avi content - NAS, or USB/FW HDD attached to iMac

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by TWHH, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. TWHH macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Hi there,

    Firstly my set-up:

    I currently have an iMac in my home office and a Mac Mini under my TV (in my living room). The Mini is almost entirely used for playing back video content. I'm thinking of switching the Mini for an ATV and installing Firecore's ATV Flash (with Nito) as it represents a better 10ft UI/experience (and works better/easier with my iMac located iTunes library). I have a fair amount of video content, some of which is in .avi format (have been using Boxee on my Mac Mini to view this)

    My network set up is:

    iMac situated in my home office.
    Routers (ISP supplied modem/router attached to Time Capsule which is in bridge mode)
    200Mbps powerline adaptors
    Apple TV will be attached to a Netgear 4 port Powerline switch/hub

    I want to put all my video content on a separate 2TB hard disk. My question is around the best way to do this in a way that is most compatible with aTV Flash. My options are:

    USB drive attached to the iMac (cheap option)
    FireWire drive attached to the iMac (bit more pricey, but nice looking Iomega 'Mac Companion' drive)
    NAS attached to the 4 port Netgear Powerline switch/hub (assuming this would be better than attaching a NAS anywhere else..?)
    USB drive attached to ATV

    Although the ATV Flash media centre looks like the best option right now I also want to keep my options open for any alternative solution that I may want to move to in the future.

    What d'you reckon? Which is the best option and set up?

    Many thanks

    One other complication/question: my wife and I have our own user account on the iMac. If I attached a drive to the iMac will ATV Flash need the iMac to be logged in to a specific user account, or will it 'see' the drive regardless of which user is logged in?

  2. Stovepiper macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    In regards to video content stored on an external drive connected via USB to a Mac and serving ATV Flash, I've been doing this for some time and have had zero issues. My Apple TV is playing this content over WiFi too. I can't really speak to how well this setup would scale if you have more than two users streaming simultaneously, but my wife and I have never had issues using two TVs (or TV and iPad streaming) at the same time.

    Bottom line, I haven't found USB to be a bottleneck whatsoever.
  3. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    Thanks for your reply.

    Do you know if the iMac that the USB drive would be attached to has to be in a particular user account for the ATV to see it, or does it not matter if my wife is on the Mac with her user account active?

  4. lexar macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2011
    If most of your content is through iTunes then attaching the USB drive to Mac is the fastest option.
    However if you are using ATV Flash and want AVI files then using a NAS is better since you do not need to have the Mac on to access your non iTunes library and you can go directly to NAS.

    Keep in mind though that if you have iTunes files on the NAS and use ATV to get them then it actually take the following path ATV->Mac->NAS->Mac->ATV
  5. TWHH thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2008
    I went for a WD Ethernet drive.

    I'll have iTunes friendly formats in iTunes, avi files on the NAS, but as I type that I realise that it probably makes most sense for all my video content to be in the same place... but as my iTunes video count is pretty small I reckon it'll all reside on the NAS pretty soon.

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