ATV Flash and my 1 TB Apple TV - Simple As Can Be

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jersey10, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. jersey10 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #1
    I know that one of the primary criticisms of the AppleTV is that its hard drive is too small. The reasonable response is that you don't need a large hard drive, since everything can be streamed. While I generally agree with that response, many people have had the recurring problem of iTunes dropping out of AppleTV, thereby making streaming a frustrating experience as you repeatedly have to close and reopen iTunes. While my own problem of iTunes dropping AppleTV seems to have been largely (though not completely) solved with the last iTunes update, a larger hard drive would still be nice since then you could just sync everything without having to bother having iTunes open at all. But since I'm not a particularly technical person, I wasn't interested in the various hacks that I see discussed in this forum for putting a larger hard drive into AppleTV. The instructions alone all seemed way too complicated.

    But I recently looked into the ATV Flash program that people on these forums have mentioned and decided to go with it. I installed it last night and it is amazing. For a mere $45 plus the cost of an external hard drive (I had an extra one sitting around) which I connected to the now operable USB port on my AppleTV, I now have increased the storage capacity on my AppleTV from 40GB to 1 TB. This enables me to sync all my music, photos, and my hundreds of movies directly onto the hard drive, all of which I can enjoy without having to bother with ever running upstairs to open iTunes.

    The installation could not be easier, as it requires absolutely NO technical knowledge or expertise. I know that there are ways to get this same capability for free, but the simplicity of ATV Flash makes this the best $49 I ever spent. Anyone who wants to avoid having to open iTunes in order to watch AppleTV (and especially those who have the problem of AppleTV dropping out of iTunes) should get ATV Flash. There are other features of ATV Flash that I may or may not use at some point, but the ability to connect an external hard drive to my AppleTV is enough to make this purchase more than worth it. It makes the AppleTV a truly amazing product. I wish I had installed it sooner.
     
  2. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #2
    Thanks for the post.
    I am also considering ATV Flash and I was curious to hear from someone who has it.
    I heard on some places people complaining about it, specially the technical support part. If more folks out there have ATV Flash, please let us know your impressions.
    Cheers.
     
  3. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #3
    Yeah, did the same with my 2TB drive...it was a breeze and I have 2 2TB Apple TVs in the house now...if only there were a faster way to sync.
     
  4. wildwell macrumors newbie

    wildwell

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    I'm considering downloading aTV Flash too.
    Does the Apple TV provide support for USB bus-powered hard drives?
    Does aTV Flash allow you to stream content (such as Pandora or Hulu) from a web browser to the Apple TV?
     
  5. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #5
    Get ready to spend the same amount again next year.
    There are other commercial products out there that are less expensive and provide more functionality, e.g. on-the -fly installation and de-installation of plugins, web updates, Openvpn integration etc.. You can get the patchstick.ca solution for as low as 29.99 per year.
     
  6. sfilingeri macrumors member

    sfilingeri

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2009
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    #6

    Also dont forget to mention that not all USB drives work with ATVFlash, it took me 2 drives at $15 a pop to finally get it to work. Please do your research before you purchase a drive.

    But I'm not basing ATVFlash they do have good customer service and they offered to send me a usb drive preinstalled with the software.
     
  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #7
    I'm probably missing something here, but I've always used ATVUSB-Creator and enabled all of this for free.
     
  8. jersey10 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #8
    As I mentioned in my original post, I realize there are other options out there that provide this same functionality for less money or for free, but the appeal of ATV Flash is that it is so simple to install and requires no technical knowledge whatsoever. Every other option out there seems much more complicated. I will gladly pay $49 a year to have 1 TB (or more AppleTVs) without any hassle. I think many people would feel the same, which I why I started this thread.
     
  9. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a

    FamiliaPhoto

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #9
    I believe that aTV Flash is for folks that just don't have the time and/or technical know how to work through the free options. I don't have time spend hours walking through forums for answers. There is a point where I am losing time I should be billing to clients resulting in my losing money. I would rather pay the $49 up front install it and have it work without fuss. Which was the case for me and aTV Flash.

    In 30 minutes I was installed, had an external 500 gb HD as primary and was streaming DVD rips via XBMC. It was a sweet situation.

    If you have the time for installing and working the hacks individually that is great and should do so. If you are like me and find your time at a premium then something like aTV Flash is the way to go. All depends on the individual in the end.
     
  10. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #10
    Have you actually tried ATVUSB-Creator? It is as easy as it gets - you copy the image onto USB stick, insert it in Apple TV, reboot, and you're done. You wasted $50 on the ATV Flash - congratulations.
     
  11. Winmann macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    #11
    Well, I did both. atv-flash and after it expired usb-creator. There is virtually no difference between these two products except the pricing. And you certainly don´t have to do more research in forums etc. to get to the point using usb-creator compared to atv-flash. They simply have better marketing and there might be some prejudice against a product that comes from the "hacker community" regarding the simplicity. Both are click and run.
    cheers
    winmann
     
  12. jjxc90 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2009
    #12
    I'm pretty sure he's referring to usability AFTER installation. In this regard ATV Flash is simpler and more feature rich.
     
