What are the limitations of AppleTV?

AppleTV began shipping from Cupertino this morning.  I’ll be purchasing mine from Amazon Prime or the local Apple Store as soon as I can get my hands on one.  The question I have is, what are the limitations of this device?

From reading reviews of AppleTV, it seems I can auto sync one computer and have as many computers as I’d like(Mac and PC) stream to the device.  The problem with all of this is storage.  My current laptop has 60 gigs of storage, 28 gigs of which have music, tv shows or movies downloaded from iTunes.  A major reason for purchasing the AppleTV for me was to clear up a lot of that space on my laptop.  I’m certain if I sync to AppleTV then remove the items from my library, AppleTV and iTunes will be upset with me.

Another solution I had thought about was purchasing a Mac mini solely to store data, but what’s the point of purchasing a machine if all you need is storage?  I should be able to hook an external hard drive up to the Apple TV, which brought me to my next solution.

Now this is a big “is it possible?” that I need help with and hopefully someone out there will be able to test this out.  What if I purchase a new Airport Extreme Base Station and hook up an external hard drive to it (the new airport base stations can provide an external drive with sharing capability over the network).  Can I store all of my media on the external hard drive connected to the Base Station and stream media without a computer?

If this last solution will work, I’ll be able to rip all of my dvd’s through Handbrake, store them on the external hard drive and stream them whenever I want to AppleTV.  If that’s possible, I can’t think of a better set up with today’s current offerings.   Can anyone tell me if this will work?

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3 thoughts on “What are the limitations of AppleTV?

  1. Why don’t you just put the whole of your iTunes library on the external drive you attach to the Airport Extreme, and you’ll have as much networked storage as you want. You can tell iTunes where your library is – it doesn’t have to be in your home folder on your computer. You’d still need iTunes running on your Mac to connect to the aTV, but you could add as much external storage as you want this way.

  2. Pingback: What are the limitations of AppleTV? « Airports USA

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