Best always-on storage option for Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bruf, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. bruf macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2006
    Montreal, QC
    Hello everyone,

    I've been using for years now a 40GB Apple TV (old gray version) with most of my files on the internal HD. Now that I've got more and more movies, iTunes on my computer is almost always on and I'm relying on my network and AirTunes/AirPlay more that I'd like. I recently bought a 3rd gen 1080p Apple TV so streaming is my only option on this one.

    So now I'm looking for a low-power, low-noise alternative to my main computer serving media files. I've read about NAS and their iTunes Server feature, and feedback from forum users hasn't been great, so I guess it's not the way to go.

    Is there any alternative to a full-blown PC/Mac with iTunes open all the time for streaming media files to Apple TV? I don't mind if one solution works only on the 3rd gen model and not on the old one, I'm really open to all ideas! ;)

  2. Hammie macrumors 65816


    Mar 17, 2009
    Wash, DC Metro
    The NAS with iTunes server is not for an Apple TV deployment. It is more of a "share" that comes up in the iTunes program on a computer.

    Honestly, your best bet would be a Mac Mini. Probably anything from late-2009 to recent will do the job. Slap on a FW800 external hard drive, install Splashtop so you can control it with your iPad, and you are all set.

    This is how I have mine setup. Allows all four of my ATV's to access it, even my old ATV1.
  3. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    In other words, Without jailbreaking you will need a computer on running iTunes for home sharing to work. You will need to look at a low power computer capable of running OS X or Windows. A second hand Mac Mini provided it has an intel chip and can run Snow Leopard is a good option, from there you can attach as many hard drives to it as you need.
  4. JoeBlow74 macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012

    Buy one of those 4TB external USB3 drives (if you have PC) or Firewire800 (if you have Mac) and store all your content on the drive. You would have to leave your puter on 24/7 to make it work. If you really want a low power low noise puter buy one of those mini laptops that uses the Intel Atom processors. I saw a few at Staples the other day for $200. Get one of those an a 4TB drive, you would be set.
  5. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    Yep... an atom box would be more than fast enough. It only has to run iTunes for home sharing verification, the Apple TV handles the playback. The bonus is that an Atom based machine will use even less power than a Mac Mini.
  6. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I bought a netbook for well under $200 during a sale at Staples. It's got a dual-core Atom processor and a 250 gb hard drive. It runs Windows 7 Starter. iTunes runs fine on it, if a little bit pokey. The plan is to set it up with my library and let it run 24/7 in the basement. I will VNC to it to access it if I ever need to run iTunes updates or play with the library.
  7. mpress03 macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2012

    I have a nettop (a desktop version of a netbook) running iTunes that I hooked 8tb of storage to. The nettop powers down when not in use and powers up when something accesses the library. I have never had an issue with it connecting, although it takes a few extra seconds for something to start playing when it is waking up. The nettop is smaller than the drives connected to it so I put it all in a closet out of the way. It works great and I didn't spend but $250 on it.

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