Accessing external USB on network from ATV

I am a WInXP user with ATVflash 3.2 running on ATV 2.1.

I purchased a device from lynksys that connects to a home router. Then you attach external USB drives to this.

Would I be able to access the USB drives on this from my Apple TV?
My hope is to be able to copy files to the USB drive from my WinXP machine,and access them from Apple TV. This would eliminate a lot of file copying to the ATV.

Thanks!
TPH

TPH,

I have managed to set up access to a shared folder on my Win XP mediacenter. Which means I can now stream my Beyond TV recordings to my aTV…sweet!!
My guess is that the steps you must go through to access a folder on your Linksys Storage Link for USB are similar.

Here is what I did:
First of all you must make sure that the folder on your network drive that you wish to access from your aTV is shared. Navigate to that folder through Windows and right-click the folder name. Select Sharing & Security and click on Share this Folder. Windows will suggest a share name (usually the same as the folder name), simply accept it.
Click on to save your changes.

On your aTV do the following.

  1. Download the file located here:
    http://wsidecar.apple.com/cgi-bin/nph-reg3rdpty2.pl/product=13207&cat=60&platform=osx&method=sa/MacOSXUpdCombo10.4.9Intel.dmg
  2. Copy the downloaded DMG file to the Documents Folder on your aTV (I used the free version of FTP Commander to do this).
  3. On the aTV, go into DVD > Settings > Install Software > Smart Installer
  4. Run the Smart Installer. Once the installation is complete restart your aTV by unplugging it.
  5. Go to DVD - Network - Add Manual Share Point and enter the following details:
  6. Mount Name: can be anything you like
  7. Mount Type: smb
  8. Mount Address: enter the IP address of your network drive containing the folder you wish to access. For example, the folder I want to share is on my Win XP desktop machine which has the following IP address: 192.168.1.2. So I simply entered 192.168.1.2 as the Mount Address
  9. Requires Authentication: Yes
  10. User Login: I simply entered my Win XP username that I select when I start up my desktop
  11. Password: Here I entered the password associated with my Win XP username
  12. Volume Path: enter the exact location of the folder you wish to access. In my example I am sharing the folder E:\BeyondTV. So I simply entered BeyondTV here.
  13. Auto Mount: I have this switched to off which means I must manually mount the volume each time I reset the aTV. Haven’t tried changing this setting yet
  14. Click on Save Changes to store the above settings

If you go to DVD - Network on your aTV you should now see the name of the network drive you just created. Click on the network drive name to mount the drive.
To change any of the settings simply select the network drive name and then push the right-button on your remote control.

That should do the trick. Worked for me.

Totally cool ! I have dloaded the combo dmg file from Apple, and installed it using Smart Installer on NitoTV (called DVD on 3.2)

I am working on getting the disk format set right now for my new USB drive on the linksys device. Lots of reading to do. This is an awesome little device per the Amazon user reviews above, but lots of considerations to get it set up right.

More to follow, lots of work before I celebrate!

Thanks again!
TPH

I am getting a Network Mount Failed - SMB failed message.
Did you do something on your PC to enable SMB?

Also, in step 12, you just entered BeyondTV, with no drive letter or path?

Tks
I’ll give it another go tonight.
TPH

Hmmm…all I did on my PC was make sure that filesharing was enabled and that the folder was shared.
I assume that you can access the folder on your network drive from your Windows pc?

Also, as you are using a networked harddrive that is accessible from any pc in the network you probably don’t need to enter a username and password in step 10 and 11.

In step 12 I simply entered the name of the folder. No drive lettter or slash

The culprit may likely be the way I have filesharing set up. I use network Magic to share files and folders across my network. I will check to ensure that they are being shared natively in Windows.

I have not yet attempted to access my networked USB drive from the ATV yet. I thought before I did that I should just try to access a shared folder on my PC from the ATV.

Thanks! I’ll be back with Nuclear Weapons! (John Candy in the movie Splash).

TPH

You may want to take a look at this forum on Apple Support before you break your neck trying to access the NAS from your aTV.
Mixed feelings about performance when streaming from a NAS.

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1368925&tstart=180

Wow, what a great thread.

Wireless seems to be a factor, and although I am running wireless 802.11g AtV, I plan to wire it. Even if I stick with just copying files to the ATV via WinSCP, wired should be a big improvement. Right now copying 3-4gb files wirelessly to the ATV from my XP box takes ~30 minutes, although I haven’t officially timed it (one more to-do).

Are you running wired or wireless? How well do your BeyondTV files stream to your ATV now that you have the share mounted?

Tks
TPH

I am running wireless 802.11g
Streaming my BeyondTV recordings (approx 5 GB per 1.5 hour movie) to my aTV with this setup is not an option. Lots of stutter and delays.
I also need to wire it. Perhaps I might try installing an Apple Airport Extreme Basestation (802.11n). Good excuse to get one :lol:

Let me know how you get on with your NAS. I am thinking of getting one as well.

Cheers,
Karim

P.s: Applecore have not yet responded to my aTV Flash solution for Windows users.

Ok, I found that since I was using Network Magic for networking, I never enabled File and Print sharing on XP. So I got that going tonight. I got the ATV accessing files directly from my xp machinenow… Very cool ! Centralized storage!

No problems with music, but after 15 minutes or so of video, it stuttered. I am still wireless so next I’ll run a wire across the rooms to test it, and see if that makes a difference. I should be able to test this tomorrow. More to report then!

After validating this, then I’ll setup and try to access the network attached USB device.

If however the wired streaming doesn’t work well from the XP box to the ATV, then I will likely hook up the USB device directly to the ATV and see I I can transfer directly to it using WinSCP. I believe I saw a post on how to do this today.

