Connect to my Apple TV via WiFi?
July 29, 2012 7:25 PM   Subscribe

I have an Apple TV (1st generation) connected to my 720p TV. I have an Intel iMac. What I don't have is a WiFi subscription. Help me understand what's possible with this and if I can connect the two.

Here's what I understand: I hook up a network cable between the iMac and run it across the room to the Apple TV. Via Fugu, I copy movie files from my computer to the Apple TV hard drive and watch that way.

What I don't understand is Wifi. I don't subscribe to a wifi network and there are no free spots at my place. I get my internet via ADSL (I'm in Japan). I have seen hinted from reading on various forums and blogs and whatnot that I can connect to my Apple TV via Wifi...somehow? Maybe I'm just reading to much into it, or I'm missing a piece of the puzzle.

If there's no (free) network for me to connect my iMac an Apple TV to, then there's no way to connect via Wifi, correct? The lede is that I want to find a more reliable way to connect my media to the Apple TV, something that runs in the background more automatically. As it is now, I have to manually add and delete any movie file I send over.

Any help with this? Thanks.
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm not sure what you mean by "Wi-Fi subscription;" -- it leads me to believe you misunderstand what Wi-Fi is. Wi-Fi is a privately-owned network which can, at the owner's discretion, be made available to the public within range.

What you would need is a Wi-Fi router connected to your DSL modem-- your iMac will connect to the Wi-Fi Router, which should allow some wired connections as well. When you install the Wi-Fi router, follow its instructions to rename and secure your personal Wi-Fi network, and then follow Apple's instructions on connecting Apple TV to your Wi-Fi network.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:30 PM on July 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Another idea, which would be cheaper: I'm not positive this will work with Apple TV, but a cheaper way to do this would be to get a USB Wi-Fi adapter, add it your iMac, and get your iMac to create an "ad hoc" Wi-Fi network. (The kind of network created by a Wi-Fi router is called an "infrastructure" network.) Maybe, just maybe, the Apple TV can use this to share your iMac's current internet connect. (That may also require some special settings.) It is important to use security on this ad-hoc network too; anyone who connects to your network will have a kind of access to your iMac and its internet connection.

Does anyone know how Apple TV works, if at all, with ad-hoc networks compared to infrastructure networks?
posted by Sunburnt at 7:37 PM on July 29, 2012

Best answer: You probably don't even need a USB Wi-Fi adapter since every iMac has had builtin WiFi for years. What you can do is go to System Preferences->Sharing->Internet Sharing on the iMac and set it up to share your internet connection over WiFi (be sure to go into the options and set a strong password or anyone can use your network). Then just tell the Apple TV to connect to the WiFi network you just created (it will appear in the "select a network" screen).

This is basically the same as having a WiFi router as Sunburnt suggests above, but without the need to buy a dedicated router. Whenever your iMac is turned on, it will share its internet connection over a wireless network (e.g. it is the router) and your Apple TV will connect to it.
posted by zachlipton at 7:52 PM on July 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Ah, of course-- that's the Windows user in me thinking. Well noted.
posted by Sunburnt at 8:02 PM on July 29, 2012

Seconding the favorites above.

I have basically the same setup. Any media file that is in iTunes can be made to automatically sync to the ATV.

However, you will be able to play a wider range of file types if you jailbreak the ATV and install XBMC. In the latter situation you would still have to manually copy over files to the ATV (I've never had success connecting the ATV to any network shares.)
posted by omnidrew at 7:49 AM on July 30, 2012

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