what is the correct way to stream movies to a 40 GB ATV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by WizardHunt, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. WizardHunt macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2007
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    I would like to know exactly how to stream movies over to my 40 GB ATV ?

    I am a bit confused regarding this as I am under the impression that I have to have a external drive holding my movies, then if I want them into itunes, I need to hold down option while dragging them into itunes. However I do not see then in my ATV when I do that. But if I sync, the ATV, then they are there in the ATV but they also take up my hard drive space on the 40 GB ATV so where am I confused about this?

    I can use all the feedback from everyone so don't hold back,. everyone put their 2 bits into this reply. Everyone will benefit from it I am sure.
  2. davricho macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2006
    As long as the videos/music are in itunes it doesn't matter if your itunes library is stored on your mac's hard drive or on an external hard drive. The exact steps that I need to do to watch something through my Apple TV by streaming from my imac in another room is:

    1. Turn on external drive holding itunes library (I have 1TB Firewire drive attached to my iMac). If your itunes library is on your mac's internal drive then skip this step)
    1. Open up itunes on my imac (important - does not work if itunes closed)
    2. Open up sources in the main menu on Apple TV
    3. Choose my itunes library in the sources menu (Mine is called "David's" library.
    4. It will take 10-30 seconds to load the library depending on the size
    5. I can then go into Movies/TV Shows/Music etc and select content to play from my entire iTunes library which will be then streamed from my iMac
    6. If you want to change back to playing sync'ed content straight from the AppleTV then go back into sources and choose "AppleTV"

    Hope this helps!!!
  3. sandman42 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 23, 2003
    It might help to point out that streaming is intended to allow you to watch video that either:

    -- doesn't fit on the :apple:TV because you have more content in your iTunes library than the capacity of the :apple:TV's hard drive


    -- is stored in the iTunes library of another computer on your network other than the sync-ed computer

    If you have, say, a 40Gb :apple:TV and one computer with less than 40Gb in your iTunes library, you have no need to stream. The system will sync all your content by default and you can watch it off the :apple:TV's hard drive without streaming.

    In my case I've got a 40Gb :apple:TV, but way more than 40Gb in my sync-ed library, and additional computers on my network that have iTunes libraries of their own. Streaming allows me to access any of that content.

    Why not just stream everything? Good question. I think the expectation was that watching directly off the :apple:TV's hard drive would give much better performance, as there'd be no buffering lag and no stalling, but in practice people are finding that streaming works very well. Even though some of my content is sync-ed, I select my sync-ed computer as my 'source' (rather than the :apple:TV's HDD) and I do stream all my content. It just means less switching of 'sources' at the :apple:TV.
  4. flyingscott macrumors regular


    Nov 2, 2007
    Yeah, I bought the 40gig banking on the fact that streaming would work out... and i couldn't be happier.

    Granted, when the movie rental is available, I will no doubt download HD stuff right to my ATV... but I also have a lot of HD stuff (HV20 home movies) I stream just fine - OVER "G" no less!

    I am amazed... yeah, it may take a second to buffer at the start, but at least you don't need to manage what is being synced.
  5. WizardHunt thread starter macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2007
    Las Vegas, Nevada USA
    So if I understand you well, I need to install itunes (a 2nd copy) on the external drive that I am going to store my movies?

    I already have itunes on my stacker drive which is my boot drive, I have over 600 movies that I would love to eventually put on the external drive.
  6. amakh007 macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2007
    No. You don't need Itunes installed on the external drive. You just have the movies saved there, drop the movies into itunes library on your computer (without moving it). Then when your hard drive is on, itunes from your computer (and therefore ATV) can read and stream it.
  7. hokullani macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2006
    I have a 40gb :apple:tv and a 80gb powerbook G4, but i have a 250gb external hard drive. So since i don't want to take up 40gb of my powerbook for syncing i do this, i always have my external hard drive turned on and plugged in while at my desk, this will only work if it is connected.

    1) All video (personal) content is on the external hard drive.
    2) open itunes
    3) When draggin in what you want from the external hard drive to the itunes library make sure and hold down the alt/option key until it starts importing
    4) i have it sync certain playlists for music, all photos, then for TV shows and movies i sync them all, but only have it sync the 5 most recent unwatched.
    5) now whenever the hard drive is connected it will update the synced content on :apple:tv and you can also stream from the hard drive as long as it is in the itunes library the way i just said, but you can only access it if the hard drive is connected

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