Best USB External Hard Drive (1TB or above) for AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jabba, Nov 8, 2009.

  1. jabba macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    #1
    I'm looking for the an USB external hard drive that works best with the AppleTV.

    Im currently using my 1Tb Time Capsule but I'm really after plugging in an external, thats quiet, fast, and doesn't get extremely hot (or spins down when not in use).

    Any ideas - what do you guys use?

    tia
     
  2. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I'd be interested to know everyone's opinions on this too as i'm about to buy a Western Digital Elements 1TB external drive... Anyone have any nightmare stories about this one before i buy it? ;)
     
  3. mucky.fingers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    #3
    Apologies for hijacking the thread slightly but if I hack my apple TV to allow a usb hard drive does the content show in the appropriate category i.e TV shows, music etc or is there a separate sub menu that I would have to go through i.e External HD or something similar.

    Thanks
     
  4. Bevz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I use ATVflash which will let you select the external drive as an "internal" so your ATV turns into a 1TB unit and works in exacty the same way it would if the thing was shipped with a 1TB drive... I don't think this functionality is unique to ATVflash though, there are other free alternatives.
     
  5. jabba thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    #5
    It's the Western Digital Elements 1.5TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive I was looking at but Im not sure (going by reviews) if it gets too hot or spins down at all!
     
  6. MacBlackBook22 macrumors 6502

    MacBlackBook22

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    I use the WD my book version of this, it has an on off switch which I like as I don't always us my ATV daily so when I am not planning on using it I turn off the HD's. They are really quite and don't heat up much. Mine are sitting in my bookcases right behind my apple tv and they only get warm and that is after they have been on for hours.

    This is the one I use I see they bumped up the price. I paid $149 Canadian 2 weeks ago...lol
    http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/prodd...75E003D5&sku_id=0926INGFS10131306&catid=26259
     
  7. chrysrobyn macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #7
    I'd also like to know if there are any drive enclosures that people have had luck with that are USB2.0 outside / SATA inside and spin down when AppleTV isn't using them. Turns out spinning down isn't necessarily a safe assumption.
     
  8. Chipskip macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    AZ
    #8
    I use two WD My Book 1TB (ea) plugged into a powered Belkin USB hub. I love them, I am thinking about buying one more, or is it time to switch to a Drobo for lots of extra space.... but the $$$ for a drobo.... Maybe one more WD My Book and then the BIG upgrade.



    ATVFlash is suppose to be decent. However I use XBMC, I use my
    :apple:TV for watching my movies that have been converted to ISO and for TV shows that I have pulled of DVDs or from the internet. For me XBMC was the easiest and convenient to use.
     
  9. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2002
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #9
    In the last week I've gone through two of these WD MyBook 1.5TB drives from Best Buy (the USB, Firewire, eSATA version, model WDH1CS15000N). Both ended up being defective. The first sample developed a noticeable, constant clicking sound after about a day of use (interestingly, the clicking only happened while the drive was inactive, I think it was trying to park the actuator head which failed and then got stuck in an endless loop -- click-click-click trying to reset the head).

    The other sample was basically DOA, wouldn't mount on the desktop. Also, based upon my experience with the first drive (which did work for about one day) these units will definitely go into sleep mode after a period of inactivity. Frankly, I don't think you are going to find any external drive that doesn't behave that way.

    In any case, after being a long time Western Digital fan this latest experience is making me think that these particular drives are VERY cheaply made. I suspect that they use a custom drive mechanism designed for lowest possible cost. Western Digital has done a similar thing with their 2.5" Passport external drives (they no longer use a regular SATA interface, presumably so that they can reduce the cost of the product). From now on I think I'll stick with bare drives so that I know what I'm getting (RPM, cache, interface) and then purchase a good third-party enclosure which has the features that I want (like a real power switch -- the Western Digital power switch only works after you install custom software on your Mac). I also dislike the fact that many of Western Digital's external drives now force you to install custom software on your Mac so that they'll perform automatic backups -- what I want is a simple (dumb?) drive that does what I want, not something that does what Western Digital thinks it should do.

