How To Watch Movies on Apple TV From Your External Hard Drive

Thanks to cutting-edge media options, you can now watch any film, whenever you like. When the Internet is down, many individuals turn to their personal movie collections stored on external hard drives. But how can you get Apple TV to play movies stored on your hard disk drive?

Continue reading for specific instructions on how to play movies stored on an external hard drive on your Apple TV.

Can I Watch Movies on Apple TV From Your External Hard Drive?

Yes, you can. Once you add your files to the Apple TV app and enable media sharing on your computer, you can watch movies on Apple TV directly from your external hard drive. If you’re using two computers linked to the same WiFi, choose one and start streaming.

How To Watch Movies on Apple TV From Your External Hard Drive

Get the Apple TV app

To get it, you’ll need to go to the app store like any other app.

It’s a rather straightforward procedure. The Apple TV software is pre-installed on most Macs because the buyer receives a free trial of Apple TV+.

Nonetheless, it is imperative that you have the Apple TV program downloaded and running on your desktop.

If it isn’t already installed on your device, go to the App Store and search for it.

Join the same wifi network by signing in.

The new Apple TV does not have a USB connector, therefore your external hard drive will need to be connected to another device.

It is necessary for both the computer and the TV to be connected to the same wireless network for this to operate.

You can quickly find out which wireless network your computer and Apple TV are linked to by checking their respective network settings.

You’ll only run into this issue if you frequently use your MacBook in public places and connect to unsecured WiFi hotspots.

If they aren’t already, you should connect the two devices to the same network.

Enable Media Sharing

You must enable media sharing in the Apple TV app on your computer before you can connect your Apple TV to your computer.

All of this can be summed up in a few easy steps:

  1. Press the Apple Menu
  2. Choose “System Preferences,” then “Media Sharing.”
  3. Choose “Home Sharing.” You will be prompted to sign into your Apple ID.
  4. Select “Turn On Home Sharing

The media library can be accessed from any of your gadgets thanks to the capability of media sharing.

Assuming you’ve got the Apple TV app on your iPhone, you can now watch the flicks there, too.

Keep in mind that for home sharing to function effectively, all of your Apple devices (including your computer) must be signed into the same Apple ID account.

Home sharing can be activated in iTunes even if you don’t own a Mac.

Launch Home Sharing by selecting File > Home Sharing > Switch on Home Sharing when logged into the relevant Apple ID account.

Turn On Home Sharing on Apple TV

Every computer on your “Home” network must have home sharing enabled for it to function properly.

Thus, you’ll need to enable this function on your Apple TV as well.

Follow these steps:

  1. Click Settings > Users and Accounts > Home Sharing.
  2. You will be prompted to log into your Apple ID. This ensures that no one has access to your data but you.

Add Your External Hard Drive to the Apple TV App

The Apple TV app needs access to the external hard drive in order to share its contents.

Just connect the drive and include it in the Apple TV software. This will involve adding the films to the movie collection in the Apple TV app. It won’t make a duplicate of the movies, and it won’t count against your iCloud storage quota.

Keep in mind that the TV can only view data on your hard drive if the computer is turned on and running.

It’s important to keep your Macbook from entering sleep mode while you’re watching. In any other case, you’ll experience connection issues, causing your movie to abruptly end.

Ensure Your Movies Are in the Correct Format

Last step: check that your external hard drive’s movie files are compatible with Apple TV.

Many video formats are supported, which is a big plus for Apple TV.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to check again.

Without doing so, the movie will not play on your Apple TV, regardless of how well you have everything set up.

Here’s how to determine the precise file type in that your videos were recorded:

  1. Using the Finder on your computer, navigate to your external hard drive.
  2. Find the folder your movies are stored in.
  3. Right-click a file and click on “Get info.”
  4. You should see the video and audio codecs of your file.

In the extremely unlikely event that your movies aren’t already in an Apple TV-friendly format, you will need to convert them first.

This feature is available on a wide variety of websites, both free and paid.

While converting between formats, be in mind that quality may be compromised.

Select Your Computer From Apple TV

In order to begin using your computer as an input device on Apple TV, you must first complete the previous steps.

The TV and computer will automatically establish a connection to the external hard drive, but the TV will need to be set to use the computer as an input.

Follow these steps:

  1. Open your Apple TV
  2. From the home screen, select “Computers.”
  3. If you’ve done everything right, your computer’s name should show on the list of options. Choose your computer.

After this, you should be able to watch any film you’ve saved to your external hard drive. Just pick a movie you want to watch and click to start it.

Here is a video illustration of the whole process:

Final Thoughts on How To Watch Movies on Apple TV From Your External Hard Drive 

Now you know how easy it is to use Apple TV to play movies stored on an external hard drive. It’s as simple as signing in with your Apple ID on the TV’s interface and connecting it to your computer.

You can sit back with a bowl of popcorn and a movie if you have the right video format and are signed in with the same Apple ID account.