Apple TV and external hard drive

Can I connect an external hard drive to the Apple TV 2 or Apple TV 3 once aTV Flash has been installed?


This a hardware limitation of the USB port.

This suggests otherwise -

That link is refering to the original ATV Flash product on the ATV1.  The ATV1 DID allow USB drives to be connected via the USB port as it was capable of acting as a USB Master device.

The ATV2 (and ATV3) are only capable of acting as USB slave devices, and thus cannot drive hard disks.   They use the AYv Flash (black) product which is not the same as the original ATV Flash for the ATV1 (despite the similarity in name).

Will this be a feature that is supported in the 3rd gen Apple TV?  I realize that there is no Jailbreak at this point in time, but still want to know if it will have this capability once a jailbreak is in the wild.


This is a hardware restriction in the fact that the micro USB port is not capable of handling a hard drive as it can only be a client/slave device.

I would simply invest in an Airport Extreme base station ($129 refurbished) and connect any old USB hard drive to it. Set it up as a Share with Media Player and you’re good to go!


Much easier to transfer videos/music to it too with any computer on the network instead of having to disconnect the drive from the ATV every time.

If you have a Airport Express or Extreme, you can connect your USB hard drive to this device and share the content of the disk. It will be available on a jailbroken aTV 2.

You should format this disk as HFS-plus to allow big files (>4Gb).
FAT or FAT32 would not allows you to store so big files.
NTFS, ExFAT (…?) wouldn’t be recognized by the Airport.

With a jailbroken aTV2 how do I see the hard drive connect to the airport?