ATV2 w/Flash Capabilties

I’m about to migrate my media to a new HDD and wanted to use the ATV2 instead of my existing ATV1 to manage things.  My old setup uses the DNS-323 used for media streaming (non-MAC and XBMC) with the older ATV1 w/flash, and an IcyDock dual bay HDD in RAID1 configuration hosting content externally for the ATV itunes content formatted in FAT32.

I am going to (maybe) purchase the ATV2 and would like to setup my system the same way, and transfer my itunes content over to my ATV2 using the ATV Flash - connecting my existing HDD to it via USB, and using the XBMC to access an upgraded remote server - now a dns-325 which has a bit more bandwidth.
A few questions though:

 

1 - does the new ATV flash for “black” allow for an external HDD via USB - if not, how can it be connected?

2 - can the new ATV flash access my files via XBMC the same way I used to in my ATV1 - using simple SMB shares to get to media files I rip from DVD or other hard content.

3 - I also use the Boxee Box - is it possible to partition my HDD so that half is used by the D-link DNS-325 for ATV, and the other half used by my Boxee?  The NAS unit seems to format things completely, but I would assume if it is pre-partitioned before loading the HDD, it’ll only format that portion that is formatted according to Linux standards - the rest if formatted using MAC standards would be left alone.  If so, could I potentially connect one device via tether, and another via wireless and use it for both devices?  I don’t want to lose the Boxee due to its new Boxee TV setup, and a few other applications not available through ATV.

Thanks for the help.

  1. No - you cannot connect a disk via USB. You will instead connect to a network share via wired Ethernet or WiFi.

  2. Yes.

  3. Not a function of the ATV2, but of whatever box/device is managing the disk.

So rather than connecting my HDD via USB I can connect via ethernet directly to the HDD, or would I need to go through a router?

To connect to the external HDD via wireless, is there a special formatting that is required for the NAS unit?  I guess alternatively I could connect the old external HDD to my router via USB, and let the ATV access the HDD wirelessly through the router - correct?