Transferring films from time capsule to Apple TV (1st gen)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Spoddy, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Spoddy, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

    Spoddy macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Hello everyone,

    Total newbie here, so apologies if I sound foolish...

    I recently acquired a 3tb Time Capsule from a family member which they had been using as a media server of sorts, so it has 700Gb of films on it. Although I'd like to keep these films, I'd also like to set up the time capsule as a, well, time capsule, so it can back up my data on my macbook pro and function as a wireless router.

    I've recently also acquired a first generation apple TV, which I've hacked, and into which I've also installed a 1tb hard drive. I'm contemplating adding a Broadcom Crystalhd video card, too.

    But, before I do any of that, a few questions:

    - What is the quickest way to transfer the 700Gb of films from the time capsule to the Apple TV? My Macbook Pro has a 750GB hard drive, and I have a 750GB external hard drive, too. I transferred a few films that I wanted to watch onto my macbook pro, and then synced these up to my atv, but really don't think this is a viable option for all the rest.

    - Surely I don't want to just be transferring all of my films onto the atv? I'm reluctant to transfer them all across and then delete them from my time capsule, as one foolish sync and they could all be lost forever, but I'm not prepared to stream them across either, as my wifi can be a bit lousy. What kind of set up do others on here use when they have large film libraries like this one?

    I hope that makes some sort of sense. Any advice at all would be appreciated! :)


    P.S. I should probably also add that I've another 500 or so DVDs that I'd like to rip and somehow access from the Apple TV, and have followed the steps to access a USB external hard drive from it. Am hoping to keep some on the Apple TV 1tb drive, some on the hard drive and somehow (?!) back everything up...
  2. Ghostbusters macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    I had the same setup once, except not as much content. I used a 1 TB Time Capsule with the ATV1.

    The first thing you MUST do in order to maintain your sanity is to grab two Cat5 ethernet cables. Plug one from the Mac into the TC and then another from the ATV1 into the TC. Doing any transfers of more than a couple of movies over Wifi is a death sentence.

    The route I took from there was to create a new iTunes library where I sorted all the movies I wished to stream. I saved time by disabling iTunes from making a copy of the movies into the iTunes folder. This will force iTunes to read the files directly off the TC. From there I would stream iTunes content from the ATV1. The ATV1 would think the content is stored on the Mac within iTunes. Sure it's a messy setup, but it saves you from having to copy all your content across another hard drive. As long as you're connected via ethernet, you shouldn't see any major issues. The biggest downside is you may feel lag pain when trying to use the Mac while streaming is in progress.

    Let me know if it works!
  3. Spoddy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Thank you so much for the speedy response, Ghostbusters - that all makes perfect sense. I need to pop out and buy another ethernet cable, but I'll let you know how it goes!

    I've a couple more quick questions in the meantime, if you don't mind?

    About 30% of the films are 1080p, so they won't sync to the atv1. If I install the Broadcom video card, will this simply cease to be a problem? Otherwise, I will have to convert them. I think I've found all the software I need, but would obviously prefer to be playing them at 1080p.

    Once I've got all my films up and running on the apple TV, I'm assuming it would make sense to keep copies on the time capsule. I'm only backing up a 750Gb macbook pro on it for now, so there's plenty of room. This is more of a time capsule related question, so perhaps this isn't the right place for it, but...can I use the time capsule to back up my apple tv, or do I need to somehow partition it, using some of it for storage (of the films), and the rest for time machine? I only ask as you had a very similar set-up yourself...I feel like a total fish out of water when it comes to the time capsule!

    Thanks again for all of your help. Now I'd better go and get that ethernet cable before the shops shut :)
  4. Ghostbusters macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    Unfortunately the ATV1 doesn't support 1080p, so probably won't be possible. When you mentioned installing a video card, I assume you were referring to your desktop computer. If you were transcoding the content on the fly and sending that to the ATV1, then it should help. I can't elaborate further as GPUs and video cards are out of my depth. Conversion may be the way to go. I would suggest either Handbrake or Evom (Mac only).

    The TC cannot backup your ATV1. You don't need to partition the TC either. TM creates a proprietary archive file when backing up. This file can grow or shrink according to how much you backup. If you have 3 TB available, and you backup 1 TB from your Mac, then 2 TB will be free for you to use for NAS HDD storage. To access it, you will need to navigate your network in finder and mount the drive. By default, your Mac should find the drive anyway. Depending on your settings, you will only need to enter your password into Keychain to access it. From there you can drag & drop away!
  5. Spoddy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Thanks to your great, clear advice, I've now got all my movies uploaded and running on the ATV1, excluding those that are 1080p. My understanding is that by installing a Broadcom Crystal HD card in place of the Wifi card, I will be able to play 1080p films through Crystalbuntu (on Linux)...for now I've got more than enough films to keep me busy, though, so I'm going to hold off for a bit.

    Jailbroken, this thing is wonderful! It's also not running too hot with the 1tb hard drive installed, which is a relief.

    I've also got the Time Machine up and running. It now seems so wonderfully simple - I guess I was just terrified I'd lose all the material on it.

    Thanks so much for your help :D

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