Connecting External Hard Drive to Apple TV

I just learned of your product and am very interested. I plan on purchasing a 40GB Apple TV and your program to really enhance my home theater setup. Please let me know if I understand everything correctly.

Here is my current process:
Rip my DVDs to MacBook Pro
Convert them to .m4v using Handbrake
Copy them into iTunes
Store on external Hard Drive and have iTunes point there to locate

The result is that I have them on my external and they play great in iTunes. The problem is that if I want to see them on my tv, I have to bring both my computer and external hard drive into the family room, plug them in, and connect my computer to tv using a VGA to HDMI and audio cord.

What would be ideal for me is to have my external hard drive stay in the living room, plugged into the Apple TV, and then have the Apple TV read the movies and tv shows straight off of it. With your product, I could plug my external hard drive into the back of the Apple TV, set the Apple TV to use the external hard drive as the primary source, and see my movies by going to “Movies” > “My Movies”. Most importantly, I would not need my computer turned on in order to play the media. Is this correct? Also, will the artwork (setup in iTunes) for the movies and tv shows appear as well?

*Note: The external Hard Drive is an Iomega 1TB

I really appreciate your time fielding this question. I look forward to purchasing your product (given the response) and doing business with you.


Yes, you could use your external drive as primary storage for the AppleTV. This would allow you to sync 1TB of media to the AppleTV which can be played without having to have your computer running.

Alternatively you could skip the convert with handbrake setting and have the AppleTV play the raw DVD files stored on an external drive. More info on this can be seen here:

This sounds like a great solution to hook up external hard drives. I have an apple tv 2 (4.2.1) that is already jailbroken and am thinking about buying atv flash for it to use for this purpose. My only problem is that I have 2 external hard drives and want to connect both of them to the apple tv directly (no streaming).  Is there a way I could somehow link both of the drives to set them both as the primary storage drives? Or another solution?

This is the atv 1st gen forum, you'll probably have better luck posting in the 2nd gen forums.

I have installed aTVFlash on my 1st gen apple tv. I’ve run the smart installer from the maintenance and nitoTV menus. the apple tv is still not recognizing my external hd drive. i first thought it was because the drive was windows formatted so i got another one and formatted it for mac and the same thing happen. it just doesn’t come up on the files menu under nitoTV. Can anybody help me?

can I connect 2TB Iomega external hard drive to my ATVflash? If yes Can I use it as storage for ATV and sync it with my Imac?