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I'm considering purchasing an AppleTV to listen to/watch content stored locally on my network on my television and stereo. If I have my media stored on an external hard disk connected to my Airport Extreme, is there any way to stream that data to an AppleTV?

If I need a machine to do this, can I use a MacBook to act as a "middleman" of some kind between the Shared Disk and the AppleTV in this situation?

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Further to Paul's comment, if you place your iTunes library on the remote disc it will work fine, but obviously you won;t have access to it when you are on the move out of range of your home wifi.

But you can create multiple iTunes libraries, and have one on your macbook, and one on the remote disc. Hold the alt/option key when starting iTunes to be presented options for creating/choosing an alternative library.

In order to stream from the library on the remote disc, you will need iTunes running, with the correct library selected. You will also need Homeshare set up both in iTunes and your Apple TV.

Good luck.

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The AppleTV will need to stream from iTunes. It can't just stream from files on a shared disk.

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If I need a machine to do this, can I use a MacBook to act as a "middleman" of some kind between the Shared Disk and the AppleTV in this situation?

Exactly - you just need to put your iTunes library on the Airport disk. Here are some instructions: http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2007/03/put-your-itunes-library-on-your-airport-disk.ars

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