Streaming movies from HDD to Apple TV

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I have a third generation Apple TV and am trying to stream home movies from an external HDD to the Apple TV. After reading posts here and online, I am obviously doing something wrong. Here's what I've done, step by step:

1)Connected a Seagate external HDD to my iMac, with home movies ripped and stored thereon.

2)Opened iTunes>Preferences>Advanced. Changed the ITunes Media folder location to the HDD.

3)At this point, the iMac recognized the HDD, but when the DVD folder opens, all individual movies are greyed out.

4)After clicking on Open, iTunes recognizes the HDD in the iTunes Media folder location. None of the movies on the HDD show up on the Apple TV.

5)When I drag a movie into iTunes, Apple TV recognizes them and plays those movies.

The only thought I have is that the HDD is not formatted properly, which would blow, since I've already imported 600gb worth of media onto it.

Thank you in advance to anyone that can help. This board is a great place where the smart people can help the not-so-smart person.
 
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You have to add the movies into iTunes (drag and drop them into iTunes). Simply changing the location of the iTunes Media folder isn't going to do it. Even changing that location is unnecessary. All you'd really have to do is disable the option to automatically copy media to the iTunes Media folder. You can do (or could have done) that, then simply add the movies to iTunes by drag/drop and they'd stay where they are.

Of course you should also have your media in a format iTunes supports. For movies, that'd be .m4v, .mp4, and .mov. There might be a couple others, but definitely NOT mkv.
 
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Thank you Lifeisabeach. All the movies are in m4v format. I'm ultimately trying to circumvent storing the movies on the iMac HDD, or moving them there when I want to view them.
 

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