Simple serving question(s)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sdilley14, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #1
    I have an ATV3 and a MacBook Air 128GB. I love my MBA but it just doesn't have the HD room I need to house all of my media (I'm about 25GB short). I have a 500 GB WD Passport external HD that I use to back up and store everything.

    1. I'm almost certain the answer is no, but is there any way to serve my media off of that external HD?

    2. If I replace my router and external HD with a Time Capsule, could I serve the media directly off of that somehow?

    3. Any other options I'm overlooking here? I've run a few different programs to remove language packages and things like that to free up space on my MBA, so dropping my media on there just isn't an option.
     
  2. Panch0 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    Location:
    Virginia
    #2
    You can store iTunes media files on the external with no problem. There's a frequently linked thread regarding splitting your iTunes library across multiple locations. You still need to have you Air up and running iTunes, but storing the files on the external is no problem at all. When you are away from home, the files that are on the external won't be available, but they will just show up with little exclamation points next to them. When you plug in the drive and restart iTunes, they will be there waiting.

    ATV needs HomeSharing, which requires an actual computer (MAC or Windows) running iTunes. There are no Network devices (NAS, TimeCapsule, etc..) that will serve Home Sharing for the ATV. Even though many NAS Devices say they have a built in "iTunes Server", that is just a shared library, not Home Sharing.

    ATV will integrate with iTunes Match (not a free service) for Music, and will stream most TV Shows and Movies Purchased from the iTunes store directly from the cloud. The only thing that you really HAVE to have on a local drive is any video that you acquired from other source, such as ripping your DVD collection.

    With a Jailbreak (not possible with ATV3 last I checked but available for ATV2), you can use other media players like XMBC or PLEX that will play content direct from a network share. No way to do it to this point out of the box though.

    An alternative, if you have another iDevice, is to use an App that does play from a network share and then AirPlay or Mirror the content to the ATV. This works, but it's a bit of a hack and isn't as simple or smooth as playing content through ATV menus directly.
     
  3. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #3
    Well, I have plenty of room on the MBA for all of my music and music videos...it's really just TV shows and movies that I need the extra room for. I don't mind at all if those aren't on my local machine. That iTunes split location idea sounds like the best route to go...I will look into that. Thanks for the tip!
     
  4. Spacecowboy1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #4
    I use an old pc thats stored in the garage which has itunes running on it 24/7 then i link my movies/tv shows music etc to a NAS i have in the house this is always serving my atv's/ipad/mBP and don't have to worry about storage.
    if you go this route then all you need to do is uncheck copy media to itunes library in itunes preferences that way your only setting up a link from the NAS itself.
     
  5. AtomicGrog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    #5
    Quite a few NAS's have iTunes servers which I've used as a source on my AppleTV, never tried serving video from them though.

    Something along those lines would appear to be a good fit for you.
     
  6. Spacecowboy1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #6
    as panch0 mentioned in his post to stream movies to your atv you need home sharing on.....no NAS that i know of has home sharing capabilities, they only have iTunes server built in which will only stream music not video.

    to do what you want you either need a jailbroken atv1 or 2 hooked up to a NAS(Share) or an atv3 which is linked to a pc/server running iTunes
     
  7. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #7
    I have no problem having my external HD connected to my MBA and have no problem having the MBA open and running iTunes whenever I want to stream the video content. It sounds like the iTunes library "splitting" is my only viable option in this scenario.

    Here is another scenario...let's say I wanted to lay in bed with my MBA, completely untethered, and watch my episodes of The Office that I have saved on my external HD. What would be the simplest way to achieve this? Would I just need a router that would allow me to plug the external into it and access it over the network? Or would something like a Time Capsule that has both storage and router capabilities built in be an even better option? I feel like I'm overthinking this little scenario.
     
  8. Spacecowboy1 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    #8
    Yes that could be achieved, first of all set up shares on your mac (i think this can be done in finder/go to server)mapping to your router/pc/nas then you'd need to go into your iTunes preferences make sure that you have copy files to media folder unticked then drag and drop the movie/music you want in iTunes from the mapped folder, what that will then do is create a link within iTunes pointing to you network share then when you play anything on your aTV it will see your library that's on your mac in the bedroom but will be actually playing the media from your nas/router that's say downstairs.....there maybe a bit of lag as the media is taking a somewhat longer journey but once it buffers up you shouldn't have any problems.
     
  9. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2007
    Location:
    Mesa, AZ
    #9
    Great, thanks for the advice!
     

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