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Giuanniello

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 21, 2012
724
204
Capri - Italy
Hello,
I am now using a NAS to stream movies to an AppleTV on the home network and since I can't figure how to access the NAS from abroad any longer (Q-NAP quit the sharing option a while ago) it makes no sense to use it just to stream movies, I am looking for a different solution also because next to the TV and stereo system I have an old MacMini from 2010 whose sole duty is to feed lossless music to an external DAC so I rather put it all together and forget the NAS and its complications.

What could a solution be since I have a couple AppleTV at home, a wifi network feeding them both and an Infuse subscription? I have a spare 1TB 2.5" SSD running around, I thought to build a server with a Raspberry Pi3+ I also have in a drawer but I rather avoid headaches and get a commercial, simple and running solution, any suggestion?

Grazie
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
  1. Connect big hard drive (big enough to hold all of the media- perhaps with room for future media additions too) to the Mac Mini,
  2. Get your media formatted to work with the stock apps on AppleTV- particularly the Computers app*,
  3. Index media on that Mac mini (there is an option** to leave videos where they are (the external drive) so you don't fill up the Mini's internal drive),
  4. Turn on home sharing on the Mini to share the content with the AppleTVs,
  5. With the iTunes "home sharing" option is also an option to manage if all photos or only select ones are shared with AppleTVs. Use that to choose all photos or maybe photo albums, etc.
  6. Use Computers app (not TV app) on all of your AppleTVs to enjoy your entire media library.
By this simple method, you can stream photos, music, videos, home movies, etc from the central hub (your Mini) to all AppleTVs and only use stock AppleTV apps to view them. Computers (app) actually brings ALL such media together. If you fill up a hard drive connected to the mini, connect another one for even more media. No NAS (or Cloud) required at all. You could even let the Infuse subscription go and just use the free stock apps.

*Here's a picture to help locate the often overlooked Computers app, which is ideal for this purpose...

full

Most people think only the TV app can be used... else they need PLEX or Infuse, etc. But Computers is made for exactly this purpose and does it very well. My household heavily uses that app and rarely uses the TV app.

**Here's a picture of the box to uncheck to leave a video collection that big external drive referenced in #1...

full

Unchecking that option, leaves them on the external instead of importing them to the internal drive, so you won't overload the internal storage with video files. The key here is always leaving that external connected so that iTunes doesn't lose the connection to those files.
 
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priitv8

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2011
4,049
642
Estonia
As the name implies, Home Sharing works only at home. If the OP wants to access his media library also from abroad, then Plex aerver might be the easiest to set up for access from outsode home network.
 
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waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,703
967
You can install plex on qnap, might depend on the model though, I'm not sure if they all support it.

then no new hardware is needed, as long as the files are encoded in a format the client can play, as the NAS probably isn't powerful enough to handle transcoding.

Then just get the plex app on whatever device or a web browser and you're good wherever you want to watch either home or away.


another option is tailscale
it's a VPN, you can install it on the aTV, and on most devices. Q-nap might have a client, (Synology does).
then once it's running and connected on both, you can point the aTV at the qnap's Tailscale IP address. You may need to go to Tailscale in a web browser to find the IPs it assigned to your devices as broadcasts (what is used to make network shares automatically appear on other devices) don't work over the VPN.

you can also configure each Tailscale client as an exit point so you could have data from your iPhone route out of your q-nap and the enter the internet from your home IP. you can also set it up as a subnet router, which would allow you to access other devices on your home network through your q-nap.

doc on Tailscale on NAS devies - https://tailscale.com/kb/1273/qnap
 
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JamesMay82

macrumors 65816
Oct 12, 2009
1,308
1,056
As the name implies, Home Sharing works only at home. If the OP wants to access his media library also from abroad, then Plex aerver might be the easiest to set up for access from outsode home network.
I've never liked plex, it always looks very clumsy to me. I'd follow @HobeSoundDarryl and use the computers app/tv app on the Mac but then I'd keep a copy externally so I can take while traveling if that's important.

