Was Hoping to Cut my Cable Provider to Oblivion: But no Cigar.

TheShadowKnows!

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Sep 30, 2014
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I kept a very faint hope that Apple had the wherewithal to blow my cable provider to smithereens. Maybe not this month, but in the near future. But no cigar.

What I was looking for Apple:
  1. to leverage the ATV4 storage as a distributed media center.
  2. to aggregate, logically, multiple ATV4s as one. (I have three TVs.)
  3. to leverage ATV4's local storage as off-net MP4 videos, already purchased from iTunes.
  4. to enable Siri to search, locate, and stream (via Home Sharing) my distributed libraries, preempting external libraries
My use case is not supported.

Yes, I could purchase a separate MacMini (headless), and dedicate it as my media center, running Plex. But Apple: WTF?!
 
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TheShadowKnows!

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You must not be familiar with the way Apple does things.
Please explain "the way Apple does things." All the pieces are in place, including the hardware/software components:
  1. iTunes already tags "offline" videos for local store of MP4 purchases.
  2. The ATV4 has significant storage in the aggregate, beyond tvos app executables and resources
  3. Home sharing is already in place
  4. Siri already performs search indexed by metadata
So, WTF?!
 

lewisd25

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2007
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Please explain "the way Apple does things." All the pieces are in place, including the hardware/software components:
  1. iTunes already tags "offline" videos for local store of MP4 purchases.
  2. The ATV4 has significant storage in the aggregate, beyond tvos app executables and resources
  3. Home sharing is already in place
  4. Siri already performs search indexed by metadata
So, WTF?!
Why not use Plex? You can achieve each of your goals once their app is approved. You can store your media on a network accessible drive which can be accessed on multiple devices. The only issue currently is a nerfed Siri.
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
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Please explain "the way Apple does things." All the pieces are in place, including the hardware/software components:
  1. iTunes already tags "offline" videos for local store of MP4 purchases.
  2. The ATV4 has significant storage in the aggregate, beyond tvos app executables and resources
  3. Home sharing is already in place
  4. Siri already performs search indexed by metadata
So, WTF?!
Apple moved away from managing local storage in the Steve Jobs era. iTunes now is just to back up your files.

And Apple is not stupid... They know any media we have tagged ourselves is either pirated or ripped by the user. Ripping your own DVDs is TECHNICALLY illegal only because you have to break the DRM on the DVD which is illegal. It's a catch 22.

Now Apple has been in serious negotiations with notoriously stubborn content owners and providers to bring a more modern TV experience to the masses. I am very sure those content owners are looking for every excuse not to make a deal with Apple. Things like fully supporting things they don't like: ripping DVDs

And BTW you mentioned using the internal storage for a kind of media center? With a max of 64gb ... That would be a pitifully low amount to have for any media center.
 

TheShadowKnows!

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Original poster
Sep 30, 2014
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2010mni: Thanks for the reply.

Apple moved away from managing local storage in the Steve Jobs era. iTunes now is just to back up your files.
Not so. iTunes stores .M4V files off-net, natively, within your media library, if so configured. Not as backups, but as primaries.

And Apple is not stupid... They know any media we have tagged ourselves is either pirated or ripped by the user. Ripping your own DVDs is TECHNICALLY illegal only because you have to break the DRM on the DVD which is illegal. It's a catch 22.
You miss an important use case, which is perfectly valid:
Not everyone has HDMI with HDCP (copy protection) on their TVs. Some, like me, have first generation, excellent plasmas with component video, that was a precursor to HDMI (and HDCP). .M4V files will not playback on those TVs, but .MP4 files will. No ripping of DVDs involved at all.

And BTW you mentioned using the internal storage for a kind of media center? With a max of 64gb ... That would be a pitifully low amount to have for any media center.
I indicated a distributed store acting as one. You may have missed that. This aggregates multiple 64GB (nominal) stores, and would offer a unified media library with home sharing under a single Apple-ID. Nothing new, and "just works".

Under my use case, I planned to purchase three ATV4s, each contributing 64GB (nominal). I have three TVs, with Home Sharing (native to ATV) serving as the glue.

The idea:
  1. Purchase -> store while playback.
  2. Replace "least recently used" if storage is limited.
  3. Tag the video as off-net if local; otherwise on-net.
But I understand. I just need to purchase a MacMini, configure it as a media server, and suck it in with 32GB ATV4s. (Funny. This is the only Apple appliance where 16GB would make more sense for my use case, as I do not need, nor care for, TV games.)
 

2010mini

macrumors 601
Jun 19, 2013
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2010mni: Thanks for the reply.


Not so. iTunes stores .M4V files off-net, natively, within your media library, if so configured. Not as backups, but as primaries.


You miss an important use case, which is perfectly valid:
Not everyone has HDMI with HDCP (copy protection) on their TVs. Some, like me, have first generation, excellent plasmas with component video, that was a precursor to HDMI (and HDCP). .M4V files will not playback on those TVs, but .MP4 files will. No ripping of DVDs involved at all.


I indicated a distributed store acting as one. You may have missed that. This aggregates multiple 64GB (nominal) stores, and would offer a unified media library with home sharing under a single Apple-ID. Nothing new, and "just works".

Under my use case, I planned to purchase three ATV4s, each contributing 64GB (nominal). I have three TVs, with Home Sharing (native to ATV) serving as the glue.

The idea:
  1. Purchase -> store while playback.
  2. Replace "least recently used" if storage is limited.
  3. Tag the video as off-net if local; otherwise on-net.
But I understand. I just need to purchase a MacMini, configure it as a media server, and suck it in with 32GB ATV4s. (Funny. This is the only Apple appliance where 16GB would make more sense for my use case, as I do not need, nor care for, TV games.)
You missed my point about Apple TV and storing media. The main point Steve Jobs made for removing local storage with the introduction of the ATV2 was it was clunky and outdated.

I mentioned iTunes is really only for backing up iTunes purchased content. Because iTunes is really horrible as a media server in its current state. It is old, slow and in desperate need of a makeover.

My TV is plays back .M4V just fine via HDMI and it is a newer TV.

And again 64gb is really tiny to use for Media. Even if you have multiple ATV4s. Video media will
Eat through that locus does a field.

Apple, and all other content providers have moved away from local storage management to the cloud. They are never going back and will soon all not support the niche market you and I belong.