Streaming from external HD to Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by sdilley14, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. sdilley14 macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    I have an external hard drive attached to an Airport Extreme. I am looking at different ways to stream files from that hard drive on to my Apple TV.

    I have it set up now where I can just access the files through my MBP with iTunes running and AirPlay them on to the Apple TV. However, I would rather figure out a way that I could access those files (either through the Apple TV or with my phone) without having to go over to my MBP and manually select/play the file. I would like to have the lid on my MBP closed while doing this. So here is what I have come up with.

    Keep the MBP on with the lid closed using a program like NoSleep.

    Remotely access/manipulate files on my computer using an app like Remote Mouse FREE (or something similar?).

    This would theoretically allow me to keep my MBP lid closed, browse/open files on my computer from my phone, and AirPlay those files to my Apple TV.

    The other option is to access the files on the external from my phone using FileExplorer Free. I used this app last night on my phone and it actually worked really well. Then I could just AirPlay from my phone onto the Apple TV. My only concern with this is that I don't know how great the data connection will be streaming from the HD to the phone and back up to the ATV, all while I'm using my phone for other tasks while this is going on (texting, Facebooking, etc.).

    Maybe there is a more simple way of achieving this that I am missing?
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I tried a lot of different things, but in the end I got a Mac Mini and dedicated it as an iTunes server. It may not be the cheapest, but definitely the simplest way. Disk throughput on an Airport Extreme is pretty poor (~20 MB/s) and if you complicate it further with Airplay, iOS, etc, you will have a lot of latency.

    Also, there is no easy way to backup the files on an external drive attached to the Airport - you need a computer running a backup program, which will be very slow - I have been there before. :)

    Based on threads I've seen in this forum, a lot of other people arrive at the same conclusion: A dedicated Mac for a server works best. It could be an older Mac, or even a PC running iTunes.
  3. sdilley14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 8, 2007
    Mesa, AZ
    Thank you for the input!

    I do have a Thunderbolt to HDMI cable, along with a wireless KB and mouse. This allows me to just directly connet the MBP to the TV. This is the easiest and cleanest way of doing it...but I don't really like having to move my laptop around and connect/disconnect it from the TV.

    I'm sure I'll eventually just cave and get a Mini and use that as a dedicated media server. It's just too bad they couldn't make a more robust, capable ATV. Maybe they have one in the pipeline - but it's obviously going to be a long while before we ever see it.

    For now this set up at least allows me to lay in bed and stream content to my iDevices from the external HD without having to keep my MBP and iTunes running. I did this last night and it actually worked really well.
  4. MoparMike macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
    Previous poster niteflyer is right. Simply use the Home Sharing feature already built into your Mac. I use it in conjunction with the very affordable TuneSpan app so I have a USB hard drive dedicated just to my media files. Naturally, I back those up with SuperDuper to another drive for proper redundancy.

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4 February 3, 2015