Can Apple TV work with NAS Drives

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by affiatati7, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. affiatati7 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #1
    I have transferred many VHS home movies to my computer hard drive. I then copied them to a WD Nas Drive to view on my Iphone through a WD app on the Iphone.

    1- Is there any way to view NAS Drive videos through the Iphone?

    2- Can Apple TV play (mirror) videos from an NAS Drive or do all the files have to be in the memory of either the Iphone, Ipad or Itunes?

    TV Out does not work unless the videos are in the internal memory of the Iphone.
     
  2. maturola macrumors 68040

    maturola

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #2
    It doesn't out of the box, you can Jailbreak it and install ATV Flash or XMBC and it will read your content from the NAS directly.

    Out of the box you need iTunes (and iTunes compatible formats) to stream to the Apple TV
     
  3. Hammie macrumors 65816

    Hammie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #3
    It would be nice if the Apple TV was capable of streaming directly from my NAS device since it has a built in iTunes Server. Only devices running the iTune software can access this. In a way, though, it is redundant because Home Sharing does the same thing. My Mac Mini is always on so I never have to worry about not having access to my files (unless my Mac Mini dies on me). ;)
     
  4. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 23, 2010
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    Virginia
    #4
    I don't know about the WD NAS drive specifically, but...

    Some NAS drives (Synology for example) have a built-in DLNA server.
    There are Apps for iPhone/iPad (MediaConnect is an example) that can play video from a DLNA server and AirPlay or Mirror the video to the Apple TV.
    Synology also provides player apps that will AirPlay music, but not Video (the last time I tried. That is App dependent, and I have no ida about WD.

    Another alternative, and the one that I prefer is the VLC Streamer App. This requires a 'server' component running on a Mac or PC, but it will allow you to stream to your iOS device and mirror to ATV from there. I find the playback on this better than on my DLNA App (Media Connect), but your milage may vary...

    None of the above requires a jailbreak.
     
  5. hoggdoc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    #5
    The Problem is

    iTunes has a very limited list of video formats it will play or allow to be added to it's library, the end result is you can only stream mp4 & avi video files to the AppleTV via HomeShare.

    Apple needs to grow up an open the number of codecs they support via iTunes, the world is a big place and they are not keeping up.

    HD :(
     
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Estonia
    #6
    Why not just stick to the best format available? The only real contender to mp4 is MKV but that's hardly used outside of the rippers' community, so you can guess the rest.
     
  7. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #7
    If you mounted the NAS on your Mac and pointed iTunes to that mount rather than using the NAS iTunes server built into the NAS, then as long as your Mac was running with iTunes open, Apple TV could access the files the same as if your files were on the Mac drive directly. However, for many this defeats the purpose of an NAS. They want access to be iTunes and computer independent so the computer neither has to be on or even there for it to work.
     
  8. lexvo macrumors 65816

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    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    Since QNAP firmware 4.0 you can Airplay audio and video directly from a QNAP NAS to an Apple TV. I installed this today and it works great! :)
     
  9. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #9
    How does that work, exactly? Would the video have to be sent from the NAS to the Mac and then from the Mac to the Apple TV, or does the Mac simply handle the "handshaking" and point the NAS directly to the Apple TV?

    Would this be better than using a dedicated external drive plugged directly in to the Mac? I'm asking because I recently purchased a Drobo 5D for this exact purpose, but I've discovered some things I don't like about it and am considering returning it for the 5N (NAS). However, one thing I DO like about it is its rock-solid performance streaming iTunes media to the Apple TV's in my home, so I'm just wondering if the 5N would be better or worse than direct attached.

    I know that I'd get much better reads and writes using the NAS rather than a DAS shared on the network, but what about iTunes home sharing specifically?
     
  10. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

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    #10
    I honestly don't know how the Drobo enclosures perform now, but when I looked at them 3-4 years ago, they were horrible. Slow internally. Slow building directories, and lots of hang. I imagine they've improved as they are rather popular. But I opted to stay away and got some OWC Elite Mercury Pro aluminum enclosures and used FireWire. I suppose the nice thing about an NAS is that you can multi-purpose it, partitioning it for backups from multiple machines, storage/access from multiple machines, etc. But you can also network it so that iTunes behaves in a DAS capacity. Simply add the network drive to your login items so that each time you boot it connects to it. Then when you run iTunes you can access it. I can't speak to what the performance would be on NAS vs DAS but as I understand it the NAS will be limited to Gigabit speed and the DAS should be slightly higher on FW800 speed and certainly higher on USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt speed. But really any of them are fine for downloading content to and accessing content from.

    I have my iTunes library directly connect via a FireWire 800 drive and it never hiccups or has any issues, and the Apple TV talks to the iMac wirelessly. I assume the same would be true on USB 2.0 even.

    As for the handshaking, on a NAS, the Mac should essentially be handshaking, it wouldn't transfer anything to iTunes on the Mac to then transfer it to the Apple TV, it would go directly from the NAS.
     
  11. NMF macrumors 6502a

    NMF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2011
    #11
    Excellent. Performance shouldn't drop at all if I use a NAS as my storage then.

    As for the Drobos, the current models (2012 onward) are speedy and excellent. The issue I have is they don't recommend partitioning the drive using Disk Utility and there's no way to create volumes of different sizes on the DAS models (you can have either one massive 16 TB volume, a bunch of 2 TB volumes, etc.). There's really no way to do Time Machine effectively unless I want to manually prune my backups as they grow or do a bunch of janky hacks to get it working on a disk image. That means I need to find a separate Time Machine solution... so why bother with DAS at all, then? Time Machine is literally the only reason I went with the 5D in the first place. It's hooked up to a headless Mac mini, it's not like I need the speed on the host computer. If the NAS can serve up my iTunes content just as fast then I'd prefer that for the increased functionality everywhere else.

    I just wish I could find someone who has done this. I get plenty of hypothetical confirmations but I haven't been able to find any actual test results.
     
  12. priitv8, Oct 13, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #12
    If you read how unreliable the TM backups to a non-Apple NAS are (also, not supported by Apple), you'd most def want to stick to a DAS. Esp if you set your Mini up as OS X Server to provide TM service on your LAN. You'd just get a TimeCapsule with much more performance (minus the Wi-Fi router part, obviously).
    Also, R/W speeds of 5D exceed those of 5N by a factor of 2 at least. Having Mini, you can run all those apps you'd cram into your NAS on a full-blown OS X plus a lot more.
    Having run a NAS and a OS X Server on a Mac Mini in parallel for more than a year now, I admit that the NAS is just a waste. I'd get better performance and functionality from Mini+DAS combo. You can compare my BMST results here. You can see, that my simple DNS-325 won't even achieve speeds that a USB 2.0 connected drive to Mac Mini does. Thus I've been looking into Drobo 5D myself. For me, only justification for a NAS is, when you don't run a dedicated server on your network.
    PS could you please elaborate on the partitioning problem on a 5D and how's the 5N different?
    PPS AppleTV will not connect to a network share (much like iPads and iPhones) so you either need iTunes or iOS running, reading the share and pumping the stream to aTV. Synology and QNAP users report tey can push AirPlay stream to aTV from their NASes, but you still need a browser to kick this off from NAS side. You can't browse your media lib on NAS from aTV side. Unless you run Plex on both ends.
    Home Sharing service is not available to 3rd parties, because it involves authentication against Apple using your AppleID.
     

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