Airport Extreme: External HD | Network Set up | Xbox Streaming Question


Hello All -
After 10 years of using my original Airport, I have just upgraded to an Airport Extreme. I have gotten this set up and working quite seamlessly but there are a few outstanding questions I was hoping someone might be able to answer for me.

First off - I am trying to attach an external Hard Drive to the Extreme station for visibility across my network; What I am using is a Western Digital 500gb External - it is presently formatted in the NTFS structure) and I cannot see it over the network when it is plugged in. Is this because the Extreme won't recognize this structure and it has to be formatted to something else? If I plug this directly into my MacBook Pro I can see and pull information but cannot write to it.

Second -
If I do in fact need to reformat the drive to another mac friendly format - is there a way that I can get this drive to be able to be read by both Mac and PC? My wife is on a PC so ideally I would want her to be able to have access as well.

Third -
If I have movies stored on this external drive plugged directly into Airport Extreme - is there a way I can stream these to my TV through an Xbox 360 and get them to read? I currently do this with my Mac through 360Connect and my wireless connection (Pre-Extreme) and it worked. Wondering if I could bypass the Mac?

Fourth -
The Extreme Base Station (5th Generation) is dual band; When I set this up there is an option for a specific 5GhZ connection. Do I need to set this up in order to have my devices connect at the higher speed or will they do this automatically? If automatic, why would I need to set this up as a separate connection?

Thank you all for the insight and guidance.



U.S.D.A. Prime
1) You need to format the drive as "Mac OS X Extended" with a partition map of GUID. More than likely, it currently has an MBR partition map. Let us know if you need help with either of these.

NTFS is read-only by default under Mac OS X. You can read, but not write, to NTFS-formatted drives. There are 3rd-party utilities that will enable writing to NTFS, and also Terminal commands to do the same.

2) If you're accessing the drive over the network, then it doesn't matter what format the drive is in -- your wife will be able to use it. If you want to connect the drive directly to your wife's computer (via USB or whatever), then it will need to be in a PC-compatible format, like NTFS or FAT32.

3) Not that I know of.

4) Not a higher speed but a higher frequency. You'll probably get 130mbps out of either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, but 5GHz has some advantages over 2.4GHz. Yes, you need to enable this option if you want to use the 5GHz band.