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Can I connect a hard drive to an Apple TV 2?

17545 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Dec 6, 2013 4:28 AM by PeterBreis0807 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,230 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Dec 4, 2011 7:59 PM

I note that the ATV2 has a USB port, but it is described for diagnostics only.


I do not want to depend on a computer to feed media to the TV, as that basically means running out of the room to fix whatever is feeding the material. I also assume that moving large files is going to just load up the wireless and possibly large downloads will also affect the ATV2's reception.


Is it possible to connect a HD full of media directly to the ATV2?


Or is the only possible connection, via Ethernet and Wireless?

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8), iMac 27" Early 2011
  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (234,305 points)

    Basically, no. Technically, it can be plugged in, but the Apple TV will just ignore it.



  • Rysz Level 5 Level 5 (4,110 points)

    No, you can't connect a hard drive. That is not how ATV 2 was designed to work.


    Somehow it works for just fine for everyone, so why don't you just set it up and use the way it was intended, and see if you run into any problems.

  • Rysz Level 5 Level 5 (4,110 points)

    I don't think it's fair to say that ATV is missing pieces. It works well exactly as it was designed.


    It seems that it is just not the right device for what and how you need to operate.

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,650 points)

    Peter the contents of your post are extremely inaccurate, the Apple TV doesn't only work on wifi, doesn't require "A Bunch of Fairly Expensive" other devices and doesn't interfere with your network unless of course there is a problem with your network and aren't willing to take advice about sorting it out.


    Your post is somewhat bemusing given your status, surely you know using a thread for the purposes of a personal rant is frowned upon, your very first line made it quite clear you knew the answer to your own question before asking it.

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,620 points)

    AppleTV 2 really does not sound like the ideal device for use in this sceanario.


    I was only recently commenting on the usefulness of AppleTV1 when travelling as it needed no other equipment to work, and only needed internet if you wanted to rent/buy something new on the move or use the internet features.


    While I think AppleTV2 is neat, fairly fast and energy efficient I do agree that the requirement for 'always on' or wakeable PC/Mac is quite contrary to what Apple should be striving for in terms of basic operability if you consider 'green issues'.  I leave a Mac Pro and Mac Mini on 24/7 as servers for various AppleTV's but with energy bills rising incessantly it's expensive (admittedly they get used for other things a lot but not constantly).  All tghis cloud stuff is fine but only if features are available in your country and also only if you have very fast unlimited internet.


    With respect to your list a computer is probably not unreasonable at some point to organise media etc. Most employers would probably not want their employees running 3rd party software from Appel or anyone else without approval.  Could they consider a compact Windows computer or Netbook to server the media?


    A router would be necessary for internet features and you wouldn't expect one to be bundled.


    Very few AV products come with HDMI leads (though some do) - like USB/parllel cables for printers.


    One thing they should include is a microUSB cable to allow an itunes restore.


    Storage -  yes, I'd like an AppleTV2 with reasonable internal storage or ability to connect some.


    Optical drive is not required at all unless processing your own CD media etc.



  • Rysz Level 5 Level 5 (4,110 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2011 10:22 AM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    The problem is not with Apple and is not with stupid ATV users. The problem is that you bought a motorcycle and are complaining that Harley didn't build-in all the things that come with a car. Grow up.

  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (81,650 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2011 10:30 AM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    I remember you now from elsewhere, not willing to waste my time on this, Bye

  • Alley_Cat Level 6 Level 6 (16,620 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2011 10:44 AM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    Peter, as you can guess I really like the AppleTV products, but will criticise them too.


    I think they should be far more succesful than they actually are or were (for ATV1).  This is largely due to them completely failing to do 'obvious things' many customers want - those are the customers who do not want to buy into the Apple ecosystem hook, line and sinker.


    It also partly boils down to the expectation that everyone buys all their media from iTunes Store.


    The original AppleTV was revolutionary, and had no commercial itunes store tie in as such until 'Take Two software' which had the iTunes store in your face at every turn.


    The interface has always tended to be quite slick, but it is looking jaded on many fronts.


    The main complaints about it I would suggest are:


    1 - Limited video format support (geared to iTunes Store formats for video)

    2 - Inability to access DLNA servers or network storage folders without iTunes acting as helper.

    3 - Lack of 1080p - I'm not convinced it's always essential but clearly fits with itunes HD quality - the average consumer however has been brainwashed to believe 1080p is the only HD format that matters.

    4 - Lack of ability to connect local storage and need for iTunes for AppleTV2 or to stream content not synced to AppleTV1.

    5 - All the miscellaneous wants of browser/apps/games/time/weather/effect visualisers etc.


    There are undoubtedly more.  I know several people who might have bought one but it doesn't tick the right boxes for them and things like WD Live devices, Boxee Box, Popcorn Hour etc are more suited to their needs.


    My own concern about AppleTV is that it's becoming more of an iOS accessory than a true media playback device - while Airplay/mirroring etc are ok in concept you'll see form many posts that it's not always great in practice.


    We all want slightly different things, but I personally want a capable media player foremost and gimmicks second.  If itunes is needed ok, but it would be far more flexible if it was optional and media could be directly accessed from local storage or network.


    Anyhow, I'm sure you know the links but in case not send feedback about how it doesn't suit your family's needs:


  • Frankjake Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 27, 2012 2:00 PM (in response to PeterBreis0807)

    Peter, I'm disappointed with my new ATV2 that I got for Christmas. Limited file format support is my biggest complaint. And I wish you could connect a hard drive to it as you describe. My Blu-Ray player will play almost any file format. The only thing I use the ATV for is AirPlay.


    I known this seems more like a rant, its not intended to be. People should know ATV is VERY limited compared to other streaming devices. Do your research BEFORE you buy.

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