What Hard Disk format will a jailbroken Apple TV 2 (black) support? FAT32? NTFS?

As the topic title reads, I am planning on getting myself one of them Apple TV2s and was wondering what HDD format will the ATV be able to read via the USB port.

I have a huge selection of +5gb movie files (720p to 1080p) that i'd like to run through the ATV on my HDD and I really really really really hope I won't need to re-format my hard disk into another format. Besides that, I understand that a FAT32 HDD won't allow me to copy over 4gbs of files at once....so um yeah....any tips?



As of right now external drives are not yet supported on the 2nd gen AppleTV. We're hoping (wishing) we can enable the black AppleTV to support them in the future.


what is the status on this "feature" please ?




+1 too


Hey Jecub.

If they’re WiFi enabled (NAS) drives then this is fine.

I use a 1tb Western Digital My Book World Edition which sits on my network and I created an account on the MyBook called AppleTV and gave the Apple TV2 (black) the user details and aTVFlash’s Media Player logs in without issue but I find giving it to xbmc more useful (just make sure once you’ve installed the latest ATVFlash Black you manually upgrade xbmc to the newest version (instructions to do this are in the forum) and it’ll play your SD or HD movies without issue.

Any news about this???


I am not sure this is even technically possible!

THe USB Port on the ATV2/3 only has hardware support for operating as a client device.  To support something like a USB drive it would need to act as a Host device.   I always thought that it was not possible to overide this in software and drive a USB link as a Host device if one did not have the correct hardware for this.   I would love to be proved wrong though.

Guys, the ATV will never be able to read an external disk. This is because it’s configured as a USB target device, which means it’s got a B side connector (Micro USB B in this case).

Hard drives are also target devices, which means they also use B side connectors.  You just can’t buy a B to B USB cable of any sort.  

You can pick up a decent NAS very cheap (I’ve got one of these: http://www.megabuy.com.au/netgear-stora-ms2110-1tb-home-media-network-storage-p145271.html but these are also pretty good: http://www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=280) that multiple ATVs can pull from.

Hope that helps.

well … about the cable… I do have it.

You  can get one too  http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/USB-HOST-OTG-MICRO-B-CABLE-ADAPTOR-SAMSUNG-GALAXY-S-SII-S2-NOKIA-N900-/220960816331?pt=UK_Mobiles_Accessories_RL&hash=item33724a7ccb  but please note usb hdd  on atv2&3  is not supported yet.

P.S. Never say never.

Actually what you’ve got there is a female standard type-A to male micro type-B.  The standard type-B plug is more square.  It’s confusing, I know - take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#Physical_appearance though

Maybe it is hard to understand but you do not need cable with both usb micro at the ends, as your hard drive cable will fit to that one what I showed you. One end is micro and another is the same as in your computer usb port. Cable what I have and showed allows you to attach usb flash or hardrive to device with usb micro port if it supports it. Anyway there is no point to talk about it as there is no solution for usb support YET. Problem is not a cable but iOS itself.

I don’t think you understand what dan9 is trying to explain. For a device to mount a hard drive, it needs a pair; one host and one target device. The host mounts the target device to provide file access. Since the USB port on the AppleTV is configured as a target (read the link he sent, while the connectors looks the same the pins on the inside are different) and your hard drive is configured as target the AppleTV is incapable of mounting a hard drive by design.

It’s not a cable limitation, it’s not an OS limitation, it’s a hardware limitation. Since the micro-USB port on the AppleTV lacks the pins necessary to act as a host it can’t mount a hard drive, and that’s why this feature has not been implemented. Changing the cable doesn’t make a difference because the port you plug it into doesn’t have the pins it needs to act as a host.

Why did Apple do this? They set the port on the AppleTV to be a target so you can tether the device to your computer and install updates (aTV is the target, your computer is the host) which is all the functionality they require. It also prevents you from easily connecting a hard drive and playing content you haven’t purchased through their service.

I agree that you should never say never, and I hope someone proves me wrong, but to be frank the only way I can see this happening is if you replace the micro-USB port on the AppleTV.

I have an Apple Time Capsule 1GB and it does have a USB port on it for attaching external hard drives and it is the only way to use stream data from it unless it is formatted either as HFS+ or FAT.  However, the AppleTV2 does support network drives which is how the AppleTV2 is able to stream from the Time Capsule, or if the external hard drive is shared on a computer that the AppleTV2 should detect either SMB or AFP.  However, there is no news or functionality for media streaming with the AppleTV2’s USB port.