Total noob - home theater/DVD to iTunes + ATV lots of questions

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Romac, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. Romac macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Ok I apologize if this is long winded - I'm simply trying to organize my own thoughts, questions and confusion. I have been browsing quite a bit here in the ATV forum for some ideas, but I'm so new I am a bit confused.

    Info For starters;
    - I am familiar with program ripping DVDs via any DVD/clone DVD on a PC, although very limited in that scope
    - I do not own a Mac nor am I familiar with them, which is what I'm wanting to change. Likewise with Apple TV
    - I have a very large movie collection of DVD + blurays (pushing a thousand or so). I would like to begin converting these to digital, easily accessible format all in one place that's organized and clean.
    - the only apple products we currently own are IPhones and an iPad.

    1) Ok, so I am admittedly a bit confused on the Apple TVs function. Originally I always thought of it as an overpriced Netflix box that could play your iTunes purchases as well. Apparently I viewed that quite wrong, as Ive seen threads where it appears people have converted their entire collections to iTunes, and then use the Apple TV as a movie I correct in this?

    2) How does the Apple TV handle such impressive movie catalogs? Does it have a massive internal storage? Can it take an external storage device loaded with the files? Or does it stream them from a home network somehow? Please, I appreciate even the simplest caveman level explanation here

    3) if it streams from say your Mac or laptop or home pc or whatever, can you do so with those movie files on an external hdd? My pc is a multi use computer with only a 750gb hdd so I have no where near the internal storage I'm going to need.

    4) how simple is the process of converting to iTunes (assuming that's what I do)? I've been reading some articles about handbrake etc.

    5) I saw people had their ATV converted collections with wonderful cover arts is this done? Or was I only seeing those that had iTunes purchases movies?

    6) does the ATV do HD audio as well? Does converting say a bluray to iTunes etc cause you to lose the HD audio?

    Any help would be much appreciated. I would absolutely love to get my collection more simplified and streamlined, something where we could simply turn on a little box and have it all at our fingertips.

    I appreciate any and all help or clarifications. Sorry I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it all, it's just a fairly new thing to me.
  2. jdblas69 macrumors regular

    Aug 15, 2012
    Some answers for you:

    Think of the Apple TV more as a streaming device. It does not have built in storage for large libraries of content. The content is streamed from your itunes library via Apples term called homesharing. In order to homeshare you need to have your computer on and itunes open for the Apple TV to see and play the content.

    Yes you can have your itunes library on a external HDD, when set up properly itunes will know where to locate the content.

    For ripping my movies I used Make MKV and then Handbrake to convert the MKV file to a format acceptable for itunes. The process is relatively simple. It is time consuming though. Others may have different ways of ripping and converting, this is what I used. iFlicks and subler have been mentioned.

    People get cover art and full metadata info using programs like iFlicks and I am sure there are others. Myself all I was concerned with was DVD cover art and there are sites out there that you can search dvd covers.

    I am sure I missed some things I will let others jump in to fill in anything I missed!
  3. linds15 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2012
    Great White North
    1. An apple TV can run the apps availible on it (netflix, hulu, etc.) but can also read files that are in your itunes libraries (music, movies, tv, photos)

    2. the only storage is 8GB of flash storage for buffering and cahche. the ATV will stream content from your itunes library (which has to be running) and reads the movie/tv show from the hard drive that your itunes is reading it from

    3. external HDD is a yes. as long as you point itunes where to read the file from, you're good to go

    4. in your case (with such a large library), it will take some time. you will need to rip and convert to itunes compatible format. programs like handbrake (free) will rip the dvd and convert it to a pre-selected format, in this case you select the preset for ATV3.

    5. programs like subler, ivi, iflicks and others can search online databases for all the metadata that belongs to a movie and attach it to the file so that when you open it i itunes you have cover art, cast, synopsis etc.

    6. you can keep DD audio but not DTS, the ATV cannot decode DTS

Share This Page