Wireless External Drive for Apple TV 2 with XBMC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by timotay89, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. timotay89 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    I'm looking to buy another external hard drive. It needs to be at least 2TB and be able to hook up to a wireless network. I have a jailbroken Apple TV 2, so I'd like to be able to stream stuff off of the drive directly to the apple TV via XBMC without having to have my computer on. Some of the stuff I stream is 720p with surround sound, so the drive would need to be able to stream good quality without skipping. The drive won't be used for backups (if that matters).

    Anyone know a good drive to get that will fit all this?

    And a random question on the wireless drives with a mac. I know that you have to unmount a drive in a USB slot, how does it work with the wireless ones? Do you still unmount it before you get off the network or does it not matter?

  2. timotay89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
  3. Nevarlan macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    Never seen a wireless hdd. And the chance of successfully streaming 720p without any stutter isn't high at all.

    I recommend you get yourself a Airport Extreme and a 2tb usb drive and attach it to the AE, use network cables to connect everything, this way it will even work with 1080p.

    I have this setup, although I have a usb hub attached to my AE, where 3x 2tb WD Elements + 1 Printer are attached. Everything works great, I can access my files on any Computer at home (Mac or PC) as if it were on a local drive. You can mount and unmount the drives the same way you do with local drives, I set them up do mount automatically as soon as I turn on my mac (go to settings/user/autostart/drag&drop the mounted network drive in here).

    Or you buy yourself a NAS. But I don't have one, can't say anything about it.

    PS: I'm also using XBMC with this setup, but on my iMac, no apple tv yet. So far, works great.
  4. suzujoji, Sep 23, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011

    suzujoji macrumors newbie


    Sep 23, 2011
    Moline, Illinois
    ATV2 with NAS

    You're in luck, I have exactly what you're looking for setup at my house. I use an airport extreme with a 2tb LaCie Starck drive as my NAS (network attached storage). Since you're already jailbroken and have xbmc installed the rest is pretty easy. The only issue is that you need to enable samba sharing on the airport extreme because xbmc isn't compatible with AFP. However if you already have a router the just buy a NAS that is DLNA compatible (most NAS devices these days are). If your not familiar with them they are external hard drives that have an ethernet cable instead of a usb. But the setup I have works great. If you have any other questions regarding the setup just let me know. When I originally set it up the ATV2 just got the xbmc port any there wasn't any documentation out there to help me figure out how to make this work. So I know how frustrating it can be.
  5. Erickt macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2011

    I have an 8TB (6TB RAID 5 protected) Iomega ix4-200d NAS Personal Cloud Addition storage array with 2xGB Ethernet bonded together for redundancy and high I/O. It has 3 USB 2.0 slots for external HDs or printers, and supports media servers. There are smaller Iomega models than this too if you don't want to invest in high capacity, etc. I have this as my all around Cloud storage accessible with encryption so o can use it globally wherever I travel. There are a number of competitors to Iomega that have similar capabilities.

    Good hunting. Let us know what you end up with...
  6. timotay89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ok, I think I understand.

    I have a wireless router and 2 1TB external drives (neither has an Ethernet port on them though). So all I would need is any external drive that has the Ethernet port on it and just plug it into the router? Is it really that simple? I'd rather stay away from the Airport Extreme if I can, I don't want to have to dish out more money than I have too. But that's really it? And then it will work with xbmc?

    Question about the airport extreme though: If I did have one, it would allow me to view the files on the drive even when I'm not on the network? And it would also allow me to plug in non-Ethernet drives and make them effectively wireless ones? If so, that's certainly something to look into. That could potentially be the cheaper option if normal external drives are inexpensive.

    Final question: If what I said above is correct about just getting an external hard drive with an Ethernet port, what would be a good drive to buy? All the stuff that will be on it has been backing up with Crashplan, so if the drive fails I can always get the stuff back. I'm looking for around 2-3 TB so that I don't have to buy another one soon.

    Thanks for everyone's help!
  7. Nevarlan macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    I don't have a drive with ethernet port, so no comment on that.

    About the Airport Extreme, here a quote from Apple (never used that feature myself):
    You have to be in the same network or access it via internet (according to apple).

    Yes, as I said above, I'm using it currently with three USB 2 HDDs (all 2TB) and a Printer, all conected to a usb hub and the hub to the AE. You can access them via WLAN or Ethernet (or Internet, not tried). The HDDs need to be HFS+ formated as far as I know though.

    Edit: I'm using it with Western Digital Elements 2TB since December 2010. Quiet, cool and no problems so far.
  8. timotay89 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    Another Question

    If I were to get an Airport Extreme (which looks like a good idea after looking at some numbers) can I get it to work with the Verizon Fios router that I have in my house now? I've read some stuff about it online, but I can't really make too much sense of it anyways. If they will work together, then I'm leaning towards the airport extreme, but if not, I'll have to make do without it. If I mess up the internet for everyone else at my house I'm toast.
  9. Nevarlan macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2011
    I don't know about that router since I'm from Switzerland. But whatever you use, it should work because you just need to connect your modem/router with an ethernet cable to the AE.

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