Using an external hard disk on Apple TV 3rd gen

I have a lot of movies stored on an external hard disk, which I originally ripped from DVDs that I owned.

I used to play them on my MacBook Air with the external storage attached to it. But I have since gone iPad Pro only and now I have no way of watching these films.

Unless, it is possible to connect this external hard disk to my Apple TV 3rd gen or a later version.

Does anyone know if this is possible? Or does anyone know of another way for me to view these movies on my iPad Pro. I could maybe store them in iCloud, but I don’t know if that works the right way?

Not possible to connect external storage to an Apple TV however you may be able to do what you want with this device. I don’t own it but saw it in an apple store once. You would connect to this device from your iPad via the WD app and then AirPlay to your Apple TV.

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There are some threads on reddit and elsewhere about this. Choices for software for the AppleTV are infuse, plex, vlc, possibly others.
And InFuse says it will play directly from this device for iPhone/iPad SanDisk iXpand

For serving the files:

Or a Raspeberry Pi running Plex.

That should get you started googling, at least :slight_smile:

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I’m contemplating putting all the movies and tv shows in a folder in iCloud Drive and have access to them from there and play them from there.

Does anyone have experience with that?

I think you should think about adding a NAS to your setup.
Running Plex from a Synology f.e. solves this easily.
Using an iPad is great, but there ARE limitations.

I have a 214+ myself and it really helps my iPad only workflow

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I wont be adding a NAS, but thanks. I had one once and its not for me. I will probably put the movies and tv shows in iCloud and play them from there.

Let us know how you get on? I’ve tried this some time ago, but found it to be unreliable at the time.

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Discussion here and there says Apple doesn’t allow streaming from iCloud. According to their website, you could use InFuse (linked above) with another service, such as Dropbox.

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I just downloaded VLC and tried playing an audio file from iCloud Drive in VLC and it works perfectly. It even remembers how far I got in the audio file and I can even close the screen.

I hope that works as well with video then I would be able to have all my movies and tv shows on my iPad.

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Just curious here. Does anyone know if it would be possible to attach an external hard disk with USB 3.0 to my iPad Pro 11’ 256 GB 2018 through a dongle and then play a movie in that way?

The new iPad Pro models don’t support external Hard Drives… I wish they did.

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Two ways to do that linked above.

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@MacGuyMI the iPads do support external harddrives. iOS does not though.

You can connect external storage, but can only use it with photos app for now. This will hopefully change in June after WWDC…

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For the use andreasl wanted to use a HD for (streaming movies) to an ATV3 or the iPad Pro, it isn’t possible. I failed to explain my point clearly… mea culpa!

Yes, it is a limitation of iOS currently. Apple designed the iPad to use some external storage device from day one. That was SD cards or an iPhone at first. But all the solutions offered above require another device to connect the HD to or a new HD that in my experience is flaky at best.

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You van actually attach an external HD and use the manufacturers app to get around the limitations. But I’ve not found any that are very useful…

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When I travel, I use a HooToo TripMate Nano ($20 on Amazon) and an USB drive to create a WiFi hotspot with my movies and use Infuse or FileBrowser on the iPad to watch them. I have a writeup on the HooToo and the apps

Infuse on the AppleTV 4th gen or later can also play video from a network or shared drive.

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So the VLC way seems to work fine. Only thing is, VLC copies the file to my local storage on the iPad Pro, basically creating duplicate files between the local storage and iCloud Drive.

The thing is. I have 900 GBs of ripped media in the form of movies and tv shows. Once I let go of my Mac, then all that content will not be accessible.

Right now I’m on a 200GB iCloud Drive plan and I’m using 122 GB of that currently. I’m thinking hard about going up to 2TB, which is 69 Danish kr a month or $10,5 a month, which is not that bad actually.

So what I could do is put all my ripped media in icloud and then download it locally though VLC and play it through the VLC app and then use screen mirroring to the Apple TV to play it on the big tv - of course there’s a lag and the quality is not great, but it might work alright.

I’m sure Apple will allow for external hard drives to be compatible with iOS soon. But this way I have access to all of the content for not that much more money each month. Of course it will take about a month or so to upload 900 GB to iCloud :grinning:

My only concern here is that I have a 256 GB iPad Pro only of which 164 is available. Storing over a 1TB in iCloud will surely bring that available storage down, right?

Infuse would let you stream from the cloud without local storage needs I think.
But: it’s a pro option…

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It’s not really a problem that VLC copies the file to the local storage on the iPad. I just have to delete it again.

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But wont it be a problem to store more than 1TB in iCloud Drive but on a 256 GB iPad Pro? Or am I just not understanding how iCloud Drive works…?