Where to store the external HD

I understand that I can attach an external USB drive to a single aTV so that i can basically create a digital media server for all of my DVDs that I can now rip. That’s awesome, if I have just one setup (which I do now). If, however, I want to expand to more than one aTV can I share these files between aTVs? I thought I read somewhere that it wasn’t possible to do that.

Assuming that what I read is true, is it possible to simply attach the USB drive to my main computer and have all of the aTV’s stream the files from one central source? Or, does the USB drive need to be connected directly to the aTV in order for the various media players (NitoTV, XBMC, etc.) to access the files?

BTW, I DO know that If I convert the DVDs with Handbrake that I could just load them into iTunes and stream them that way, but I’d really rather keep them as full rips (Video_TS) both for quality and for time sake, so I’m trying to figure out how to do it this way.

An external USB hub hooked into the back of the ATV USB port MIGHT be an easy and cheap solution.
Load up your rips onto the hardrives and plug them into the hub, with the hub attached to the ATV.
If Nito truly reads USB drives, it MIGHT see the extra drives off your hub.
I just put a 1.5TB USB drive on my ATV and it is seen just fine. Lotsa extra room in it too.
I think I have another 300GB available after loading up lots of my movies and TV shows into it.
With external drives as cheap as they are, keep it simple and save for the biggest extra drive you can afford. USB Hubs are usually cheap too, but it’s an un-tried option, imho.

Thanks for the reply.

I know that I can connect the drive directly to the aTV, but I want to know if it’s possible to have one (or eventually multiple) aTVs reading off a drive connected to my desktop. That way I would only have to buy one drive (and deal with updating one drive) instead of one for each aTV.

I’ve been trying to connect to the drive, but I keep getting errors.