When the ATV is filled up...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Gnuff, May 26, 2008.

  1. Gnuff macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2008
    I'm contemplating buying an :apple:tv, but I'm wondering, what happens when the atv's hd is full? I only have a macbook, and I dont want to use the litle space i have on it for movies and shows. Sorry if there is an answere for this on the forum, I've tried searhing for it with no luck.
  2. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008

    You don't have to put a single movie on your appletv if you don't want to. You can buy an external hard drive, hook it up to your mac book, then stream to your appletv.
  3. Gnuff thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2008
    But let's say I'm in a situation where apple delivers the itunes video store to Norway, and I start filling up the atv's hd, would i have to sync it with itunes to the external hd if it were to get full, and then start deleting files of the atv or what? I understand that I would be able to buy it from itunes and stream it from my hd, but in this case I would like to be able to use the atv independently from my macbook.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Yes, you'd have to delete files. Sounds to me like you need an eSATA drive connected to your Apple TV. :)
  5. Gnuff thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2008
    Yeah, that was what I was afraid of. Is there anny know reason for not beeing able to connect an external hd to the atv withouth hacking it or patching it or somthing of the sorts.
  6. melbdean macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    one can only assume GREED is the answer to that question -force you to rent content (rather than 'own' and store) with an on-demand/ life-is-so-easy proposition that of course really just continues to drip feed revenue into the accounts of those that control the content.

    best to hack.

    but if you do work out a solution, please post as i'm very interested. part of the reason i got the aTV was it size and appearance. it hides so nicely next to the LCD screen on the wall and the last thing i want to do now is hang an externalHD off it, not to mention damn wires hanging all over the place.
  7. nittany macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    Think stream, not synch

    FWIW, I don't understand why most aTV users are so obsessed with how much content their aTV can hold or how much can be directly attached to it via USB, eSATA, etc. Who cares?

    Think of the aTV as a content router. You need content from the internet (like podcasts, utube, Flickr, iTunes) - it gets it. You need content that you own and keep somewhere else - it gets it. A router isn't cursed at because it doesn't store gazillions of gigabyes, it's judged by how fast or accurately it gets the content. The same should apply to the aTV. Personally, I'd prefer the aTV not to be able to store any content locally, in which case the hard drive would only need to be as big as the OS on which it runs (pretty small), plus a little space for rented content to reside before being consumed. Whatever money Apple could save on the hard drive, they should add back in the form of a gigabit ethernet port or better wireless, as this is where your owned content comes from and the faster/better it is.... well, the better.

    So if you have tons of content, great. Keep it wherever it is already located. On your iMac, great! On your Mac Pro with 4 1TB drives - awesome! On your Mac mini which is connected by Firewire to some mega-external drive enclosure or enclosures - really cool!

    Not everything belongs in one place. Do you think storage on mainframes is internal to the machine? Hell no. It's somewhere else. So why does the aTV need a ton of internal storage or directly attached storage. I would think the storage should be attached (directly or indirectly) to the server (in this case, wherever iTunes is running), not the router.
  8. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Um, except for those of us that have laptops. The laptop just might not be at home when a family member wants to watch a movie. Then there is the decided performance gap between synced content and streamed content. Situations vary, but no doubt in the right setup streaming is a very viable solution. Flexibility is the key.

    I do wonder if I streamed everything what would happen if I had to send my computer in for service. Not just the computer is down but now so is my atv at least as far as any of my own personal content goes ...
  9. speakerwizard macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2006
    there are a few itunes network hard drive / streamers on the market now.
  10. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    You can always hack your ATV and enable the USB port for a second hard drive.
  11. gcmexico macrumors 6502a


    Dec 22, 2007
    New York City
    Well said!!

    Get a 1tb external drive...hook it up to whatever mac you ownb, then stream your movies into Apple TV, problem solved...that's my set up, I've had no issues with it:D
  12. nittany macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    Good Point

    Good points.

    Notebooks. Even if you kept your content on an external drive, then you'd still need another computer to serve it up via iTunes if you took your notebook out for a walk. If your notebook is the only machine in the household, then you're right - keeping the copy on the aTV seems a good way to go, as long as it contains whatever content that the non-notebook holding household member needs.

    Streaming. While the joys of wireless are many, the lack of its reliability in my home took all the fun away. I wired the place up with 10 gigabit cable and have never been so happy. I don't get mysteriously disconnected and the transmission speeds don't fluctuate based on the rise and fall of the tide or the direction the wind blows. Instead, I get whatever is the weakest link in the chain, which is either whatever my ISP decides to give me or the aTV (as it sports a 100 megabit ethernet port, not 1 gigabit port like nearly, if not all, the rest of the current Macs, as well as the switch and router in my network). Sure, some people can't/won't install cable. For some percentage of them, wireless will work just fine, in which case streaming should not be an issue. For the others, it will be problematic, in which case, you're right, having the content stored locally (synched) on the aTV makes sense. I just hope that for this group, they have a backup of their content somewhere else.

