Help me figure out if the aTV2 is for me.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jersey, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. jersey, Jan 17, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    jersey macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    Hello All,

    Trying to figure out if a set of aTV2 are for me. Heres the situation:

    I need a unit that will play an sd video file, auto loop (without indication that it's looping, i.e. icon), and preferably play on start up. I'd also like to be able to store the file onboard ( is the 8gb onboard user accessible?) or if I must, on a flash drive (aTV has miniusb if recall.).

    In the past I've always used mac minis running quicktime pro, but the ones I have are getting old and less appealing. I'd like to move to smaller units, but 5 new minis are a bit pricey, so I've started to look at aTVs.

    I'm not afraid to jailbreak if I need to.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    No, ATV2 does not store files locally.

    However, you could set up a media server (iTunes) and simply make a playlist that is set to loop with output set to the ATV2.
  3. powerman macrumors regular


    Aug 19, 2010
    I believe that jb allows you to hook up an external hd but I think you still need to have Itunes on, on a computer.
  4. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Totally agree with Sedulous. You can just use one of your old minis or any old computer running iTunes and set it to run that way. Multiple Apple TVs can access a single iTunes library simultaneously so you would only need one computer. Apple has ended its restocking fees so you could try it out and if it doesn't work for you, just return it or keep for personal use. It's only $99.

    Other options:

    1. Use an iPod touch and use Airplay to send the video to the Apple TV. In that way, the iPod Touch is acting like a wireless flash drive but you can't stream to multiple ATVs simultaneously.

    2. Put the video up on Mobileme and stream it from the Apple TV. I'm not sure if you can get it to loop with this method though.
  5. jersey thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2007
    I was unaware that 1 (old) mini could stream to all the atv - but again I'm wondering if 1 mini can support and smoothly stream 5 files to 5 different atv units.

    Ultimately I'm looking for something easy to install and was hoping to lessen the amount, or at least size, of hardware needed.

    I'm a bit surprised the jb community hasnt developed a way to utilize the onboard storage of these units - seems like something that would have been a high priority since it makes them so much more useful.
  6. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    The only real limitation is your network and obviously an N network could potentially stream in HD to 10 different Apple TVs at the same time or more. All the processing and decoding is done at the Apple TV so that wouldn't be a problem.
  7. deadjoe2002 macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Using the mac mini as an itunes host for the file is a brilliant idea in my opinion, and with regards to network bandwidth I'm sure it would be feasible to setup a wired network, perhaps with a gigabit capable router? (would this allow a connection of 100Mbit to each apple tv? or would the whole network be capped at 100Mbit for all aTVs).

    Keeping a Mac Mini and buying 5 aTV's would cost £500/$500 which (unless your other Mac Mini's are exceptionally old/damaged) could be recouped from the sale of the old minis.
  8. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Bandwidth limit depends on the size of the video files. If the media server is wired to the router, you are right, this would probably solve bandwidth issues since the bottleneck is removed.
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    The whole network would not be, but the server to switch at least would be. Each AppleTV would be capped at 100mbit because they only have 100mb ethernet ports (this is true for 95% of all media players out there as no one video stream requires more than 100mb worth of data). With that said, having them on a gb network would still be advantageous (assuming the model of mac mini has a gb ethernet port) because then each AppleTV would have plenty of bandwidth (theoretically you could have 10 appletv's each maxing out their bandwidth on one gb network, again theoretically).

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