External HD for storage

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by murph1134, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. murph1134 macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2011
    Sorry if this has been asked before, I searched to no avail...

    For those of you that use external HD's to store your movies as a server for your Apple TV - do you notice any lag in playback? I assume that the way it works is the Apple TV accesses your computer, which then has to access your external HD via USB and to me that seems like it may cause laggy playback.

    But I imagine people do this a lot - anyone had issues with it?

    I'm new to the Apple TV world and converting all my DVD's to Apple TV. Figuring I'm gonna need more space at some point...
  2. HotRodGuy macrumors regular

    Jan 28, 2008
    Huntington Beach, CA -> Raleigh, NC
    i just got my Gen 2, but have been using a Gen 1 that way for years and never had a problem....will be trying it with the gen 2 shortly, but don't anticipate a problem.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The initial lag might be due to the HDD spinning up, but wireless LAN (802.11n) and USB 2.0 offer more than enough bandwidth to stream SD and HD movies, as HD movies seldom go over 1.5MB/s, SD movies are even smaller. USB 2.0 offers 36MB/s in peaks, 802.11n wireless LAN offers up to 15/20 MB/s.
  4. Sparky9292 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2004

    I have one of these attached to my wimpy 2006 mac mini. Works great!

  5. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I also use a Drobo2 via Firewire800. Thought it was great. I recently upgraded my iMac to the i7 current model, and I now realise, the Drobo SUCKS for speed. The fact it puts the drives into sleep mode at every possible opportunity means that there is nearly ALWAYS a lag at initial access. Whilst connected via FW800, I'll suck eggs if its actually anywhere near using the speed FW800 is supposed to!

    Having said all that, I run a huge library, with both Gen1 and Gen2 appleTVs (5 total), and was very happy for a number of years. Now I want a thunderbolt external to replace the Drobo.

    At another location, Im running my older 2006 iMac with 3 1Tb 2.5" drives hanging off it plus an an enlarged internal HDD. Works fine also. Gone with the small externals just to reduce power cords.
  6. StevePDX macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2011
    I have a Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex FW800 that I've been running for 6 months are so. No complaints and it was one of the cheaper options for a 3TB external Firewire hard disk.
  7. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    I recently added a WD Mybook Live to my network. With a few minor reservations, I've been very pleased.

    It is technically a NAS device, which means its contents are accessible by any other device on my network. Its pretty easy to install and set up. I bought the 2TB version for about $150, which struck me as pretty good value compared to an external or portable hard drive, especially as I'd been thinking of adding a dedicated server. Its much quieter and energy-efficient than a server would be.

    Because the MyBook Live is connected to your router via a CAT5 cable, it essentially removes one of the wireless "legs" from the streaming equation.

    The only downside right now is that it (currently) cannot act as an iTunes server. You can physically store your media files on it, but you still need to have iTunes running on a PC or Mac in order to stream to AppleTV.

    Western Digital claims that this was caused by some changes in iTunes 10.5; and have promised a firmware upgrade in the next month that will address the issue. On the other hand, iTunes Match will supposedly allow streaming of your iTunes library from the Cloud, which would make this somewhat irrelevant, at least as far as music is concerned.
  8. kage207 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2008
    To the post above, use symbolic links, unless you mean that for the AppleTV to access them, then yes the computer has to be on. That's why I am building a dedicated server for our solution, always on, power efficient, gives us speed when we need it, access anywhere in the world.

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