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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > AppleTV USB Port is not used for ANYTHING!

AppleTV USB Port is not used for ANYTHING!
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quiklee
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Mar 22, 2007, 07:58 PM
 
i can't believe how many people have posted their theories on future uses of this usb port when it's been said millions of times that it's for diagnostic purposes ONLY!
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mduell
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Mar 22, 2007, 09:44 PM
 
Eventually I think they'll let you use it for flash drives and external hard drives.

40GB is a joke with HD content. But when you're limited to 5Mbps, it is 18 hours...
     
Cadaver
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Mar 23, 2007, 12:37 PM
 
The AppleTV's selling point is streaming from computer to TV.
The iTunes' AppleTV configuration page allows you to set the number of unwatched or recent movies/TV shows to be synced (or you can override and sync everything). Obviously, Apple thought about the 40GB limitation, which is why the software syncs unwatched movies/episodes by default.

Not saying 40GB is the optimum, but at least Apple made an attempt to work around the storage space limitation. Remember, its not really a TiVo for iTunes, but a streaming device with a local cache.

Think 8GB iPod nano when your full iTunes library is 50GB...
     
Stingrey
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Mar 23, 2007, 03:52 PM
 
I haven't received mine yet, but has anyone tried hooking up their Mac to the device via USB to see what (if anything) shows up on their computer?
     
mitchell_pgh
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Mar 23, 2007, 04:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by quiklee View Post
i can't believe how many people have posted their theories on future uses of this usb port when it's been said millions of times that it's for diagnostic purposes ONLY!
Just because it's for diagnostic purposes, doesn't mean it can't be used for other things.

I'm also amazed that there isn't a simple way to reset the OS should it get messed up.
     
Cadaver
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Mar 23, 2007, 06:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by Stingrey View Post
I haven't received mine yet, but has anyone tried hooking up their Mac to the device via USB to see what (if anything) shows up on their computer?
The USB port is a type A connector (flat computer USB port style), not a type B connector (the squarish peripheral port).
     
peeb
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Mar 23, 2007, 06:31 PM
 
What are the different types for anyway? I mean, I get the mini one, but why the A and B?
     
icruise
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Mar 23, 2007, 07:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Eventually I think they'll let you use it for flash drives and external hard drives.

40GB is a joke with HD content. But when you're limited to 5Mbps, it is 18 hours...
As has already been pointed out, it's more of a cache so you can have things to watch on the Apple TV even if the computer isn't on. The streaming apparently works very well -- so well that you can't really tell the difference between streamed and locally stored video.

Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post
I'm also amazed that there isn't a simple way to reset the OS should it get messed up.
Actually, I wouldn't expect that to be too much of a problem, since you're not going to be installing or running any programs other than what Apple puts on there by default. It's very limited in its scope compared to a normal computer.
     
Cadaver
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Mar 23, 2007, 10:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by peeb View Post
What are the different types for anyway? I mean, I get the mini one, but why the A and B?
Look at a standard USB cable... the ends are different. One end is meant for the computer side, one is meant for the peripheral side. This was done on purpose so you don't try to connect two computers together, or two peripherals together, via USB. The USB protocol requires a smart device (i.e., computer or some other kind of processor) to control the transmission (versus Firewire, which can transfer data without being controlled by a full computer, i.e., TV to video recorder, or camcorder to hard drive).
     
Simon
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Mar 24, 2007, 02:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
I'm also amazed that there isn't a simple way to reset the OS should it get messed up.
Originally Posted by icruise View Post
Actually, I wouldn't expect that to be too much of a problem, since you're not going to be installing or running any programs other than what Apple puts on there by default. It's very limited in its scope compared to a normal computer.
So are you saying there will be no way other than cloning to get the Apple TV OS onto a disk in the Apple TV? Obviously the disk isn't likely to get screwed up in normal operation, but what about putting larger disks in there?
     
Cadaver
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Mar 24, 2007, 10:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
So are you saying there will be no way other than cloning to get the Apple TV OS onto a disk in the Apple TV? Obviously the disk isn't likely to get screwed up in normal operation, but what about putting larger disks in there?
Someone managed to get a 120GB 2.5" hard drive in to the AppleTV and got the OS on the original drive copied over. There are screenshots floating around on the net, and the instructions may be posted by now as well.

Probably involves formatting the drive with the proper partition sizes and using CarbonCopyCloner or similar to clone the OS to the new drive.
     
memory-minus
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Mar 24, 2007, 08:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh View Post
I'm also amazed that there isn't a simple way to reset the OS should it get messed up.
"You can restore Apple TV's software from the main menu by selecting Settings > Reset Settings > Factory Restore.

An Apple logo appears with a progress indicator underneath it. Do not unplug the power cable from your Apple TV during the restore process. Your Apple TV will automatically restart when the restore process is complete."

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305205
     
Simon
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Mar 25, 2007, 03:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cadaver View Post
Probably involves formatting the drive with the proper partition sizes and using CarbonCopyCloner or similar to clone the OS to the new drive.
Yeah, in the meantime I found some documentation about the process. It involves imaging the 40GB disk with dd, copying it over to the larger disk and then manually enlarging the media partition. Unfortunately the last step required a $49 app.
     
Simon
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Mar 25, 2007, 03:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by memory-minus View Post
"You can restore Apple TV's software from the main menu by selecting Settings > Reset Settings > Factory Restore.

An Apple logo appears with a progress indicator underneath it. Do not unplug the power cable from your Apple TV during the restore process. Your Apple TV will automatically restart when the restore process is complete."

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305205
But I guess you can only do that if your Apple TV is still working. What if it gets screwed up so badly (in normal operation I guess that will be rather unlikely though) that you can't access that menu anymore? Is there a way to initiate that reset form iTunes?
     
memory-minus
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Mar 25, 2007, 08:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
But I guess you can only do that if your Apple TV is still working. What if it gets screwed up so badly (in normal operation I guess that will be rather unlikely though) that you can't access that menu anymore? Is there a way to initiate that reset form iTunes?
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305190

I just tried it on mine. Holding Menu and Down/Minus reboots the Apple TV into a diagnostic mode. I believe it boots some other partition on the drive or other "protected space" or maybe it's booting firmware, like the iPod does in diag mode. From there you can choose Factory Restore. It looks like they have all their bases covered.

I guess it is possible to completely hose an Apple TV if you are opening it up and tinkering around inside it, however, that voids your warranty so I doubt Apple cares much.
     
   
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