I was just curious if anyone has setup more than 10 AppleTV's with Home Sharing to one PC? I am thinking about getting 13 AppleTVs (one for each TV) and having them linked to a PC running iTunes with a massive movie library...
Its really hard to find anything concrete if there is any software limitations to how many AppleTVs you can have. Hardware wise I can easily install a 10gbit network card to the server which is not a problem (all my switches are connected via fiber to each other).
What I am worried about is that the iTunes library will only allow a fixed amount of Apple TVs? There are some Apple support articles which say that only 10 devices can use a iTunes account. But I already have 2 Apple TVs and they don't show up as a registered device when I check my iTunes account... Also the support article (http://support.apple.com/kb/ht4627) says it applies to "iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, iTunes, iTunes Store" so no mention of Apple TV there...
Also I believe the first and second generations of Apple TVs had a limitation where you could only use 5 of them with a library, but I believe this has been removed in the third generation?
Just to clarify I am not really interested in downloading content to the Apple TV etc, I am just after setting up Home Share...
Any insight before I go out and buy 13 Apple TV's would be great!
Let us know what happens!
I think you will run into issues with 13.
There doesnt appear to be any limits with Airplay but that would involve using iOS devices to control playback with the Apple remote app.
I havent tried emailing Apple but I have called them and gone in store and you get a different answer depending on who you speak to. Most people refer to the limitations that apply to iPods etc to iTunes but no one has been 100% confident about how many AppleTVs you can have...
If iTunes can only handle 10 clients, then what I am thinking about doing is running multiple servers with the same iTunes account and then have all the shared media stored on a NAS drive which both librarys can access. This should work shouldnt it? I can put access control lists on my switches so that the AppleTV's can only speak to their dedicated server...
Has anyone tried this setup? Or can anyone see any flaws with this as a backup plan?
I've heard back from Apple now who has confirmed that there is no limitation to how many AppleTV's you can have to a iTunes library. The only limitation is your networks so I'll buy the 13 Apple TV's in the next couple of weeks and try it and see how it goes!
• we ONLY have 1 itunes account. everything is purchased with that account. It is set up on every device to use that one account.
• 2 media servers. One is the main library with all the normal content. the second is a kid safe one.
• Main library is config'd as homeshare#1. It is set up with itunes match. It is also set to automatically download any music, movie, tv show or app that is purchased on the account (regardless what device purchased it).
• kids is config'd as homeshare#2. It is set up with itunes match, but set up not to show content in the cloud.
• While the main library has ALL purchased content, there is many ripped movies and tv shows on the kids server that is not on the main sever. This is only so my wife and I don't have to scroll through their stuff when looking for something to watch.
• tvs connecting to main are unrestricted. They have full access to all media in library, all network services, and full itunes store access.
• tvs connecting to kids are near-completely restricted. The only things they can see is the kid library. no youtube, no movie trailers, nothing. Also, they are set to not be able to access the itunes store. the reason the itunes account is connect to them is so they can access movies and tv shows purchased for the kids. No other media is accessible. No other device or service is on the kids tbs (including live tv). Becouse they are in the homeshare#2 zone, it is impossible for them to browse any other deivce unless it is also set in the same homeshare zone.
By doing this, I have created a single itunes account infrastructure with a perfect kids-safe zone of content.
Hope this helps. let me know if you have any questions.
So in the end I went out and bought 13 Apple TVs. Unfortunately there is a limitation to how many you can have per iTunes library, and that limit is 5 devices. I am not sure if this is on purpose because iTunes and the AppleTVs won't give you a user friendly error or warning, they will just fail to connect.
Basically from my testing it would appear that iTunes must have a internal "list" of AppleTV's it has seen contacting itself with the Apple ID it is configured to use for Home Sharing. It will populate this list as soon as it is polled by a AppleTV and it would appear that the list will not get cleared until you have restarted iTunes (restarting just Bonjour did not do the trick). So basically the first 5 AppleTVs who report in to iTunes will function fine, any other AppleTVs who then try to connect will just fail and produce a generic Could not connect to your iTunes library error.
So I was potentially going to expand even further and have 35 more AppleTVs, but due to these limitations I am planning to just stay with the 13 I have now. What I am doing now is I have just setup a Windows Firewall rule to block each Apple TV from connection to my iTunes server. I have then written a little script which is called by my home automation system every time a user selects AppleTV in one of the rooms. The script then temporarily disable the firewall rule for that one AppleTV, allowing the AppleTV to connect to the iTunes library. My script will then restart iTunes every time the amount of AppleTVs in use drops to 0. That way I can have up to 5 AppleTVs out of 13 being used at once (which realistically I dont think I will ever hit).
I know I could technically just have setup 3 VM machines running iTunes and then manually copied movies across and add them to each iTunes library but it just felt a bit messy and I wanted a easier system to maintain. So far my work around seems to be working, but time will tell
Thanks for everyones help and input!
My iTunes server is a Mac Mini, not a Windows PC.
Can you explain how you scripted iTunes to restart when the # of Apple TV connections drop to 0?
Can you share that (presumably) AppleScript? Or is your Home Sharing server Windows-based?
I don't have a firewall in place to run connection rules on it but I would appreciate all technical details and could then add one.
I would happily take this on as a fix since right now I just installed a SECOND mac mini just to support the 6th Apple TV - bad hack!
I appreciate your insight on how you set up your apple tv's. I do however have a question about your network, routers and internet speed. I am currently trying to run 5 apple tv's, and continue to have them dropping home sharing. I am using a D-link N router and my internet is 10 mbs downloading speed. Do I need a better router, do they need to be hard wired or is my internet speed to slow. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Just a side note all apple tvs have no problem connecting to Netflix, just problems getting them to connect to my library on my pc. I'm using windows 8.