External HDDs + Airport Extreme + ATV3 + iPad3 - Macbook?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mpb2000, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. mpb2000 macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    Here are my hardware components and what I would like to accomplish:
    Multiple external hard drives with media (particularly high resolution video) connected to...
    Airport Extreme (2nd gen)
    Apple TV 3

    I want to be able to stream video from my external hard drives (which are not NAS drives) connected to my Airport Extreme to my Apple TV and iPad, without having my macbook on. Without iTunes, "Home Sharing" may not work; I'm not sure. If that is the case, what can I do to make this setup work? What additional hardware/software would I need? If it is possible, would streaming speeds be acceptable for watching video?

    I have seen that a NAS will allow you to stream video to an iPad (and on to an Apple TV), without a computer running, by using additional iPad apps. I really don't want to buy a bunch of NAS drives to replace the external hard drives I already own. There are NAS converters for external hard drives, but I haven't seen any that are particularly reliable.

    Another option would be to replace the Apple TV with a mac mini that stays on all the time, again, something I don't really want to do. That would allow me to have a wired (maybe necessary in terms of streaming speed?) or wireless network connection from the external drives to the mac mini, and the constant presence of iTunes on the mac mini would allow Home Sharing to work with the iPad.

    It seems like there should be an easy answer, but I don't think there is. We have the technology; Apple just doesn't let it work together the way it could and should.

    I'm looking forward to some good advice. Thanks everyone.

  2. BimmerNFS macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2012
    I know this is a really old post, but i'm trying to do the same thing you are doing. Want to connect an external drive to my AirPort Extreme and use my Apple TV 3rd gen to watch stuff on the external drive without have my MBPr on. Did you have any luck getting your setup to work, if so what did you do? Thanks! David
  3. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    not going to work, ATV needs itunes to catch stuff from
  4. mpb2000 thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 11, 2008
    I still haven't been able to make it work, sadly. iTunes is definitely not necessary, thankfully, as that would require converting everything into iTunes friendly formats. But, you do need a NAS or external HDD + converter along with an iPad app to interface with the external drive. I've seen it done this way, but it's just not a simple method. The best thing to do is to have a separate media computer and forgo the apple tv altogether. That way, you have everything on your TV. I imagine I'll end up doing that at some point, and just sell the apple tv. A pricey alternative, and maybe I'll just get a PC for that purpose, but apple just hasn't provided a way to make it work. I don't expect them to, as they want all your media in iTunes, and then in the Cloud.
  5. jcb10 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2008
    Not really going to help either of the first two posters, but I have pretty much the system they imagined by using a Buffalo NAS (and I have a PS3 instead of an Apple TV).

    Quite frankly, you need some computing power on the storage end to stream as you envision, either a computer or an NAS. However, my NAS lets you plug in additional drives via USB -- you might have to buy one NAS (or conversion kit), but shouldn't have to replace ALL your storage.

Share This Page