    I'm going to try and exchange the drive once again at Best Buy (I suspect they may give me some trouble since this will be my third attempt to get a correctly functioning drive) but I have a rather sinking feeling that the third drive won't be any good either -- the odds don't look very good.
     
  10. MacBlackBook22 macrumors 6502

    MacBlackBook22

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    Yikes that is not sounding good. Wonder if it was a bad batch that they have. So far mine has been fine, no strange noises hopefully it won't. This is the 7th My book that I have purchased so far have not had any problems at all with any of them. I would say that the oldest is about 5 years.
     
  11. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #11
    Have you looked at a Drobo? (www.drobo.com) I've just got one and it's fantastic. Best things about it, I looks cool, it offers excellent redundancy and you can upgrade the drives when ever you need more storage (even if over 5TB isn't enough)
     
  12. youbetcharaid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    #12
  13. Sealevel macrumors newbie

    Sealevel

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Belleair, Florida, USA
    #13
    Just purchased and received a 2.0TB Newer Technology Guardian MAXimus "Quad Interface" FireWire® 800/400, USB 2.0 & eSATA Hardware RAID-1 (Mirrored) Data Redundant Solution.

    Why You Need Guardian MAXimus RAID-1
    Guardian MAXimus is "live activity" backup of financial records, medical files, business projects...any critical data that you simply cannot risk losing. It's always guarding against data loss by writing the same information in real-time to two separate drives for a "mirrored" copy. It also protects you from costly system downtime and data restoring after a single hard drive-equipped system crash.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/GM8Q7H20TB64/

    Great price too!!!
     
  14. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #14
    I have two atv's using a 1 TB mybook and a 750 GB mybook respectively via the atv esata mod as their primary drives. As well four more mybooks ( of various smaller sizes) hooked up to my mbp via fw for video storage as well. Pretty much cannot complain but I am very sure others ( Seagate and company ) would work just as well.
     
  15. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #15
    are you guys getting decent performance from USB drives?
    I tried a Atvflash hack and playback from the external was
    not as stable smooth as files on the internal. Not even as good as streaming.
     
  16. ermineson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    #16
    It should be much better than streaming. However, external drives are designed to spin down frequently this combined with slow spin-up times can make running your ATV off an external USB drive a real horror show, pausing while you scroll through menu items etc. There are also a number of poor configurations, problems with the USB hard drive combined with data transfer glitches that will cause stuttering during video playback. Relying on an external is hit and miss.
     
  17. deadwulfe macrumors 6502a

    deadwulfe

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2010
    #17
    I've got a WD MyBook attached to mine and playback has been fine. My videos are encoded with Handbrake using either the Universal or ATV settings, with the framerate set at NTSC standard.

    Scrolling through the menus does stutter and resuming play from being paused does have a delay. However, I've never used it from the internal drive so I don't know what, if anything, I'm missing out on in performance.

    EDIT: Forgot to add... In all of the reasearch I've done on which brand is better, WD or Seagate, I swear 95% of the bad reviews are written by people getting paid by those companies to bash the competition. There's no way two of the top players in the HDD market make absolute crap. Pick either one, they'll work just fine.
     
  18. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #18
    I use a LaCie 1TB without any problems so far.
     
  19. tommylotto macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2004
    #19
    I have a 2T My Book Studio attached to my iMac via FW800 with all my video files. I also have two 2T MyBook Mirror Edition drives attached via USB, one for back up of the video files and one for Time Machine back-up. I have had good experience with WD, not so much with Apple's Time Capsule, which died after about 20 months.
     
  20. smackmyho macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    #20
    Atv usb drives: Only recognizing one drive

    I have an atv hacked with nito.

    Two toshiba portable usb deives (500gb each) attached through a non-powered hub. I am only able to see the first one attached in my network.

    Do i have to have a powered hub to network multiple drives?

    Why / why not.

    Thanks.
     
  21. Chipskip macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    AZ
    #21
    Yes you need a powered hub. Belkin makes a 4-port hub that is cheap and works great.

    Why? All USB drives, from 256MB to 1TB, need power. If it is a small drive than the USB port can usually provide more than enough power. As the drive gets bigger the power needs increase. So the :apple:TV is providing enough power to run one of your drives, but doesn't have enough to run the second.
     

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