Drobo (USB 2.0) with AppleTV

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by apthai, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. apthai macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2008
    I'm thinking of getting a Drobo for a back-up solution and for my iTunes/iPhoto/Aperture Library.

    I convert a lot of my movies through Handbrake with the AppleTV preset. Is a Drobo connected to my iMac via USB 2.0 have enough bandwidth to watch on my HDTV?

    The setup will be...

    Drobo > USB 2.0 > iMac > Wifi (G) > Router > Wired (100) > Apple TV

    With that setup, will I run into any lag when watching a Movie on my HDTV? Thanks in advance.
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Should work really nicely. You will have ff/rew streaming issues with 802.11g at 2500 kbps of the ATV preset, but playback should be ok.
  3. paul-logicit macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2008
    The New Drobo has FireWire 800 so if connecting to a Mac with this you would have no problem. Also if using USB2 on the new unit it is about 25-30% faster than the original Drobo so also should be fine.
    New one costs less than the original also which is great.

  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    The weakest link in his system is the 802.11g. Doesn't matter if it's fw or usb2, he'll hit his bottleneck on the wireless.
  5. apthai thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2008
    Paul - Where did you find the new FW800 version cheaper than version 1? The only reason I'm going with Version 1 is because it is cheaper than Version 2 (FW800)
  6. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    There was a Dell coupon/sale floating around, but I thought that still came out to be more than v1 on clearance.

    If you buy the optional network adapter, what is the datarate between the Drobo proper and the network unit? Usb? Firewire? Proprietary?
  7. shaggymac macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2008
  8. fivepoint macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    If you're streaming over a wireless network, the Firewire Drobo will be 0% faster than the USB Drobo. There will be NO SPEED IMPROVEMENT whatsoever. The wireless is EASILY the bottleneck in your setup.
  9. drummerlondonw3 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2008
  10. apthai thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2008
    I've been doing a lot of reading on the drobo. So what I'm getting at is that with Version 1, the max capacity I can make the drive is 2TB. This is not what I want, I want it to show up as 1 big drive on my desktop.

    If I spent the extra money for Version 2, will I have that issue with FW800?

    I plan on putting in (2) 750GB drives when I get it and will add (2) 1TB drive later in time. When I add the (2) 2TB drive will the drive on my desktop show up with the correct space used/available? Thanks

    Everyone has been very helpful. I may just connect my iMac to my router via wire so that will limit that bottleneck.
  11. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    I'm not sure what you mean. Both versions merge all the drives together to look like one big drive, with some space used up for redundancy. I'm not sure about the first version, but the second generation supposedly supports up to 4x4TB drives, although such large drives are not yet available. The first gen supports at least 4x1TB drives.

    Drobo needs to reserve some space for redundancy, so effectively will reserve the largest drive you put in. Two 750GB drives will look like a single 750GB drive - you would be better off with four 320GB drives, although you can get 750GB drives for only $100 compared to about $80 for the 320GB and 1TB drives are only $150.

    Adding the two 1TB drives to 2x750 GB will give you up to 2.5GB. 4x1TB will give 3TB space.

    Take a look at http://www.drobo.com/Products/drobolator.html
  12. fivepoint macrumors 65816


    Sep 28, 2007
    No, I read something about the 2TB limitation thing... I'm not 100% sure about it since I don't have one, but I thought it was a limitation with Leopard or a limitation with firewire/usb or something like that. For some reason, the drive always shows up as a 2tb drive, and nothing larger. IT still functions the same, but just looks like 2tb instead of the real number.

    You guys will have to do some research to find out the truth on this one. I can't remember. Maybe someone with more than 2tb of space in their drobo can help?


    Also, as drummer said, a lot of these questions are answered in this thread:
  13. plinden macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2004
    Well, the Drobo company itself is offering the original USB Drobo with 4x1TB drives - http://drobo.com/Where_to_Buy/Index.html - (a pretty good deal at $1075 although you can get 1TB drives from e.g. NewEgg for less).

    What I think you're thinking of is, the largest drive is used for redundancy so you have 3TB available, but according to HD manufacturers 3TB is 1000,000,000,000 Bytes, and all computers read that as 2.73TB.

    Edit: I glanced through that thread and I couldn't see anything about 2TB limit, although in 11 pages I may have missed something. A few people had 4TB (aka 3TB available) though.

    Edit: Doh - it's 2TB per volume. The new one doesn't have this issue.
  14. paul-logicit macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2008
    I am in Ireland and it is selling for less here than the older USB only unit.

    If wifi is the issue why not pick up a a/b/g/ wireless unit. That should be fine for larger streaming.
  15. apthai thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2008
    Yes! That was what I was trying to say. Thanks for spending time on trying to understand what I'm trying to ask.

    If the new one doesn't have the 2TB limit per volume then I'll just go ahead and go with the FW800 version. Thanks again for everyone's help.
  16. UserSpace macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2008
    We've had a Drobo for a year later this month -- wife, me, two teenagers. At first I used it with a Mac mini to drive my HDTV. I got tired of having to grab the keyboard and mouse to watch something... In July, thanks to 43folders.com, I learned about Applecore's Patchstick and its support for USB drives. I hacked the atV and installed additional plugins to share over its WLAN. I kicked out two Dell boxes and re-purposed the Mac mini as a server file/print/iTunes/bittorrent/Time Machine backup target - it has a 2nd Drobo which I bought in the Spring.

    One Drobo has 4x1TB drives, the othr 4x500GB drives. Guess which one is connectd to the Apple tV? Some poster above was worried about a 2TB limitation -- that is only a factor on XP or Linux. On OS X you can format it to grow to up to 16TB. With its "pull a drive and replace with a larger one" system for expansion, you will have lots of future growth.
  17. mrousey macrumors newbie

    Jul 15, 2009
    Drobo With Apple Tv

    I just connected a USB 2.0 DROBO to my 40 GB Apple TV and it works great. I am able to watch all of the movies stored on the DROBO. The Apple TV sometimes resets when I fast forward or rewind, but this was normal on the other external hard drives connected to Apple TV.

    I have set the volume size on the DROBO to 2 TB and I have two 1 TB drives and two 750 gb drives in the 4 Bay USB 2.0 DROBO.

    I wanted to know, if there are any do's and don'ts when using DROBO with Apple TV.

    Can I add an additional hard drive when the DROBO is connected to APPLE TV?:)
    Is the 2 TB volume size a problem when adding additional hard drives?

    Can I disconnect DROBO from Apple TV without a problem?

    Does DROBO automatically back up my files when connected to Apple TV?

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