  13. jersey10 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #13
    Comparing the websites alone, ATV Flash is much, much clearer both on what you have to do to install it (even including a link to detailed step-by-step video instructions with screen shots) and on the features that you will have once it is installed (and how to work those features). For those of us lacking technical knowledge and/or time, ATV Flash is simply a much more user friendly experience and therefore well worth $50. If you prefer another source for this same capability, go with whatever you want, but I know there are many people in a similar situation to me who will appreciate the simplicity and user-friendly nature of ATV Flash. Thus, my $50 was far from "wasted," notwithstanding your sarcasm.
     
  14. hitekalex macrumors 68000

    hitekalex

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    #14
    That's fair enough, although all the software bundled with ATVFlash (NitoTV, Saphire, etc) is community developed and freely downloadable/installable on a patched Apple TV.
     
  15. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a

    FamiliaPhoto

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    Speaking for myself I am referring to the after installation process. For me $50 is not much if it saves me time and aggravation. As I stated previously, if the ATVUSB-Creator route works for you that is fantastic.
     
  16. mickliq macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #16
    I'm a big fan of ATVUSB-creator. As others have commented, it's very simple to install on a USB Key and get running on your ATV. Once that's done, the menus it installs allows you to easily add all the missing components you need to make the ATV a really great Media Hub.
     
  17. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #17
    Get it. You won't regret it. Just like the OP, I got ATVflash because I haven't got the time to messing about with applying lots of different hacks (a busy job, 2 young children and a partner who would chop bits off me if there was any downtime with ATV!). Laughably simple to instal, instructions simple and easy to apply and then you're up and running.... I've got BBC iPlayer on my widescreen telly and as soon as my external HD arrives I'll have a 1TB ATV! I've already tested with a smaller drive and all is well... Best ££ I ever spent... Like the OP, I wish I'd done it sooner :) my advise, just go for it, lifes too short waiting for apple to drip feed updates to us... Besides it's all totally reversable if anything goes wrong....
     
  18. santangelo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    #18
    Bevz an jersey10 work for atv flash they have to, everyone else is doing it the free way which is the same as atv flash
     
  19. JBaughb macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    #19
    As much as I want to believe you because it sounds like a shameless plug from the people two created AppleTV Flash, Jersey10 does not work for ATVF. If you search past posts he had a bunch of questions on how that ATVF software works in the "ATV Flash - any good?" thread that's been around for a while.

    It seems that all this gushing he is doing is legitimate. I prefer the ATV-USB Creator....but if he finds value in this software and doesn't mind paying the $49 then good for him. Nobody should be jumping all over him for it.
     
  20. jersey10 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #20
    That's ridiculous. You have no idea what you are talking about. Do whatever you want, I was just trying to recommend something that I have found to be a wonderful addition to my AppleTV and well worth the small cost of $49. And much simpler, easier, and clearer than any free option I have seen. But everyone can decide for themselves.
     
  21. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Lol - I don't work for them.
    Up until 2 days ago I was happy to just wait for apple to update ATV, but I finally had enough of waiting! Non-ATVflash solutions may well be better - they'll certainly be cheaper, but I simply haven't got the time to look into them. I read a lot of forum posts where a lot of people recommended ATVflash and I read their instructions which were simple and clear, so I just went for it... I am lucky, I can afford the £30 for the software. my time is worth more to me than that (oh and grief I'd get from my partner if anything went badly wrong!) I was advising the guy to update his ATV. I recommended ATVflash because that's what I used and it worked well. If I'd have used another patch I'd have recommended that... I'm just retelling my experiences and thoughts which matched the OP :)
     
  22. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #22
    I just watched the demo video for ATV Flash and it may be the solution to what I have been looking for. All that I really want is to be able to play video_ts folders directly without any kind of encoding. I saw in the video that using nitotv they could open a video_ts and run it smoothly. Does anybody know if this works networked as well as from the internal or external disk? I have used the patchstick to get xbmc and boxee onto the :apple:TV and while they can also do the same thing over the network, they are both horrendously slow, and are just too painful to use. I currently have all of my videos ripped to a Drobo that is attached to my iMac, but I can move it to the :apple:TV if that would help. Yes I realize you can do all of thsi for free with the patchstick and some fiddling, but it is the extra fiddling required to activate the usb and other things that I don't want to mess with. Also somebody mentioned paying for it every year; certainly it doesn't simply quit working after a year does it? Is it only the support and updates that quit after a year if you don't pay up? What about the extra $10/year that you can pay when you first buy it?
     
  23. FamiliaPhoto macrumors 6502a

    FamiliaPhoto

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #23
    I stream my DVD rips over my network using NitoTV and XBMC. Performance of each is about the same in my estimation but I like the user experience of XBMC better, especially the user controls. But thats me.
     
  24. danny_w macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #24
    What kind of network do you have (I have 5-Ghz "N" via AEBS)? How long does XBMC take to buffer before it starts to show anything is happening? In my experience selecting a video_ts file in XBMC seems to cause the :apple:TV to freeze for quite some time before anything happens, making you think that perhaps it died. No progress bars, no message, nothing. I wonder if playing a video_ts from the internal or external drive would work better?
     
  25. eleven59 macrumors regular

    eleven59

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    #25
    i don't know what everyone is talking about the creator patchstick being "the easiest thing ever".. i have probably spent close to $50 just on thumb sticks and have yet to get one to work.. i've decided to stop trying. to much hassle...
     

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