ATV2 and external Hard drive via iTunes

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Jsturdivant8, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. Jsturdivant8 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2010
    Hello all. Let me first preface my post with the fact that I am both the father of a 2 year old and in my third year of a medical residency where I work 80 hours a week, so between the two I honestly don't have the several hours it would take to scour the various threads in order to come across the answers for myself. So it is with head down I come to this forum asking for the preverbial handout.

    So here's the scenario: In an attempt to contain my son's evergrowing collection of cartoon DVDs and hoping to end the nightly search through 3 rooms and 2 vehicles to find the specific episode that he must watch before bedtime so I can just get some sleep, I am hoping to transfer all of my DVDs to my iTunes library (using handbrake?) so that I can push them via airplay to my pair of ATV2 using either the ATV2s or one of my wife or I's Iphone3GS and the remote app as a controller. The problem is I don't want to give up valuable internal hard drive space for this purpose or use the time-capsule that is currently serving as my router and work materials data back up. Of course this setup would also give me the added benefit playing my iTunes music collection on my home surround sound system.

    So in summary, Gear so far: Mid 2010 27" iMac, ATV2 x 2, Time Capsule 2 TB, Iphone 3GS

    1. Does this scenario seem possible/plausible?
    2. Is this the best way to accomplish these goals?
    3. What is the best external hard drive for this purpose? (was considering an OWC mecury pro elite 2 TB)
    4. What type of connect do I need to have between the iMac and the external hard drive to avoid enormous load times (not compatable with a 2 year old's patience) given the size of most DVDs? Ie: would a firewire 800 connection work or is eSATA indicated? (was also looking at the turnkey eSATA mod from OWC)
  2. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    I bought a dual bay enclosure from OWC (Mercury Elite Pro), added two 2TB drives. I use firewire to connect to my iMac. I keep all of my itunes media on this. I can access this from my two ATV's (using home sharing).

    So far it has been working great. Accessing the material on the ext drive using home sharing works very fast.
  3. MRiOS macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2010
    remember to have the checkbox , in the advanced tab of iTunes Preferences, next to "Copy files to iTunes Media folder when adding to library" Unchecked, or you may find yourself running out of internal disc space quickly. (the other option is to move all of your iTunes media to the external disc, though if you have a portable this may not be the way to go)

    Attached Files:

  4. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    1. Yes, it's totally plausible and I think you are thinking on the right lines.

    2. You way you have an iMac so I assume it is not a problem to plug the external HDD in directly. If that is the case then just do that. Normal USB connection should be no problem for that, and will obviously be quicker than having it connected wirelessly. I don't think there is any need for a faster connection than that as it will outrun your network anyway.

    If your complete iTunes library will fit on the external then just point iTunes to it and use consolidate library to move it all over. That will likely free up some space on your internal as it will move your existing library over. If the library is bigger than the external drive then you will need to split it by following MRiOS's advice above.

    3. I'm no expert, but I've always found Western Digital MyBook drives to be good. I don't pay extra for the Mac version as the standard works fine. I'm in the UK though, so you will likely have different options.

    4. As I said, USB is fine. Any quicker connection is unlikely to give you many benefits, but may be more convenient for you.

    Hope it works well for you. I have a similar setup and if works flawlessly.
  5. Pigumon macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2004
  6. moxy1980 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2011
    This is an excellent thread. I want to do similar, and I know it is relatively basic, but going through the whole forum can be a bit demanding to a newbie!

    The only problem I have is that I have loaded my DVD's on, some in MP4 and other in AVI. When I convert AVI to MP4 the size of the file doubles, yet the quality when played through ATV2 or just on the iMac itself is reduced?

    PS. Can anyone recommend a controller app for the iPad?

    Thanks loads,

  7. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I'm basically doing the same thing here. I'm ripping all of my discs using Handbrake, and my iTunes library (database and all) has been moved to an external RAID hard drive and shared out on the network, so I can watch on TV or wherever.

    The connection doesn't really matter, even USB2 is fine. AppleTV will start to play the media before the whole thing is loaded, so it'll finish loading in the background while it starts to play. I have mine hooked up via USB to my Airport Extreme, and load times are quick.

    I also use the "Remote" app. Another cool app you may want to look at is StreamToMe, which allows you to stream from a hard drive (network share, Airport share, etc.) to an iOS device. Pretty cool!
  8. GenesisST macrumors 68000


    Jan 23, 2006
    Where I live
  9. jankh411 macrumors newbie

    Oct 3, 2011
    How do you share the content of your external RAID hard drive on the network?

    Hi Matt,

    I wan't to do exactly what you're doing. How do you share the content of your external RAID hard drive on the network?

  10. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    I've got the drive attached to the mini via fw800, which is on all the time. Apple tv grabs the media over the network from the mini.
  11. somemacuser macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2010
    Its very doable -- I have this setup -- older Core 2 Duo 2.66 iMac 24", a FW 800 Mybook 1TB from western dig with my whole iTunes library (and all movies and kid DVDs ripped in with handbrake as well as ALL of my music). Everything backed up via time machine separately to another daisy chained FW800 2TB drive.

