6 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2011 7:55 PM by WellyDebater
WellyDebater Level 1 (10 points)

I have a Macbook Pro, with Itunes. I already know how to set-up HOME SHARING with the APPLE TV that allows me to view my Itunes library from my TV.

But on my laptop, with the FRONT ROW feature, I set-up a ALIAS in the movie folder on my computer so that the files from my external hard drive were viewable from the movies folder in FRONT ROW. This great feature now allows me to view my content on my laptop (on Itunes) and the movies on my external hard drive, all on FRONT ROW on the Macbook Pro.

When I opened and set-up the Apple TV (Gen 2), I was surprised that it isn't like FRONT ROW. Instead, it only allows the content on my Itunes to be viewed.

This is a downside because I have only 35 GB free on my internal hard-drive, and all of 350+ GB of movies are on my EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE (Western Digital MY BOOK). Also, the movies files on my external hard drive are .AVI, .M4V, and .MP4

Another question I have is what is the USB port on the back of the APPLE TV for? Can it be used for the external hard drive or no?

Basically, I want to watch all the movies from my external hard drive on my TV.

Can I set this up to happen and how?

If not, what should I do to be able to watch the movies from my computer/external hard drive on my TV?

*Please share as much information as you all can because I need to view all my options (if any) in this situation and I value all the advice....THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!*


Laptop: MACBOOK PRO 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo 4GB 1067 MHZ DDR3 MAC OS X 10.6.6

Apple TV: Gen 2


External Hard Drive: Western Digital MY BOOK (USB 2.0 + Firewire)

MAC OS X, Mac OS X (10.6), APPLE TV GEN 2, external Hard drive
  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,971 points)
    You can point iTunes to the external drive, the files need to be compatible with ATV however (see link)


    The USB port is for maintenence only (i.e. restoring via iTunes with micro usb cable)
  • WellyDebater Level 1 (10 points)
    How do I "point" Itunes to the files on the external hard drive?

    Thank you for your quick response...much appreciated!
  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,971 points)
    Go into the preferences, I believe it's under advanced. Hit change and then select where you want it to grab your content from.

    I'd recommend converting the files first.

    Message was edited by: vazandrew
  • WellyDebater Level 1 (10 points)
    Alright, I will do that, and I plan to convert my files first anyway. Any suggestions on the easiest way to convert...I'm looking at converting around 40 movie files that aren't compatible with Itunes.

    Many thanks...
  • vazandrew Level 6 (17,971 points)
    I do a lot of conversions for work and I find the best tools are handbrake, visualhub and Mpeg streamclip. It will be time consuming for sure, look for a batch convert option..not all will have it though.
  • WellyDebater Level 1 (10 points)
    I followed exactly what you advised, and it all worked. I did convert the files first that were .AVI ---> .MP4 (the audio and video came out beautifully when viewed). I organized my files around a bit, and then I went into Itunes---> Preferences---> Advanced---> Changed where I want to grab my movies from. It keep all my previous music, tv, movies, podcasts files that I had in ITunes, and just "added" the new content without disrupting anything in my Itunes at all. I LOVED IT...so simple in the end.

    The files did take a while to convert, but I only had to do the ones that I had that were labeled ".AVI". The program, HAND BRAKE, allowed me to set up a "batch" and I had them converting during the afternoon and into the evening.

    All in all....THANK YOU/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/migration-img-not-avail.png/___sbsstatic__ _/migration-images/migration-img-not-avail.png/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/ migration-img-not-avail.png/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/migration-img-not-a vail.png/___sbsstatic___/migration-images/migration-img-not-avail.png/___sbsstat ic___/migration-images/migration-img-not-avail.png/___sbsstatic___/migration-ima ges/migration-img-not-avail.png

    Since whenever I open my Itunes, all the movies display well, and so my APPLE TV can now view all my "content" in Itunes. I thought I was going to have to return that APPLE TV since I couldn't figure a way around it, and all in all, it wasn't all that bad of a process to convert and then change file location in preferences.