external storage and Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wfriedwald, May 20, 2017.

  1. wfriedwald macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2017
    a friend of mine bought an apple TV box last summer - I imagine this is the Second Generation. (?)

    Question: does anybody know if there is any way to attach a flash drive or a USB drive to the Apple TV box and play content from video or audio files?

    I keep thinking that there must be a way ... or maybe not??


  2. CarlJ macrumors 68030


    Feb 23, 2004
    San Diego, CA, USA
    There's no way officially (or unofficially that I've heard of) to plug in external storage to the Apple TV - it is meant to be a network streaming box. If what you have really is a 2nd generation AppleTV, it's quite old - those shipped in September 2010 and were superseded by the 3rd gen in March 2012. The current 4th gen shipped in October 2015, a year and a half ago.

    The 2nd and 3rd generations had a fixed set of apps/icons, provided by Apple, and you could only rearrange or hide them.

    The 4th gen introduced a proper 3rd-party App Store, and you can download all sorts of apps. Including Infuse, Plex, and VLC, which are all designed to stream video (or audio) from a local network server, and do so quite well (Kodi is the major player that's missing - there are tutorials for how to shoehorn it onto the AppleTV, along with many complaints of trouble doing so, since it isn't coming in through the front door - there are better devices for running Kodi).

    Streaming from a local network drive is the approach most people take these days (why move content to flash drives and plug them in when you get a multi-terabyte NAS for under $150, drop that on your network, and throw all your video there?). Note that you could also stream from your existing networked Mac/PC, as well, for no cost.
  3. wfriedwald thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 1, 2017
    thanks ...

    I'm thinking the best idea may be to get a $60 bluRay player with a USB port, and play movie files that way.

    but maybe a NAS drive ... I've never really used one of those, and this has the added complication of me having to mess with a friend's set-up, rather than my own.

    thanks for the info!

  4. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    TV have a USB port? Might be able to just plug your movies into the TV.

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3 May 20, 2017