Is backing up to time capsule possible?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dmm219, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    Before I buy an ATV, one thing I have been trying to figure out,

    Is there a way to back up tv shows and such to a time capsule, WITHOUT the use of itunes or a PC? I don't in any way, want to have my ATV tethered to my computer, I want it to work entirely independently. I would like to be able to periodically, remove tv shows and such, downloaded to the ATV and move them to time capsule for storing. As far as I can tell, it appears the only way I can do this is to synch itunes on my macbook to the atv, which will move all my tv shows to my pc, and then back them up to time capsule from the pc, and then remove them manually from the ATV to free up space. Is this the only way to accomplish this?

    One last question, can you browse for, and watch podcasts directly on the ATV, without the use of itunes?

  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I'm a bit confused by what you're asking, but I'll try to explain how the ATV works and maybe you can figure out if it does what you want it to.

    The ATV works from your iTunes library (not counting photos). Your actual media can reside on any internal or external drive you like. However, if you want it to appear on your ATV, then it must appear in iTunes library.

    You can choose to either sync and/or stream content to the ATV from your computer. The exact combination is up to you (but photos cannot be streamed).

    The only way the ATV will "work entirely independently" is if you sync all of your media to it. All of your media will then be on the ATV and available for use as soon as you wake it. If you have a small enough library and don't plan on adding to it, this may very well work fine. Keep in mind, though, that movie files take up a lot of space (usually 2-3 gigs each if you encode from a DVD), and it is very easy to go way past 160 gigs (the capacity of the larger ATV model).

    It sounds to me that you are asking if it is possible to have media that doesn't have to be streamed to the ATV. The answer is yes. As hinted to above, most people have media libraries that go well beyond 160 gigs. Put everything in your iTunes library, figure out the best back-up scheme that works for you, and then sync/stream whatever combination of media you want to your ATV. Because streaming works so well, most people opt to go with the smaller 40 gig model. If you would prefer to sync more content and keep your computer off, then buy the 160 model. Or, do what some have done and hack it and add a larger drive.

    Does this answer your question?

    EDIT: Just re-read your last question. Yes, you can search for and play or download podcasts directly from the ATV without going through iTunes.
  3. dmm219 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    thanks for the reply

    To clarify my situation a little further. I do not have a huge library of movies that I would want to store on either my pc or my ATV. I would really like to use the ATV simply as a cable substitute. Therefore, most of the content that I plan to put on the ATV, will simply be downloaded from Itunes (rental movies, tv shows, podcasts), and online streaming (hulu and boxee). I guess I will probably put my music and photo libraries on it as well, but thats not too important to me.

    And I don't want me, or my wife, to have to mess with my macbook and itunes everytime we want to watch something, I want to just find it on Itunes, download it, and watch it (or boxee). Since i don't plan to keep a lot of movies in my library (and most will be rented, and then deleted anyways), the only thing that will start eating up my hard drive will be tv shows (how i would love apple to offer tv show rentals!). So from time to time, and since i bought them, i'd want to keep them on my time capsule after the ATV starts to fill up.

    I was hoping there was an easy seamless way to do this between ATV and Time Capsule. But it seems like apple hasn't given me a very seamless integration in this instance.

    So basically, I will want to keep very little in the way of movies on demand, i plan to only do the rental thing directly to the ATV. TV shows, since I have to buy them...would be downloaded from itunes directly to the ATV, and these I would like to back up to time capsule. Podcasts I would like to download directly to the ATV, and delete when watched. Music and Photos aren't a big deal to me.

    the less I need my macbook or itunes to accomplish any of this...the better.

    Hope this helps to clarify.

    (I understand I may be in the minority of what I'd like the ATV to do..)
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The ATV will do exactly what you describe. You can rent movies right from the ATV, and you can purchase TV shows either from the ATV or from your PC in iTunes. Shows purchased on your ATV will automatically sync back to your iTunes library.

    So long as you set up Time Machine to back up your Music folder (or wherever you decide to store your media), then the TV shows you purchase will be backed up.

    Because the ATV is controlled by iTunes, you will have to go into iTunes from time to time to maintain your library. But other than that, you can ignore it if you mainly plan on doing the rental thing, Hulu on Boxee, etc.
  5. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    you have to use itunes to sync or stream your media. you cannot just turn off you macbook and expect atv to "fetch" items from your time capsule. you can store your library on the time capsule, but you would still need to link it to itunes and have itunes open when syncing or streaming.

    you can purchase items directly from the itunes store with the apple tv, but you would need to use itunes on the macbook to sync it back to your mac or timecapsule.

    i would do what the other poster said and keep your library on the macbook and then use time machine to back it up on the time capsule. it really doesn't get much seamless than that.
  6. dmm219 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    Thanks for the responses

    That's kind of what I was figuring. I like the idea of backing up the tv shows, as I'd only have to deal with itunes when backing up the data...not when I want to watch something.

    We are not the type of people who generally tend to re-watch movies or tv shows, so its not like we'd be wanting to watch whats backed up on the time capsule very often. That's why a rental option for tv shows would be awesome for us. Since I have to pay for the shows, I'm gonna want to keep them somewhere, even if we rarely watch them again...

    But I can imagine a scenario that is more seamless: The ATV recognizes the TC directly as a backup volume and will wirelessly back up files of your choice to the TC after watching, thereby, keeping your ATV memory usage low, and seamlessly performing the backing up for you.

    But this should work good enough in the meantime.

    Now i just have to figure out what to do about real time sporting events...
  7. MarkW macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2008
    It might be worth noting that on a technical level, tv runs Mac OS Tiger, which doesn't have Time Machine - there is a possibility that direct backing up to time capsule will be possible in the future.
  8. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    the thing is that your memory allocation would not be reduced by what you suggest. a backup would create a duplicate on the tc and leave the contents on your atv. if you deleted the items on the atv, time machine would eventually delete older backups and that content would be lost. i look at atv as a media player more than a storage device.

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