I also promised a measurement. Using WinSCP, I wirelessly transferred a 3.9gb file in ~30 minutes from the XP box to the ATV. Are you using WinSCP or FTP?

Tks
TPH

TPH,

Great to hear that you got the shared drive to work.

If streaming from your PC or NAS does not work as expected you could always consider plugging an external USB drive into the aTV directly, as you mentioned.
You can then FTP files from your PC directly to the external drive. According to the following post it works fine.

http://www.applecorellc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=243#p1134

I am going to give it a shot tonight.

To answer your FTP question: I am using the free version of FTP Commander. Works great for me.

Change of plans for tonight. I won’t be able to test. Will be working from home tomorrow and able to run the cable, and do the other tests as well. I’ll also see if FTP is faster than WinSCP.

TPH

I had a chance tonight to test some file transfers wirelessly from my XP machine to the ATV. Oddly enough the FTP Commander transfer took 12 minutes to transfer a 700mb file. Using WinSCP it took 9.5 minutes to transfer the file.

Is that typical?

Tks
TPH

The same 700mb file transfer from the external USB WD Mybook attached directly to my WinXP machine to the aTV that took 9min 30sec using WinSCP over 802.11g, took 2min 40sec when using a wired connection.

I’ve also been testing streaming video from the Mybook for about 30 minutes now with no problem, using a mounted share on NitoTV. Lets hope it continues going well!

After that I’ll test the network attached external USB drive.

More to report later!
TPH

I went ahead and installed the wired connection for good as it was working so well. I installed the Linksys NSLU2 with a 1gb WD Mybook, formatted to Ext3 format (linux). I can copy to it with no problem, and see it on my network but the ATV can’t see it yet through NitoTV network settings. I don’t have a choice there for Ext3… that may be the problem.

Any thoughts are appreciated. My next step will be to try to get drivers to format it to NTFS as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSLU2. I read up on it tonight, but its not synching in yet, as to how to do it.

More to follow !
TPH

I found lots of information about attaching this Linksys NSLU2 network attached storage device to the newtwork today. Drivers now exist for NTFS and Fat32 file formats. Gonna try some of these tools tonight and will report the results. There are also TONS of hacks for it to act as a full PC, downloading movies etc. Although it looks like 2 500gb drives being attached may be a limitation, which is a shame as I have a 1gb mybook attached to it now. It will likely be tomorrow to test the aTV mounted share with it.

Onward !

TPH

Found that the default firmware that comes with the NSLU2 formats the drive to ext3 (linux) file system, which Nito of course can’t see. After having it formatted, spent much of the day figuring out how to get xp to see it well enough on its own - attached to a PC(can’t format it trhough the firmware or over the network). Its a Wd 1tb mybook home edition. Found a utility at WD that allowed me to reformat it with Fat32.

Now the challenge is getting it to be a share over the network. From another computer I can hunt and peck through Network Neighborhod and can browse it fine, I can even save files to it with various programs running on PCs on the network, but can’t share it as a folder. Thus I don’t seem to be able to get Nito to see it.

Anyway around this with Nito?

Got it! The Linksys NSLU2 (http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c=L_CASupport_C2&childpagename=US%2FLayout&cid=1166859881077&pagename=Linksys%2FCommon%2FVisitorWrapper&lid=8107742294B04 is a very small device that allows you to connect multiple external USB hard drives to your router) enables cenralized storage of your media, accessable from the AppleTV and TVs as well as multipe PCs around the house. Add multiple external USB drives via USB hubs, and you have a poor man’s Drobo. I purchased it for $35. See Drobo.com - these run around $500. The NSLU2 runs Linux and so many mods are out there that it can serve as a NAS device as-is, or webserver, email server, itunes server, and more. Search “wikipedia nslu2” for more info. I plan to purchase a few spares to play with.

The ATV NitoTV to NSLu2 set up I have long been seeking was the following: Special thanks to Kelgamal from whom these directions were modified from an earler post:
Be aware that I have just tested this and additional testing needs to be done to validate long term stability of the solution.
This was done with a native ATV ver 1.1 upgraded to ATV 2.1 and then patched with ATVflash version 3.2.

  1. Format the external USB device to Fat32 as that is how I set it up and it impacts these instructions. Other choices are possible (ext3 and NTFS) but theyimpact future capabilities. I chose Fat32 for compatiblity with XP and it was easier for me.
  2. Attach it to the Linksys NSLU2 as per the device’s instructions.
  3. The NSLU2 automatically set up a share of //Devicename/HDD_1_1.
  4. Be sure to install Linksys NSLU2 firmware version 2.3r63 or later as this supports NSF or Fat32.
  5. On the ATV, Go to DVD (which is NitoTV) - Network - Add Manual Share Point and enter the following details:
  6. Mount Name: can be anything you like
  7. Mount Type: smb
  8. Mount Address: enter the IP address of the Linksys NSLU2.
  9. Requires Authentication: Yes
  10. User Login: guest (this account is set up by the Linksys NSLU2 by default)
  11. Password: none
  12. Volume Path: In this case it was HDD_1_1_1 which was the default given it by the NSLU2.
  13. Auto Mount: I have this switched to off which means I must manually mount the volume each time I reset the aTV. Haven’t tried changing this setting yet
  14. Click on Save Changes to store the above settings
  15. Mount the drive. You should then see a pause, then you will be brought back to the DVD Nito) Network Menu.
    If you go to DVD - Network on your aTV you should now see the name of the network drive you just created. Click on the network drive name to mount the drive.
    You should see the same name under the Files Menu or Media - Sapphire menu on AtvFlash version 3.2
    To change any of the settings simply select the network drive name and then push the right-button on your remote control.

Thanks!
TPH