 800 drive would be great but not sure that really is the problem.
    I think USB 2 would work fine. I using FW400 with no issues at all.
    Did you try a new USB cable?
  3. maturola macrumors 68040


    Oct 29, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    USB2 should not be the issue, I got a similar setup, I got my Movies on my main machine on an External HD, using USB2, and I got not issues streaming from it, I can even stream 2 different movies to 2 devices at the same time.

    However I am using Plex, and no iTunes to stream, but the USB2 part of it, should not be an issue.

    It have to be something else on your system, maybe old/bad USB drivers? do you have the latest iTunes? bad USB cable?

    Search around for USB performance software and try writing and reading files from the External HD using your Mac only and see if you see the full performance out of it.
  4. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    Is it Apple TV 2 or 3? Is your AppleTV jailbroken in anyway?

    Edit: I just noticed your asked about buying an AC powered FW 800 drive. Is the WD USB drive you're using not AC powered? Is it only powered off the USB cord?
  5. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    I've streamed content from a USB and FW800 drive to multiple AppleTVs with no issue. This is using one 3rd Gen and one 2nd Gen. I have also tested streamed a remuxed 1080p MKV that was around 8GB in size.
  6. mac'n'nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    Havelock North, New Zealand

    Yes the existing usb2 one is USB powered. The one I am looking at getting is ac powered .

    iTunes and apple tv are up to date . And the apple tv is the 2. ( black box not 1080p ).

    So the issue could be the USB cable ? It's just the stock one that came with the drive .

    Thanks for your replies . Is it right to assume that the opinion is that getting the FW 800 ac powered external would possibly increase the buffer speed , but shouldn't be necessary ( ie USB2 should be sweet )


    Thanks for your replies - I have looked into the router configuration , as a friend suggests that a poor router would lag the buffer .

    Router settings look ok - plus it worked fine when apple tv was streaming it straight from internal
    Mac HD so this would make me think it isn't the router .

    I am probably going to buy the FW800 ac powered hard drive anyway ( as I need the space ) so I hope that fixes it.

    Interesting however to hear people with the same setup without problems though


    No - not jail broken . Cheers
  7. radiogoober macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2011
    I would bet that the problem is that you are using a USB-powered hard drive. If you were using an AC-powered USB drive, that would be fine. But not one that is powered over the USB cable. It sounds like you agree, and are looking to purchase an AC-powered FireWire cable. That should solve your problems!
  8. mac'n'nz thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2010
    Havelock North, New Zealand
    Sounds good. Thanks all the way from new Zealand :)

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