Can I Upload Videos to Apple TV?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 21, 2009
Tampa Area, FL
If I buy a new Apple TV am I able to upload a bunch of cartoons and stuff on my computer for my kids to watch straight from the Apple TV? Or do they not work like that? Or is there an easy way to connect a USB external hard drive to it or be able to stream from an external hard drive? I’m technically inclined, but looking for an easy solution. I don’t want the videos taking up space on my laptop anymore. Thanks.


macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2014
S. Florida
Actually the cartoons would stay on your computer and stream to the AppleTV. The ATV only has enough internal memory to store downloaded apps. and streaming buffers. It can’t store content locally. There are a few work arounds but they all involve streaming from a server, either from an NAS or computer.


macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
as the others have said, you can't store files on the aTV.

look at Infuse or Plex

Plex requrires a computer running their server (windows, Mac or linux)
Basically turns your computer into it's own personal netlfix like service.
It will also automatically add data (like title, descriptions, cast and crew) to all your files.
and you can watch from multiple devices (start a show on the aTV, stop, and then pickup in the same place on your phone)
you can have multiple accounts each with their own watched status, and even share with friends outside your home if you have enough bandwidth.
It will also convert files automatically if they won't play natively on the player you're using (like a 4k video on a 1080 aTV)
just for kids videos this might be a bit much.

infuse will access a network share directly on the aTV, so no specialized server program needed, just a computer and a folder shared using windows file sharing.
infuse can also add metadata, (I don't use this) but I believe it's local on the aTV,

for both Plex and infuse, you could use a NAS instead of a computer.
Either a standalone NAS unit, or a RasPi with your choice of OS and some USB drives.
There are NAS devices that will run Plex on them. and there is also a Pi image for Plex.

One thing to keep in mind, for the NAS or Pi, you want to make sure your files are compatible with the aTV player, since there's not a lot of horsepower to convert them on the fly.
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