"It can be done, just with an AppleTV 2 (for now)"
Yes, as has been discussed already several times in the 6 pages of comments on this thread.
But that's not a solution for the OP (or myself), who is asking specifically about the ATV3.
Synology NAS' are nice, and the 3rd party DLNA connection solution sounds great. There are also solutions for Synology and other NAS systems that use the native Apple Remote app to do the same thing (that's what I use). I'm not sure that's the optimal solution, though, because as someone else pointed out earlier, you're then sending the media/file over the same Wi-Fi network twice nearly simultaneously, doubling your bandwidth requirements. Frustrating because, while my Wi-Fi can usually keep up, every once in a while...
It's also frustrating because I went through the trouble to get hard wire 100BT cable to my ATV, I really should be able to play media directly from my Apple TV interface utilizing that more reliable connection and not rely on a Wi-Fi "proxy" (and not suck up all of my Wi-Fi bandwidth that I might want to use for something else - like working on my laptop - while I'm watching a flick or listening to tunes).
The cost of the hardware in this discussion ie, ATV, NAS, is peanuts compared with the cost/value of music & video content that people are seeking to store and access.
Apple have established their iTunes credibility with the major content providers (music labels and movie studios) based on protection against copyright theft. Their business model relies upon this relationship and even so, some content creators are still reluctant to join the party because of the inevitable losses from illegal digital file distribution.
Do not imagine that Apple are ignorant of the user desire to link their ATV with a mass storage device. They are deliberately avoiding any digital solution that will foster or expedite copyright theft. The iTunes store and the income stream it provides to the media content providers is too important to jeopardise.
And yet.... LG, Samsung and most other TV and Bluray DVD manufacturers including XBOX 360 support the DLNA protocol. Some are now supporting the Plex client due to demands from customers and the market. The market is buying the hardware that supports an open method to stream content off a local server on a LAN. Not streaming off the Internet and not restrictive DRM.
The market, I think, will continue to prefer this approach rather than a pure cloud approach mainly to the flexibility it affords (stream from any dumb/smart TV, flexible reuse features on various form factors).
I am happy to pay for the content AS LONG as I can use it in the way I see fit (backup, reformat for various devices, etc). If the content providers continue to lock down and restrict the use and reuse of the content in my home entertainment centre I will continue to look for alternatives.
Once enough people have modern TVs with DLNA and Plex-style client support I think the rest of the market will get the message. Make content available, a la carte, in various means and methods, reasonably priced. The end result will be a much more mature and meritocratic market where amazing shows can charge a lot more than reality dreck. And yet there will be a market for everything.
For proof check out the iOS and Google "app stores" -- this is very much the future of content, although it would be nice to have some app portability there as well between devices.
It is not so clear what the 'market' prefers. Tech savvy users with lots of purchased content will perhaps want to follow the DLNA approach. Less tech-able users will simply follow the cloud approach. And users migrating to the 'post pc' world of handheld devices will also appreciate the cloud. My son has a NAS and cloud content using ultra laptop, tablet and smart phone. My eldest daughter has just realised the benefit of the cloud at just £2 per month for full access to over 5,000 music tracks.
The fact that several large tech companies have adopted DLNA is no reason for others to follow suit. The variety of technology offerings is good, in the end, for consumers. I prefer the choice and accept the consequences. None of these other tech companies have any significant commercial interest in the distribution of content as Apple. They can throw their hat on whatever tech hook will sell their boxes. And Microsoft (XBOX) will do anything to keep creaming off profits from this seven year old 'cash cow'.
If you want unrestricted content access then look elsewhere for solutions and be prepared to do the work to get the media streaming effectively between devices. But do not expect Apple to join that party. Remember that Jobs was deeply involved in creating content and his legacy of respect for copyright will keep Apple in this way.
It's not about attempting to out do Digital Right/Copyright. It is about being able to access the data that has been paid for in a way that is convenient. As has been stated many times here - and is the real issue for many 'digital content users' - networks do not yet support streaming for many of us. Networks are fine if you live in large urbanised areas where you have access to fibre optics, and 30, 50, or 100 mb/s. But for a huge proportion of the global users this is but a very distant dream. Downloading once to store a standard HD movie from iTunes - say 4GB - can take me anywhere from 2 to 5 hrs, impossible to watch as 'streamed content' from the 'cloud'. To have the pain of downloading once resolved, then to be able to view the content as and when I wish without the need of running a full computer is obviously a more desirable option. The 'Digital Rights' need not have any fears, in fact it could be argued that supporting this additional - and legal - option will keep some away from copyright infringements. I don't wish to alter the format, just be able to store what I have paid for in a place of my choosing so that I may be able to view as and when I desire
Lets not get distracted about music copyright and get back on track regarding streaming movies and pictures...
