AppleTV companion device?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by DJinTX, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. DJinTX macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010
    So what do you all think about this?

    With Apple's vision, I could see them already planning this product for phase 2 of AppleTV, or they could add it to the plan after the new ATV has been out awhile and they have collected user feedback.

    What do you think the chances are of Apple delivering a companion device for ATV that would connect to the network so that we would have a dedicated always-on iTunes library? It would be a central hub of media that could stream directly to the ATV in the living room, and eliminate the need for us to leave a Mac on during streaming.

    I could see this being done a few different ways...

    1. A new version of Time Capsule that stores and streams media to ATV.
    2. A new add-on device that connects to TimeCapsule or AEBS to store and stream media.
    3. A software/firmware update + installer that can format an external HD and install iTunes (or a streamable version of the iTunes library) that can then stream to ATV.

    The thing is that I worry about beginning to rely on streaming from my Mac frequently and the toll it will take on my hard drive. It would have to shorten it's lifespan to some degree.

  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 23, 2010
    I would love to see such a device from Apple; better yet would be if the oft discussed iTunes in the cloud ever comes to pass.

    I think your specific worries about streaming taking a toll on the hard drive are unfounded. Although hard drives fail and you need to plan for backup, the expected lifetime of any given drive (MTBF - mean time between failures) is measured in years. On Average, you will outgrow the capacity of the drive and need to replace it long before you approach its lifespan even if it is "shortened to some degree".

    Even a dedicated, network attached iTunes Serving device such as you describe is going to have a Hard Drive that is just as subject to failure as the drive in your Mac.

    Backup Backup Backup! And remember that your Backups are probably going to a hard drive that is yet again subject to failure... That's why the cloud is so appealing - let Apple (or EMC or Amazon or Google....) deal with the redundancy required to keep our media safe.
  3. DJinTX thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2010

    Unfounded? How dare you, sir! You're unfounded!...this whole courtroom is unfounded!

    Seriously though, I agree that eventually all hard drives fail. And I am a proud believer/user of Time Machine. So I am fine there. It's not that I think another device would be less likely to fail, well, unless it were say a 256 GB SSD? Now that would be ultra cool.

    In any case, I guess my main point is I want a dedicated device to do it. A device that is always on and responsive. I don't want to have to walk to my office and open my MacBook and launch iTunes. I just want it always ready to go.

    Also, if I have my laptop at work or on the road with me, and it is also our main iTunes library, then my wife, future kids, or mischievous knomes in the attic won't have access to a lot of data. So a centralized iTunes library hub would be ideal.

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