Is Apple TV's hard drive really big enough??

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by harpal999, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. harpal999 macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2009
    So I was thinking of buying the apple tv because I love the idea of not having any physical dvds taking up shelves and the fact that I can get and watch films and tv shows straight away.

    But I've just realised that the apple tv only comes with 160 gb... I already have approx 60gb worth of tv shows and films downloaded to my ipod, and i'm thinking that especially with most stuff coming in HD now, I'll fill up the space within months...

    Surely apple can't expect me to buy another apple tv once its filled up...

    I've heard that people have modded their apple tv and put bigger hard drives in, but I don't really like the idea of this because if I screw it up (which i probably will), im guessing its going to invalidate the warranty and stuff...
  2. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I stream all of my content from my computer and have never had an issue. i have easily over 160GB of content too.

    I have the 40GB version.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Not if you intend to store everything on it. In that case you either need to hack it to allow for a USB HDD extension, open it to put in another HDD, or buy a Mini, which would be easier all the way around.

    If you just store current seasons of shows on there then yes, it's probably enough. If you watch more than maybe 10 shows per season then it will fill up fast and then I'd question if the ATV is right for you.
  4. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    I have a 40GB version and it's more than enough storage for me because I don't sync anything to the device, I just stream.

    It's really not meant to hold your whole library, its meant to allow you watch your library on your HDTV. In that case, you set it to automatically sync a portion of material to it. Not that larger harddrives aren't a help, but its clearly not meant to house all of your media.
  5. ziggyonice macrumors 68020


    Mar 12, 2006
    Rural America
    There are several popular Apple TV programs you can download an install to enable the USB port to be turned on, allowing use of external hard drives attached to the Apple TV. Doing this will not void the warranty as you don't have to open up the box.
  6. JonHimself macrumors 68000


    Nov 3, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    I think it depends on your set-up. I have a terribly old router and a laptop. If I want to sync content or reliably stream HD content I end up connecting my ethernet cable to my laptop which is a pain. I usually sync all unwatched TV shows, maybe some random shows to watch if I'm bored and a movie or two and at that point the drive is pretty full... mind you, I have the 40GB version. That's not really an issue with the Apple TV, but with my home network. Having an always-on desktop that was serving up the content would also make a difference.
    The one time I DO wish it had a bigger hard drive is when I go away for the weekend (parent's, partner's, vacation, etc) and want to take my Apple TV with me. I end up having to be very picky and wish I could have 500GB-1TB in there. There are workarounds to adding bigger hard drives and/or external storage but I would prefer to have an internal solution.
  7. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    There is no problem with enabling the USB port. The whole patching operation will NOT void your warranty.

    There are several tools available. A good start is this free tool.
  8. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I have well over a terabyte of stuff and I only use the 40GB version. I stream everything except that I just keep my podcasts on the ATV's HD.
  9. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    I'm with the others: I have about 250 GB of content stored on an external NAS streaming to my 40 GB Apple TV (through a Mac Mini running iTunes).

    It appears just as any other content that is synced.
  10. Tweeksy macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008
    Also note that if you do mess it up, you can recover the ATV back to it's factory settings quite easily and start again:

    I bet you can't guess how I found that out ;)
  11. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    No, that was one of the reasons I didnt buy an :apple:TV. It either needs to have a 2tb harddrive or it might as well not even have one. I am just about to fill up my 1tb external with just movies and tv. Luckily my Mini has 5 usb ports and FW800
  12. harpal999 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Oh ok, so is it easy to move stuff between your apple tv and pc, even under the same itunes account?

    eg. if i downloaded a movie straight onto my apple tv and watched it, could i move it to my pc? and vice versa?
  13. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    It is synced to your PC so, yes you would be able to view it on your PC. And any music, movie or podcast file I have in iTunes on my iMac is available to me on my AppleTV....though I have none of those files actually stored on the's all synched together and my content streams between ATV and PC. No need to 'move it' just works.

    At least it works this way with my Mac...I am assuming the premise is the same on the PC side. iTunes is the key to the operation.

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