Practical Technology

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Adding Apple TV Storage for Dummies

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So you want more than 40GBs of storage in your Apple TV do you?

Well, I can’t blame you, especially when you consider that of that 40GBs, you only actually get 32GBs of storage. 8 gigs are used for the Apple TV’s operating system –essentially a stripped down Mac OS X 10.4.7.

So what can you do? Well, if you’re brave, have steady hands, a hex-bit screwdriver, and a spare 2.5″ hard drive you can pop open your Apple TV–bye, bye warranty–and do it yourself. AppleTVHacks has a nice little tutorial on how to upgrade your drive, which I highly recommend.

Let’s say though that, like me, when you try to hammer a nail into the wall, you’re going to hit your thumb nine times out of ten. Well, I may be a menace with power-tools, but I can wield a credit card with the best of them.

iResQ Systems, a national Apple repair shop, is now offering parts and labor required to upgrade your Apple TV to a spacious new hard drive. iResQ can ramp your Apple TV up to a 160GB drive for $259. If you want, they’ll also sell you an USB or FireWire hard drive enclosure for your old drive.

This company offers overnight, via FedEx, pickup and delivery of your Apple TV. Better still, if you do upgrade your Apple TV way, you won’t void your Apple warranty. The new drive, of course, is only covered by iResQ’s warranty.

They’re not the only one in the Apple TV upgrade business. TechRestore, a national portable electronic repair company, has just jumped in.

Like iResQ, TechRestore offers the same 2.5″ drive upgrade options for the Apple TV and overnight shipping. In what looks to me like the first shot in a price-war, TechRestore will upgrade your system to a 160GB drive for $219. I was unable to find any details from TechRestore on what this will do to your warranty.

Both companies are reputable with long histories in working with Apple systems. I’d feel comfortable using either one. I have no doubt that many other companies will be joining them.

No matter how you decide to upgrade your drive, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t have any media on your existing drive that you can’t live without. Personally, I’d just play with the Apple TV enough to make sure that it works out of the box, and then upgrade it rather than load it up with videos and then upgrade it.

So, which way am I going go? I’m not upgrading my drive. I have other plans. They involved that USB port in the back, the Apple TV’s networking capabilities and the existing terabyte or so of storage I have hanging off my local area network. But, more on that another day.

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