    It works awesome - No scratched DVDs, and instant access to a vast array of Dora and Disney. I have since disconnected the DVD player entirely and packed up all CDs and DVDs to the basement. its really cool.

    Except of course the homesharing connection loss from time to time. But that's not from the configuration, that's an apple bug.
  12. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2007
    Saratoga, CA
    Lots of good advice here. I would suggest that you also buy a second backup drive to protect all the effort you put into ripping and encoding the discs. It's not a very big investment, since you can buy a 2TB drive for less than $100 these days. I use the program ChronoSync to keep the backup drive in sync with the media drive.
  13. techchallenger macrumors newbie

    Nov 12, 2010
    This is exactly the same setup I have. 500GB mac mini, 1.5TB itunes library external, 2TB time machine external. Works great, no RAID needed.
  14. rowley macrumors 6502


    Dec 16, 2008
    London, UK
    I'd recommend AirVideo myself.
  15. knight292 macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2011
    Efficiency Question

    This thread touches ever so slightly about my question about networking the MAC with iTunes, 3tb HDD, Airport Extreme and ATV2.

    What's more efficient in regards to bandwidth and speed, having the 3tb HDD connected to the airport extreme or connected to the Mac with iTunes?

    I am under the impression that iTunes supplies the ATV2 the catalog records of the iTunes database with the path of where the media content files reside. That seems logical to me.

    However, when buffering and streaming from an external drive that is connected to the Airport Extreme, does the media content files go to the MAC with iTunes then back to the Airport Extreme to WiFi out to the ATV2? I would prefer to skip the back and forth within the network and keep bandwidth at a minimal.

    What is more efficient and quicker? Connect HDD to Airport Extreme or Mac with iTunes?

    Any help would be great. Thanks,

    BTW... love the original post of this thread. I to have gone thru this lack of sleep issue.
  16. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    Connect the HDD to the computer running iTunes. The HDD will be way faster, and the load on the network lower.
  17. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    If you're just ripping DVDs for your kid to watch on TV, remember you don't need to use the ATV2 preset in handbrake. Your kid won't know the difference if the movie is ripped at a lower bitrate or resolution than the best the ATV can display. And you'll save a TON of disk space.
  18. mikod17 macrumors newbie

    Jul 5, 2010

    My setup is similar to what you are asking about. I use a 1st gen MacBook (which never leaves the desk) with a 2TB WD USB2.0 HDD which stores my 1.5TB iTunes library. I have 2 ATV2s (one wireless, one wired) and 2 other Macs (both wireless) that all access the iTunes library on the MacBook. My network is an old (but faithful) Buffalo 802.11G router that handles the load without a hitch. There is never any hesitation with loading the media access from any device. Quality is as good as watching it on the host computer itself.

    I rip my movies using Handbrake's "High-Quality" setting and have great success and not overly large movie files.

    If I were ripping TV shows, I would have no qualms with using the "Good" setting.

    I recommend what you proposed. I use my iPad2 as a remote using the Apple Remote app. Highly recommended.
  19. Numpso macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011
    Slightly Different Setup Question


    This thread is impressive. I got a quick question concerning a setup I am not sure if it's possible:

    1. D-Link Router
    2. TC wirelessly connected to the network
    3. external HDD connected to the TC
    4. 2x ATV2 wirelessly connected to the network and TVs

    I would like to put all my movies on the external HDD connected to the TC and stream it wirelessly to my ATV2s. I would like to control the content through the ATV2 remote or through the iPhone/iPad remote. I would not want to have a computer running at the same time.
    Does that work?
  20. Kceb83 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2011
    You unfortunately have to be running iTunes on a computer that points your iTunes library to the source hd with all your content on it. I find that a good setup is to have your main Mac running iTunes and point your library to you external drive connected to your Mac. Then use your time capsule to back everything up. I currently have a 2tb time capsule backing up my iMac's 2tb hd and it works really well.
  21. Numpso macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011

    Could I do the following:

    1. Connect my external HD to my late 2007 MacMini (running Mac OS 10.7)
    2. Connect the MacMini to the ATV2

    Would that allow me to just have the MacMini on and then use the remote apps and ATV2 to watch all movies from the external HD?

    Is there a way to also use the MacMini for browsing on the TV even as its resolution (the 2007 model) is not good enough for my 50'' LCD? Any way I can get around that and surf with good resolution on the TV?

    Thanks !!!
  22. ajohansson macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2011
    YOu can use your mac mini on the TV. Before ATV2 came out I used a mac mini as my media player. I can't remember the program (at work) but it its a real cool interface for changing your resolution on to work on your TV. I will check when i get home.

    I just really didn't like the mac mini in the end and prefer to use the ATV2 as my media interface. It does a lot.

  23. Numpso macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2011

    I also dont really wanna use the MacMini as my media center and use the ATV2 instead. But as I need a Mac running to then be able to access all media connected to it (through the HDD) I thought the MacMini is the smallest. I would just connect it to the TV to set up and otherwise only use the ATV2 and the remote apps and remote control through the ATV2.

    Hope that even works .... ;)

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