Previous 1 2 Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Dec 13, 2007 7:19 PM by mcnatprice Go to original post
  • skatejunk Level 1 (0 points)
    Robert, you said that you are using a couple of Lacie external drives. Are they all connected to your Airport Express router at once or do you have to manually plug in each hard drive when you want to use it (I know there is only one usb port on the Airport Express)? I'm debating on weather or not to purchase an Apple TV and your insight would be greatly appreciated. I have two 500gb Lacie external drives and want to stream them to my TV through an Apple TV or some other product.

    Also, do you notice any quality issues when streaming? I have a 61" DLP and just purchased a Sony Bravia 5.1 Home Theater system and want to get HD or as near as possible.

  • robertmenk Level 1 (5 points)
    I have all drives connected to the PC itself. I have this week purchased a larger HD with Firewire and stream from that.

    The quality of the picture is related to the process you go through to provision the DVD; there are typically quality settings to choose. Double pass encoding is notably important to minimize artifacts in the resulting file. It is a matter of trying different settings and determining what produces your desired picture quality in a minimum amount of time. Hard drives are cheap, IMO, so the file size is less important.

    I'm now running through an Airport Extreme; my files are typically produced in 1.5 hours and produce an approximately 1GB file.

    That works well on my 37" HDTV. Again - it seems like double pass encoding is really important but does take twice the time.

  • foolintherain76 Level 1 (0 points)
    I am considering purchasing ATV and an external HD. I have ~ 300 DVDs and was thinking of using handbrake to convert these to itunes format. I guess I have a couple questions:

    1) obviously these movies won't fit on my macbook hardrive. Do you create it, then just archive it on the external hardrive. Then bring it back to itunes to play on ATV?

    2) whatever the answer to the above, is it fairly easy to say "hey, lets watch this, find it on the external hardrive and que it up to watch on ATV...or is it more work (time consuming) than it is worth.

    Thanks in advance. I'm sort of going all out with Leopard. Thinking of getting the external HD, an aiport base station, and Apple TV.
  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 (11,275 points)
    Do you create it, then just archive it on the external hardrive. Then bring it back to itunes to play on ATV?

    Essentially, yes. It's a matter of taste if you want to keep them in your iTunes hierarchy - in that case, you should keep your iTunes content on the external HD. Or if you want to create your own folder structure - then you import them into iTunes with the "copy" option unchecked.
  • Level 2 (150 points)
    I use a 400 GB USB drive connected to my airport extream (pre gigabit), and stream movies to the AppleTV. It doesn't work perfectly, but the one movie we've watched so far worked pretty well (only one pause in the middle for about 10 seconds).

    I'm streaming from a MacBook Pro with a wireless N USB addapter, and here's what I've learned:
    1) You do need to restart the computer once in a while.
    2) If your air disk gets disconnected and you have trouble mounting it again, just delete the Keychain entry from the airdisk.

    Once I copy the movie using Handbreak, I import the movie into iTunes, but I don't copy the file to the iTunes directory.

    The one question/irritation I have is, why does it take soooooo long to view my iTunes library via streaming when I change the source from the AppleTV to my MacBook Pro? It takes at least 5 minutes to bring up the streamed library!
  • Christoph Drösser Level 6 (11,275 points)
    That was the setup I used in the beginning (with the exception that I have a 1st gen. MacBook Pro, which didn't come n enabled). I hope this works for you - for me it didn't, for several reasons:

    • While sometimes I could stream an entire movie, in most of the cases I had a lot of interruptions.

    • My iTunes Library got very slow. Especially when I changed the tags for videos - like from "Movie" to "TV Show". Even if only this one tag was changed, it could take several minutes, sometimes almost an hour!

    • As you mentioned, it is sometimes hard to mount the AirDisk again after you closed the lid of the laptop. That was discussed a lot in the Airport forum, the remedy was to downgrade from the current AEBS firmware to the previous version.

    • Data rates between the computer and the Airdisk were generally a lot worse than the network speed should have allowed.

    After I was fed up with that (you can follow some of my agony in the forum) and since I didn't want to plug an external disk permanently into my laptop, I took an expensive solution which I haven't regretted yet: bought a Mac mini (could get a good deal on last year's Intel model) which is attached to the AEBS via Ethernet and has the media disk plugged into it. It serves as a media server now, records tv shows via DBV, and streams to my ATV.

    Of course you could argue now that makes the ATV sort of unnecessary, but it's very convenient to have it sitting under the tv and the computer with all its wiring in a closet ...
  • mcnatprice Level 1 (0 points)
    You say it takes approx. 1 1/2 hrs to convert to ATV with Handbrake. I am slowly converting my entire DVD collection (over 700 movies) in anticipation of an ATV purchase. However, my conversions are taking several hours. I usually have to set one in the AM and another overnight. I have tried using Mediafork as well with no more love. I have a 20" iMac, 250 Gig HD, 1.5 Gig Ram (last model pre-Intel) with 2 500 Gig externals (so far) I have ripped a lot of my library (about 75 movies), and the ripping is much quicker than the conversion to h.264. Do you know a trick that I am unaware of???? I didn't mean to make this about Handbrake software, more about the conversion issues. thanks
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