Enable external drive with Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by HarryPot, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. HarryPot macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    I like my Apple TV a lot, but I dislike the need to have iTunes open in my Mac for it to work. I have the 40GB version, so I can't transfer many movies, and besides, my network is quite slow.

    I want to be able to connect an external drive and watch my movies from there. I've installed Boxee before, and completely hated it. What I would like is something which only hacks the Apple TV to read the external drive for movies.

    Anyone found a nice solutions for this?

    Thanks a lot.:)
  2. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    You need to create a patchstick (get it free here), install the USB patch and a plugin to play your movies. I would recomend ATVFiles - it also works for the latest atv firmware.
    If you only want to sync your movies from itunes to the external hd, check this.
  3. HarryPot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    Thanks tom.

    So basically the patchstick enables me to install plugins? And then I go and install ATV Files and that enables me to connect and external drive to the Apple TV?

    Just one extra question. Does ATV Files will show movies in an external drive in the Movies section? I wouldn't mind having to browse thru another menu, but I'm sure my family won't like it.

    Thanks again.
  4. ucijoker macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2009
    The third party plugins for the ATV have their own menus and don't attempt to piggy back on Apple's existing folders (Movies,Music, etc.).

    ATVFiles will display your content as if you were browsing though Finder. If you're looking to have your content cataloged, might I suggest Sapphire Browser.
  5. mulholland13 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2008
    Forgive me if I am being a little dense here, but I've never patched an TV. If I wanted to set up an external HD for syncing purposes only would I do the following:

    1) Create a patchstick using ATVusb-creator.
    2) Install patchstick to TV.
    3) Connect external USB HD to newly patched TV. (Beyond being HFS+ formatted is there anything important for preparing the external HD?)
    4) Install USB plugin. (How is this done? From the new menus added to the TV?)
    5) SSH to TV and follow the instructions here: http://patchstick.wikispaces.com/Use+USB+hard+drive+as+primary+storage

    If this is correct, will this work on TV 2.x and 3.x?
  6. HarryPot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    I think you are only missing the step in which you install the ATV-Files.

    I'm going to do this today or tomorrow morning. I'll post back with the step I followed.
  7. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    This can be done using the full version of the tool I linked to.

    You can do it yourself, if you know Terminal and OS X well. If not, I would suggest the patchstick.ca solution. It lets you install plugins with a click of the remote control.
  8. HarryPot thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 5, 2009
    Well, I'm trying to install NitoTV with no success so far. These are the steps I followed:

    1. Downloaded the ATV USB Creator (which enables ssh)
    2. Downloaded the NitoTV and using Cyberduck moved the folder to the Apple TV.
    3. Using Terminal, I entered my ATV and installed NitoTV, it didn't showed any errors.

    I restar the ATV but I don't see any new menus. What am I missing? I have 3.0.1.
  9. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    You don't need to have your 'server' Mac on constantly now as Snow Leopard's 'wake on wireless' feature will wake your computer as needed for iTunes library access.

    I just set this up (with some trial and error because of an issue with my AP Extreme) and it works amazingly well. I had been running 24/7 and can now, finally allow my Mac to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity. ATV materials are ready to play after a 2-5 second lag if the computer is asleep.

    I know this isn't your exact question, but it does answer one of your major issues with having your computer always on.

    P.S. I also have the 40GB version and stream ALL my shows/music.

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