    Notebook Repair. You're right about what would happen if you had to send in your notebook for repair. So what would happen if your aTV needed to be sent in for repair? The point is that everyone needs a backup of their important files. As Macs running Leopard have TimeMachine built in, backing up files is easy. Of course, you can use other software too. As far as I know, there is no ability to backup content stored on the aTV, unless you use the synched machine as the backup. My strategy is to keep my content separate from the aTV and back up the content as well. I do that, because I run iTunes on a machine that doesn't leave the home. Given the low price of Mac minis, and the small compute/memory needs of iTunes, even an old mini would work just fine. Buy used from Apple and the current version clocks in at $499 - http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?nplm=FB138LL/A . You can even use an older one than that and the price drops accordingly. Heck, you can even use an old Windows machine that might be collecting dust somewhere. This solution works for me. Given another feature set within the aTV (like enabling the USB port without hacking the machine), then maybe something else would be better - on the other hand, I'd still have to figure out how to backup the drive, so...
  13. melbdean macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    hi spkrwiz, do you happen to know brands/ models etc?
  14. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    There are but none that help out the AppleTV directly.

    The way most (all?) work is they trick itunes into thinking they are a computer broadcasting out whatever is in the library. So you set itunes to look for shared libraries on the network and itunes finds it.

    AppleTV needs to make a 'handshake' or whatever you want to call it with itunes by setting up a 5 digit passcode. Since none of the NAS drives actually have iTunes on them you can't insert the 5 digit passcode to make them talk.

    I don't know if I'm just being paranoid or not but I turn off all the shared library stuff for my wireless network. I don't know how much of a hit it really has but I figured best to turn it off just in case.
  15. melbdean macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    nittany, in my case, the aTV is used by my kids on their TV at their end of the house. i want them to be able to turn it on and watch whatever they want without having to worry where my iTunes computer is. it is also a space saving solution. both in terms of disks and actual hardware. disks take up too much room and, they don't last long in the hands of sticky dirty fingers. add to that a DVD player, tuner, etc etc.
    our aTV is mounted on the wall next to the LCD. it is tidy, out of the way whilst still looking stylish -and we all know that is the most important thing, right!!

    although i agree with your POV, the product should be versatile enough to suit anyones needs.
  16. melbdean macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008
    is it possible to install iTunes on a NAS? if so, should we start another thread?
  17. nittany macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    I agree completely - including the part about kids destroying DVDs, etc. Our solutions are just different when it comes to the aTV, but here too I agree with the need to keep the area neat and tidy. I just prefer my content to be stored somewhere else other than where the monitor is located and driven by a separate computer (actually, a Mac Mini that is connected by Firewire to an external enclosure containing a hard disk of my choosing) that is running iTunes.

    With this setup, I can:

    A. Hang as much storage as I need off the Mini to hold the content, as opposed to relying on some hack that will allow me to upgrade the aTV's internal hard drive or turn on the USB port (but make me think twice about before accepting future Apple software upgrades that actually might offer valuable new features/capabilities). This design also helps reduce clutter near the monitor to no more than the aTV itself (plus the usual array of DVD player, cable box, etc.).

    B. Backup the content automatically.

    C Allow me to fix remotely (like when I'm at work) many of the problems that seem to crop up whenever kids are involved.

    D. Potentially allow me (as I haven't yet figured out if Parental Controls will enable this) to control during what time the content can be streamed to the aTV. This is not yet a problem with my kids, but in a few more years...

    I agree that products should be versatile, but at what cost? For me, the small aTV is more than big enough. If bigger hard disk versions were around, I'm kind of thinking they'd just raise the price. With my setup, I can get as much storage as I need, when I need it. I'd rather not buy storage from Apple at the prices they typically charge and I sure don't want to have to buy it before I need it.

    On the other hand, there is no perfect solution for everyone. This one works for me, as it allows me to do what I want given what Apple offers today.
  18. melbdean macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2008

    i think we are telling the same story in our way. and to be honest, i'm not really the hacking type. i like things to work out of the box, the way the creator intended.

    controlling appropriate content was also a huge factor in the aTV purchase decision. although metaX is a solution in terms of controlling content via ratings, i have only used it to tag the files with movie posters. all the kids movies are stored in a folder that has been nominated as the source destination for iTunes. therefore the kids have 150g of kids-movies to choose from.

    the parents ... well we have a ps3 at the other end of the house

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