Last year, I wrote about upgrading the AppleTV from 40GB to 160GB. As I’ve starting converting my entire video library to MP4, I’ve quickly run out of space on the AppleTV again. The software on the AppleTV continues to be a generation ahead of the software included on Mac OS X (10.5), so I was thinking about how to upgrade the AppleTV.
You can now find 250GB, 320GB, and soon, 500GB SATA 2.5″ drives on the market. Unfortunately, it seems that only Western Digital is making an ATA-6 drive above 160GB, and the biggest drive they are selling is 250GB. Not going to cut it, as my iTunes movie library is now over 350GB and growing.
I was curious whether anyone out there knew whether or not ATA-6 was effectively dead for 2.5″ drives? If so, why?
Assuming you can’t get the AppleTV hard drive above 250GB, then I’m going to be left with replacing the AppleTV with a Mac Mini, my current solution for the family room. Not perfect, of course, because the current version of FrontRow:
- Can’t do iTunes Rentals (not sure I care about this at all)
- Can’t organize movies by genre (big problem when you have 200+ movies)
I guess it stands to reason that Apple will upgrade the FrontRow software shortly to match the features of AppleTV 2.0.
I hate to see my AppleTV so limited by storage, though. If you have any ideas, pointers, or tips on how to add more storage to an AppleTV, please let me know. I’d love to be able to take it up to 320GB or more.
I’m really not sure why Apple’s streaming solution for the AppleTV isn’t working for me – I would think Apple would just cache the first 10 minutes of each movie on the AppleTV, and then stream in the rest of the movie when I select one. 160GB would be an extremely effective cache for my iTunes library, since it’s effectively 1/3 the size of the library. Maybe I’ve configured something wrong here, but when I tell the AppleTV to synch “all” of my movies, a vast majority don’t show up on the AppleTV.
Update (4/27/08): OK, I’ve found a huge amount of info on great hacks for the AppleTV. Here is an AppleTV archive on Hackszine.com. Here is the site AppleTVHacks.net. Well known hacks include ability to use external drives, SSH support, RSS, etc. Lots of very cool stuff to check out.
Update (4/27/08): Last comment. Here is a wiki at AwkwardTV.org that gives step by step instructions on how to install SSH on your AppleTV Take 2, and then add USB Hard Drive support. It’s not trivial.