Attaching a USB external hard drive

I have a pretty big 3.5" external HDD that I want to use with the Apple TV, I was just wondering if it’s unhealthy for the drive to be on all the time.

I know that hard drives spin down when not in use, but is there a downside to leaving the external drive connected and on? And how will the speeds be? Faster than wifi but slower than the internal, I take it?

Also, does the Standby mode of the Apple TV invoke itself after being idle for long enough? And is the lifespan of the Apple TV shortened by the fact that some parts of it are always on, checking for remotes and wifi connections?

Any thoughts on this? I know lots of aTV Flash users have external hard drives set up, so I’m hoping I can get some valuable input on the matter so that I can better understand the pros and cons.

I have a refurbished Lacie thats been on for almost 2 years straight with no problems. Besides most usb drives that I know of, spin down after so many minutes of inactivity (typically ten or so).

Hi everybody,

I wanted to use a 2.5 external HD but I don’t know is there is enough power on the Apple TV to use it. Any idea ? I can’t access the files via the NitoTV plugin (in fact, I only see the movies that I have uploaded on the HD via ftp). Any help ?

Thanks a lot.