ATV2 reading external drive connected to 1st gen ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mdeming, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. mdeming macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2011
    OK, here is the situation. I have a 1st gen. ATV with ATV Flash installed sitting in the closet. I regularly use ATV2. I want to move my entire itunes library off of my two computers onto an external hard drive that will be my media player. I realize there is a lot of information about media players but I haven't seen my specific question answered:

    If I enable the USB port on the old ATV and plug that into an external media player that has my entire itunes library loaded, will/can ATV2 read from that itunes library located on the atv1/external hd combo unit? I think with home sharing and the new iCloud this will be a perfect way to clean up space and still have access to my content.

    I tried a similar fix a few years ago by creating a partition on my time capsule, the only problem was I had to type my password in every time I wanted to access the content and it didn't stream to atv (1 at the time) as a result.

    Will my idea work? Will it work seamlessly? Thanks for your thoughts.
    M Deming
  2. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2009
    San Diego, CA
    Possibly. You'd have to hack your ATV1 and install OS X Leopard on it, then get iTunes server running on it. You'll have to do Leopard in order to get the latest version of iTunes, not Tiger. Even then, I don't know how streaming video would work on a box like that; the Apple TV is not what I'd call a heavy hitter in the hardware department, and I would be hesitant to offer up the word 'seamless' as a descriptor. It might work out well once it's done, but it could be...interesting to get setup correctly.

    You might also consider building a cheap hackintosh or built up an ubuntu box and load up Lion Server in a VM to handle iTunes server requirements. You could also look into Plex as a server for your media. It has a good UI on the new ATV, and they have a free Ubuntu server client. Greater expandability and a more permanent solution to your problem. Plus, you could setup a backup solution that way that would save you in the event of a server outage coupled with hardware failure, in addition to backing up files from your other macs. You can never have too many backups :)
  3. ehurdler macrumors member

    Mar 6, 2004
    This is all possible. I have my atv 1 hacked with atvflash. Installed and updated nitotv. Within nitotv make sure afp is turned on, as well as you could share the external USB hd with smb share. Regardless, I used atvflash black on my atv2. Setup the media player, within here it will play off file shares. Could be off a pc, Mac, or the hd from the atv1. If you want a longer explanation let me know. It is possible, I know because mine is setup to do this.

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