Can I play movies from an external hard drive on Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ThumperAlan7, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. ThumperAlan7 macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2009
    So lemme get this straight...I guess I'm not quite positive how this whole Apple TV thing works still. I've looked it up on here, and still can't get a definitive answer.

    I want to watch movies that I have imported (that I legally own the physical DVD of) onto a hard drive and I have converted them to be iTunes compatible. Can I store them on an external hard drive, and have them sync-ed to the iTunes on my laptop and have the Apple TV play the movie from my iTunes (that is sync-ed to my external) over my internet connection or do the media files have to be on the hard drive of the Apple TV. Is that how it works?

    Why does the Apple TV need hard drive space?

    Can I play movies and tv shows from netflix and/or hulu on an Apple TV?

    Would it be better to just get a Mac Mini? :apple:
  2. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    Yes. :)
  3. ThumperAlan7 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2009
    oh why does Apple TV need hard drive space if everything is played from the computer over the internet?
  4. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you want to stream everything from your computer, the AppleTV probably only needs a small amount of hard drive space. However, a lot of people don't like to have their computer on all the time, so the hard drive is handy for syncing material to the AppleTV.

    In my case, I have all my music and photos synced to the AppleTV so they can be accessed without waking up my computer. I also have a bunch of home videos resident so my wife can watch her horse show stuff without having to worry about whether or not the computer is on.
  5. Chipskip macrumors member

    Jan 27, 2009

    Have you looked into hacking your :apple:TV with XBMC or Boxee?

    It cost me $8 (for a new flash drive) an about an hour to setup xbmc on my :apple:TV. Now I just copy my legal movies to an ISO file onto a hard drive. This gives me all the extras from every move and a full back up of my movies. Plus you don't have to have iTunes open all the time. You just point XBMC/Boxee towards your shared HD(s) connected to your computer or router.

    It is easy and quick to switch between xbmc and frontrow.
  6. Pamani macrumors 6502


    Jul 11, 2008
    Thanks for asking the questions thumper. ive been wondering the same thing.

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