Apple do not provide a cloud storage service for movies and pictures (a 30 day photo stream is not suitable of course), so I must use a computer or a NAS. I choose a NAS as I dont want my Macbook on and open all the time and have non techy people in the house. It also does not make sense to have a NAS streaming to a computer streaming to a ATV. Apple need to get in with the times and realise a NAS is the way forward, especially as low storage space mobile devices AND file space requirements are on the increase.
I guess they just want to force people to use iTunes, perhaps due to music sales reasons as you discussed. But that is not applicable to me, who use the NAS and ATV to stream movies and pictures (using Firecore).
My next purchase for a new TV in my bedroom is not going to be ATV, it will be a competitor of Apple because they support streaming from NAS's. But I really, really want to use Apple. Everything of mine is Apple... except my next streaming device
My money would be on Boxee or Iomega Boxee.
they have just released a new Boxee firmware on the web. Ive yet to find anyhting that it doesnt stream to perfection.
I also have netgear Duo and Western Digital Live, but Boxee is King. Test on a laptop first you can dload free the client, if you like that, job done.
Apple need to release the subscription service then id happily pay for it. I just cant understand why they take soo long. Im using spotify and Quriocity from sony, and they do me fine. I think Apple have the means to do it, and will fall behind if they dont go soon.
I do however love my Apple TV and use it solely for Itunes Match and Netflix. id just love to be able to use it as a spotify client or apples own subscription service, cos as present its getting dusty.
Hi again. It is very clear what the market prefers -- streaming off local servers be they NASs or home theater servers. The market just doesn't call it that way. This is why major manufacturers that compete at your local Best Buy have all those logos on their devices "DLNA, DIVX, Plex, BluRay, etc" -- this is what the market expects. That maybe is a better word than prefers.
One way or another just about all modern display devices and DVD players have a "network" feature. Why do you think that is?
I am fully supportive of paying for content. But the cloud mechanism is at least 10-20 years away and won't be feasible for the majority until network access is ubiquotous and reasonably inexpensive for huge amounts of bandwidth (at least 200GB per month or more). That simply isn't the case and Apple does not control what the telecom companies provide in terms of bandwidth. Apple is wholly dependent on the network access and as stated previously cannot overestimate what the market can bear in terms of internet quality and speed.
Like many others I have landed here looking for a NAS to ATV solution (less the one more device running itunes).
I thought ATV would be a convienient streaming device for internet services AND an elegent rendering solution for local content on a NAS set up. There are a plethora of devices that provide access to netflix, hulu, etc. What I was really hoping for was to be able to eliminate my PC, move my digital content to NAS, and maintain an apple ecosystem.
A PC is not in my long term plans as my digitial media collection grows, NAS is. Yes, a PC with ihomeserver works great, but that is a necessary cluge rather than an elegant solution. I do not want to maintain a PC (tower or whatever) just to have an itunes client running.
DLNA can do just what everyone here is looking for. I am certain Apple could do it better, but it is obviously not in thier buisness interest. It is not an oversight, and that is OK, I do not begrudge them making a buck how they see fit. It just does not seem to be what I, and many, many others, are looking for.
I have to say that it has only been in the last year or so that I have begun to dip my toe into the Apple world. This simple conundrum is causing second thoughts about investing further into that ecosystem.
My ATV will be returned this weekend.
my HTPC is the size of a medium sized book, my file server is roughly double the size of my NAS & has HDMI so it doubles as a HTPC in a room above it - make the only thing you "see" in that room besides the television, the HDMI & USB cable to run it. It's quite elegant & technically takes less room than the ATV & I don't have that god-awful remote to work with, I get a wireless mouse. I click the movie, it plays... Scroll wheel is volume. This is working MUCH better than ATV.
So synology just released notes of their new software v4.2 here
It states that:
8. Video Station
- Supports streaming videos to Apple TV (Requires DSM 4.2).
Is this what we've been waiting for?
I don't own a synology....maybe someone can test it and let us know if and how it works?
Here's a forum post -- looks like AirPlay is used to stream directly from the NAS to an AirPlay device -- you have ti invoke the airplay from the VideoStation or the iOS app.