I hate to admit but this is where iTunes purchases in the cloud comes in handy.
 

weeesss

macrumors 6502
Oct 24, 2017
349
187
I access my brother's Synology Nas through the internet using any browser, and I can download or stream as necessary. And to watch them on my ATV I just download them to my Nas.
 

HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G5
Yes, if I was OP, I'd set up the home sharing option for home and seriously consider a Synology NAS to own and use his own "cloud" when away from home. That will yield an easy and "no rent required" way to access the media vs. carrying a hard drive loaded with media with him on those trips. And unlike many cloud options- including Apples- owning your own cloud doesn't require monthly forever rent to access & use that storage.

I actually have exactly that setup and it all "just works" easily and great. Synology also offers a rich set of other benefits too... with many nicely compatible with the "walled garden." For example: 2 favorites are Channels DVR and Time Machine support. There are many more.
 
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Audit13

macrumors 604
Apr 19, 2017
6,824
1,814
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I access my QNAP using SMB 2.0 which Infuse supports.

To access my NAS over the Internet, I run Wireguard VPN server on my router, register a host name at NoIP, and assign a static IP address for the QNAP. This method does not rely on any cloud service from Synology, QNAP, etc.
 
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priitv8

macrumors 601
Jan 13, 2011
4,049
642
Estonia
Can you elaborate? Outside access to your QNAP Plex instance should be available.
Does Plex internet sharing work without having to deal with the dynamic DNS and/or port forwarding issues?
I.e. does it provide automatic service discovery also on the WAN-side?
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
9,009
7,170
Perth, Western Australia
Given the cost of setting up a Plex server I'd suggest to weigh the cost of doing so (plus curating/maintaining your library via downloading/ingesting new content into it, etc.) vs. just renting the movies for a couple of dollars to get full-speed streaming (not from home connection on the other side of the world potentially), no legality issues, need to keep patching it for security updates to keep your home network secure, etc.

Sure if you already have hardware you're set and .... it might make sense. If you're going to use the NAS for other data storage as well... it makes sense.

BUT come hardware replacement time, if you need to buy hardware to host it.... $1k or more for a Plex server and movie storage is a lot of movie rentals or monthly subscriptions.

e.g., its say 3-4 years of Netflix... which is what I'd use as the time-frame to budget for potential hardware/storage replacement. A $5 movie rental/stream is worth it for me if I don't need to find somewhere to download it, or rip the physical media myself, etc.

I say that as someone with a NAS/Plex server and lifetime Plex pass (yeah, I've had one running for 1 decade plus).... I'm just not sure if I'm going to bother replacing it when it dies.
 
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throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
9,009
7,170
Perth, Western Australia
Can you elaborate? Outside access to your QNAP Plex instance should be available.

Possibly QNAP disabled it due to security concerns/not wanting to bother providing security updates for it any longer.

There have been cases of old out of date Plex servers being used to compromise software developer's machines via their home network, using the non-patched public facing Plex server as an ingress point.

Another example of the busy work you just don't need to bother with if you put the time/money into streaming instead of self hosting. But YMMV of course.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
6,359
7,251
Denmark
BUT come hardware replacement time, if you need to buy hardware to host it.... $1k or more for a Plex server and movie storage is a lot of movie rentals or monthly subscriptions.
I run my Plex server on a 2011 base Mac Mini. He can do it a LOT cheaper than 1k$.
 

throAU

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2012
9,009
7,170
Perth, Western Australia
I run my Plex server on a 2011 base Mac Mini. He can do it a LOT cheaper than 1k$.

Yeah it depends if you're counting storage with that. A Mac mini is cheap but doesn't store much. Tens of terabytes of RAID is not.

A pi will struggle if it has to transcode anything, if you're looking to be able to transcode to down-scale bandwidth over the WAN or change codec you'll need a decent CPU to do that on the fly.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
6,359
7,251
Denmark
Yeah it depends if you're counting storage with that. A Mac mini is cheap but doesn't store much. Tens of terabytes of RAID is not.

A pi will struggle if it has to transcode anything, if you're looking to be able to transcode to down-scale bandwidth over the WAN or change codec you'll need a decent CPU to do that on the fly.
A lot of "ifs" there. Storage can also be gotten really cheap.
 
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