AppleTV: 40GB or 160GB

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bighowboy, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. bighowboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #1
    Hi all, the AppleTV upgrade was enough to sell me on giving this try. What I haven't been able to figure out, despite pouring through these Forums, is why exactly would one choose the 160 over the 40, or vice-versa. Everything else is the same, just a bigger hard drive. If the AppleTV streams everything from your computer....and deletes the movie rentals when they are done, why would one need such a large hard drive. I hate to cripple my purchase and am willing to spend the extra money if necessary for the bigger drive, but I'm not sure why I would need it. The AppleTV would sync everything you purchase on it back to your main computer's iTunes, correct...so what am I missing here. If I was using it with the new software update as a standalone, without a separate main computer in the house I can understand it, but otherwise...? Can someone here please enlighten me so I can make the correct purchase this week. Thank you so much.
     
  2. Cousin Dirk macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2008
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    London, UK
    #2
    As I understand it, the Hard Drive is in the tv to allow you to sync it to a single computer, as you would an iPod - so all the files are contained on the tv's disk so you don't need to have a computer turned on in order to use it.

    As a result, the size of the hard drive you pick would depend on how big your iTunes/iPhoto libraries are, or expect them to get.
     
  3. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #3
    So what if you have over 300 GB of songs/photos/videos?

    Obviously the AppleTV is also designed to stream files and not run them just off of its hard drive. So... back to the OP's original question.
     
  4. scr1968 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    #4
    It really depends on a few things...

    The 160GB version is obviously better if you want to sync a bunch of content and then take it to "grandma's house" for the weekend. Or it is good if you don't want to have your Mac on all the time to stream the content from. Or maybe you want to copy a few movies for the kids but don't want them to have access to "everything" else.

    But if you have a large iTunes library that you want to have 100% access to, then neither the 40GB or 160GB are going to work from a sync standpoint. In both cases you are faced with streaming your content from your Mac and your Mac is going to have to be on all the time. In cases like this it is probably better to go the 40GB route.

    However, with the new update announced things get a little more interesting. Now you can copy all your photos from your Mac up to Flickr so it takes the Mac being on out of the equation as far as photos go. That would leave ITunes music and video. Video is somewhat taken care of with video rentals now but if you have a lot of content you are still faced with streaming and your Mac being on all the time - and again - it probably makes sense in this case to go the 40GB route.

    That is what I did and have been very pleased (although I have an old Mac sitting in a closet hosting my iTunes content so it is a little less of a pain to have my Mac on all the time.)

    SR
     
  5. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #5
    Is there any heistation streaming high quality videos? Is the performance identical when streaming as opposed to pulling content directly from the :apple:TV Hard Drive?

    In the event that you have considerably more content on iTunes than fits in your :apple:TV, do you simply use a checklist (like you do for an iPod/iPhone) which content to sync the :apple:TV with?
     
  6. Cousin Dirk macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 1, 2008
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    London, UK
    #6
    Well yes, you can stream from a number of computer's iTunes libraries also... the HDD is for those who don't want to need their computer on to actually stream music, video and photos to the tv... although I'm unsure as to whether you can use the drive just like an iPod and only sync selected playlists.

    I'm not sure as to the size of a full HD film download, so I'm not entirely sure as to how many you could fit on the tv's choice of drive. Obviously you have to consider how many of those you are expecting to keep on the tv at any one time.

    Sorry I can't be of much more help.
     
  7. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

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    May 25, 2007
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    Richmond, VA
    #7
    If all you want to do is stream media from tour computer, why not just buy an xbox 360? Then you can play games too. :)
     
  8. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #8
    The only advantage is the ability to keep your computer off if you want to browse a very large library. Streaming even high bitrate videos on a "g" network is still as smooth as the ones stored on the local drive for me. I think there were a few times when my iMac went to sleep or I momentarily lost my wireless connection (I have quite a few neighbors with wireless), but otherwise it was fine. For those who think they need all 160GB worth of photos, videos and music for that trip to grandma's house, oh god, please spare her. It is very unlikely she wants to watch more than 10,000 photos of you.

    I think about it this way. Would I rather have that capability or $100 worth of extra content?
     
  9. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #9

    Because the XBOX doesn't work seamlessly with my mac. As if I even need a reason not to buy that noisy/hot piece of crap.
     
  10. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

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    #10

    THAT is what I wanted to know. Thank you.

    Also, do you know the answer to my other question? When you have more content than you do :apple:TV hard drive space, do you then choose (through checklists) which content you would like to sync?
     
  11. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #11
    I find the 40GB to be perfect and would never use the higher capacity, but that's just me.

    I keep recent TV shows and a few films on the ATV drive and just sync to my iTunes library for everything else. It is an ideal way to use it in my opinion. Even at 160GB, if you want your ATV to be your video warehouse, it won't, and I can't really imagine why you would want to once you start using this nifty little box.
     
  12. bighowboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 16, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for all of the responses. It sounds to me like there is absolutely no reason why I would buy the 160. I have a Tower with a ton of music and videos. I have yet to try ripping my DVD's but I have about 300 + so until there is an easier/quicker process more like iTunes CD ripping, I don't want to deal with that. To me, I can't imagine why if streaming is just as good speed-wise as the internal HD...why I would want to have my media spread across various things. You give me a 1 Terabyte HD and I'll move it all there, use it as a Hub, but from everything you all have said, there is nothing to be gained from the HD size jump unless you are taking it somewhere or using it without a computer. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D
     
  13. zlinger macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    #13
    Good thread and discussion. I too was wondering the same thing just yesterday when I considered to buy AppleTV after the price drop. I also wanted to look for ways to reassign a Mac Mini (running as a media hub) back into a dedicated computer. Anyway.. I considered 160 or 40, and went ahead with purchasing the 40gb version. I used the money I saved towards a processor upgrade in my MM to a CD2 2.0. It runs amazing now, and I will program shows that I watch with EyeTV and let it auto encode into the format that ATV uses.

    The way I look at it on the topic of disk space, is that 40 is plenty of room for ATV, and 60 for the MM as long as you use external storage. I have an array of disks setup that I can easily expand as required (they are out of sight also to reduce clutter). I'm using a 120 as a "Scratch HD" for EyeTV buffers, archives, temp video rips, etc. [Sidenote: 200 for Time Machine]. And the main data & info drive is currently 500gb that holds docs, video, photos, software, and music. MM stays on, and I stream everything.

    This is backed up regularly and a duplicate is taken offsite on an encrypted drive. File management is simple since I know that all files are in one place. If my house catches on fire, I just need to grab one HD as I run for the door. The key here is expandability. This means easy movement of the main data & info HD to a 1TB drive in the coming year(s).. with RAID.

    But the above setup requires planning, and involved more wires and clutter (unless you can hide drives under desks, and out of sight). Obviously large drives in each device is the most ideal.. but I guess it comes down to preference, and of course budget.
     
  14. The3nd macrumors regular

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    Jan 26, 2007
    #14
    160, its just so much nicer to not have to have itunes open.
     
  15. Stolencheese macrumors newbie

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    Nov 15, 2007
    #15
    1) Noisy
    2) Breaks
    3) Looks rubbish!
    4) Get a PS3 and have Blu-Ray too using Eyeconnect to stream!
     
  16. aosman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #16
    I second this: EyeConnect is great and works like a charm with the PS3.
     

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