Syncing HD TV Shows

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ratbatblue, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. ratbatblue macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    I'm new to the ATV, and still trying to figure this one out:

    I purchased an HD episode of a show, using the ATV. The next morning, when I fired up my PC, the episode was transferred from ATV to PC. Fine, nothing against that. Later in the day, when I went to watch the show on the ATV with the PC off, the episode was gone from the ATV. I had to turn on the PC, which then synced the episode back to the ATV. So it seems I can't watch this, or presumably any future episodes on the ATV without also turning on the PC. Not what I was hoping for, to say the least. I have the ATV paired to the PC and using custom sync. I thought the whole point of the newer software for the ATV was that it could be used without turning on the PC (unless streaming). Any suggestions? Is this "expected behavior"?
  2. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    In iTunes, click on your Apple TV. What is showing on the TV Shows tab? If the Sync button is not checked, then the ATV will default to Stream media from your PC.

    I haven't purchased anything on the ATV itself, so I'm not 100% sure, but it sounds like it moved the TV show to the PC, because your settings were not set to sync.

    The ATV can do both sync and stream to whatever iTunes library it is linked to. Anything you setup to sync....will be copied to the ATV, making it available to play when your PC is off.

  3. ratbatblue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    The PC is set to custom sync TV Shows with the ATV. This particular show wasn't selected, because this was the first episode of it, so it wasn't available to select until after it had been moved onto the PC. I agree that "moved" is what happened, I just don't understand why it doesn't get copied back to the ATV, so that I can watch it without the PC being on. It shows up on the ATV as soon as I start iTunes, but disappears when I close it. That's what is weird.
  4. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    The apple tv syncs like an ipod. If you you using custom sync and you download a new show on the atv, the atv will automatically sync that episode back to your PC when it syncs. Until you manually check that specific tv show, the atv will only sync what itunes tells it it won't send the show back to the atv.

    The two things you can do:

    1. do not turn on, or off, either itunes or the atv when you buy it off on itunes...without a sync being performed, the show will stay on the ATV

    2. in your custom sync, make sure you select to sync all tv shows (not checked ones). This will automatically sync the new show back the ATV is it will always sync all tv show content.

    I'll admit its a shortcoming. I use manual syncing and it gets annoying every now and then when i forget to select a new show (only time this happens), and it disappears from my ATV.
  5. ratbatblue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007

    Okay, I think this is getting me where I need to go, but there are a couple of things I need clarification on.

    #1....would mean I can never start up iTunes once I've purchased a TV show on the ATV, or that I have to turn off the ATV first? That's pretty much a non-starter, huh?

    #2 is straightforward enough, and I'll have to play with it.

    It sounds like at this point, without doing anything differently, if I select the specific show in iTunes now, I can "rescue" this episode back to the ATV and it will stay. True? Or is all hope for this episode "LOST" until I do one of the two things you suggested? Thanks, by the way, for the advice.
  6. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    For #1: If you manually check the specific TV in your ATV custom sync, Itunes will send the show back to your ATV. So as long as you check off the show BEFORE you do a sync, the show will stay on your ATV. (the reason I mention not shutting down Itunes or the ATV, is as soon as you start one of them back up, they will instantly perform a sync)

    For you final question. Just like an Ipod, whatever you instruct Itunes to sync to the ATV will be copied to, and stay on the ATV. The ATV will always delete any content not identified in your custom sync settings, everytime Itunes and ATV performs a sync.

    Does this answer your question?
  7. ratbatblue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    I think so. At least, I think I know how I have to do it now, if I have a show that isn't already in iTunes and selected. It does sound like I'm screwed on this one episode, though, because that show IS selected in iTunes now, and it doesn't "stick" on the ATV after sync.

    I've been playing with iPhones and iPods for several years, and I figured this wasn't supposed to be much different, which is why I don't understand this behavior. Oh well, sounds like I have a workaround for the future. Thanks again.
  8. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    Ok, I see...sorry missed that part. That shouldn't happen. If your TV show is checked on your ATV for should be on the ATV.

    Something that could lead to this...make sure the show actually exists in your Itunes Music folder under "TV shows". Sometimes, if a file isn't where Itunes thinks it is supposed to be or if i gets deleted, the show will still show up in Itunes. You won't notice an issue until you try to actually play it in Itunes, in which case you will get a "!" in front of the item. When this happens, since the file isn't where Itunes thinks it is, it also won't be synced to the ATV, even though you have it checked.

    If thats doesn't work, I'm really not sure what else would cause a file, bought on Itunes, to not copy over to the ATV during a Sync. You might wanna contact apple support and report a problem with that particular show.
  9. ratbatblue thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2007
    In the interest of "honesty trumps embarrassment", I have to admit that the problem turned out to be PEBKAC-related, and the solution correspondingly simple:

    I happened to notice that I had chosen to sync "All Unwatched Episodes" of my selected TV Shows in iTunes. Then I looked at the problem episode and sure 'nuff....the little blue dot was conspicuous in its absence. Choosing either to sync "All" episodes, or marking the "problem" episode as New, fixed the issue. DOH!

    Thanks to all who gave me advice. Just goes to show that no matter the experience level, once in awhile we all need a lesson in humility! :eek:
  10. dmm219 macrumors 6502

    Aug 25, 2008
    I've done similar. A couple of weeks ago I bought a season of "The Presidents". The next day when I went to watch the first one, my apple tv said it could not play the file (though it would show it on the menu). I went back to itunes and it showed all the shows in My TV Shows. At first thought, I figured that the files were corrupt and would not play and sent a note to apple to report a problem. Later that night, I got around to trying to play the shows on Itunes instead...and I got the infamous "!". It wasn't a corrupt file, Itunes couldn't find the shows but they obviously were there at some point when I bought them. Turns out, I had forget to switch on my external HDD that day (which is where I keep all of my media). Because of this, the ATV synced the shows back to Itunes, but since Itunes couldn't put the files on the external HDD (where it was pointed), it saved them on the local HD (where it was not pointed to). After I finally found the files on the wrong hard drive, and copied them back the External HDD...all was fixed. I then felt bad when the shows Downloaded again! Obviously Apple had gotten my premature note. Gotta give Apple customer service credit...

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