NAS and Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by southerndoc, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    My wife and I are building a large collection of movies we've purchased for our daughter through iTunes. I would like to store them on a local device instead of streaming them when needed (eating up bandwidth).

    Currently I have some stored on my iMac with iTunes sharing turned on. The AppleTV can stream these without a problem.

    I would like to move them to our Synology DiskStation. Is this possible without using an active iTunes session (i.e., setting up a Mac Mini in the basement as a media server, etc.).
  2. Abstract, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

    Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Do you mean setting up a Mac Mini as a Plex media server, and running it 24/7 as a streaming device?

    As someone who's only doing research on the topic now (I don't own a NAS, Plex server, or Apple TV), but from my understanding of your situation, you could either plug your NAS into your iMac and reference (i.e. import) all the movies in the NAS into your iMac's iTunes app. That way, iTunes will know that the movie is on your NAS. Even if you were to unplug your NAS for a day (why?), or turn it off temporarily, the movie would sit on your iTunes, but be unplayable. It would still be in your library's movie list, but it would be unplayable. No biggie.

    The other option is to install Plex onto a Mac Mini, and follow some instructions on the internet to install it. Having said that, I don't know if Apple TV works with a Plex server, or if it can be MADE to work with a Plex server (officially or unofficially). I haven't looked too deeply into this. If it works, or if you're willing to use a Roku 3 instead, then install Plex onto your Mac Mini, plug your NAS into your Mac Mini, and use the Mac Mini to stream it to your Apple TV (again, if Apple TV is compatible with Plex). If that doesn't work, then get a Roku 3. It's inexpensive and will allow you to do this.

    If you could connect your Mac Mini directly to your TV, you can still use Plex, but you wouldn't need to stream video via Wifi. The advantage is that the hardware requirements of your Mac Mini would be much lower, and you could basically use ANY computer to install Plex on. If you're streaming video wirelessly, it's different. You would need a decent computer to stream HD video. Furthermore, it'll depend on your Wifi network speed, coverage, and dependability.

    I hope this helps. I'm not 100% sure about what I said, but I'm pretty confident with what I posted. If someone else has something to add, I'd also love to read it.

    I'm actually interested in buying an Apple TV today (!!!), which is why I've been doing my research. It's interesting for me too.

    I decided on the Apple TV over the Roku 3 because I don't have a NAS, I don't have a Plex server, and I want to be able to play subtitles (mostly .srt and .ass). I think it's possible via iTunes, so I'll try that instead.

    Also, I like the idea of using AirPlay, and using the Apple-TV's optical out to connect my Apple TV to my older stereo (no bluetooth or AirPlay). I would just need to buy a DAC so that I can connect my AppleTV to my DAC, and then connect my DAC to my stereo.
  3. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    The easiest method and in my experience is to use a computer running iTunes to host thru.

    Synology does have a built in app (depending on which model you get) that allows you to stream directly from the DS to an iOS device app and then you can AirPlay it back to the Apple TV. However I find this produces poor video results.
  4. southerndoc thread starter macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    Yea, I think my current model supports that, but I would rather stream directly to AppleTV.
  5. NukeIT macrumors regular

    Mar 20, 2013
    You would need to use plex and a jailbroken aTV 2 with plex loaded on it.

    The current aTV 3 needs an intermediary
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I looked into this myself and decided it wasn't possible. If you want to use the AppleTV as it was intended, without jailbreaks, hacks, airplay, etc. then you need a computer that runs iTunes. I ended up getting a Mini for an iTunes server. It just sits there and runs iTunes 24/7. Works great.
  7. Dameatball macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2014
    San Francisco
    Two of three devices you mentioned can host Plex media server. The mini is going to give you the best CPU in terms of streaming HD (locally or remotely) and you can use the Synology nas to host your videos on your network. While the atv doesn't have the Plex app, I know quite a few people that airplay to the atv from an iPhone or iPad (if you really want to use the atv). Lastly, Synology can also host Plex if you want it all under the same roof. You won't get the CPU power but it may not matter ( depends on which Synology nas). If you want to access it remotely, the mini is going to be your best bet. As mentioned the roku has the Plex app but you're still going to need to host PMS on one of those machines.
  8. snejdk macrumors newbie


    Aug 9, 2011
    Firecore on ATV 2 generation

    You dont mention what ATV you got. ATV 1, ATV 2 og ATV 3.
    I have a ATV 2 and the same needs as you.
    But... i needed a solution, that works without any PC og Mac need to be turned on and run anything.
    In fact i wanted a solution that my kids (3 and 7 years) kan use, without me doing anything. They turn on the TV, turn on the ATV, select ATV on the TV Menu, select a movie and press play.

    I ended up with buying a media player software from Firecore, called ATV Flash (black).
    Jailbreaked my ATV installed the software.
    It has worked like a charm ever since.
    All my kids movies are on my NAS - they are in MP4, MV4, ISO, AVI, MKV formats... no conversion needed.

    Im not at tech guy - was a bit nervous about jailbreaking my ATV.
    But i was surprised about how easy it was - there are brilliant guiding on the internet and from Firecore. So no problems at all, and really quick to do also.

    Sadly there is no solution for ATV 3 that i know of. So i stick to my old ATV 2 :)

    God luck.

  9. irnchriz macrumors 65816


    May 2, 2005
    I use a Mac Mini to serve up content to out Apple TV's through iTunes. All of the TV and Movie content is stored on DAS boxes hanging off of the Mini but could as easily be on NAS boxes. I also use Twonky to serve 1080p 3D content to our Panasonic Smart TV from the same mini.

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