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Apple TV & XBMC

I recently bought the ‘newish’ Apple TV 2, and it’s a brilliant little box. ATV2 actually has fairly limited use in the UK since there are no streaming services supported other than Apples movie rental service. The box therefore just serves as an iTunes streamer from your computer. That is until you jailbreak and all of a sudden that cute little rounded box turns into a media streaming behemoth.

Jailbreaking allows you to install your own code/apps on to your Apple TV. The main app being XBMC (Xbox Media Centre) which is an open source media centre and has now been developed now for all platforms. Once installed you’ll be able to play just about any format of video, music and even pictures.

It’s taken me about a week to setup exactly how I’d like, and if I knew what I did now it might of only taken me an hour. So I though being the nice kind of guy I am I’d write a little guide.

I used/use:
Apple TV 2
MacBook Pro
Mybook World Edition 1tb
Sony Bravia 32″
Thomson Router

Jailbreaking with Seas0nPass

This process should be fairly straight forward, you’ll need a micro USB cable not supplied with your Apple TV to connect to your computer (I used a Kindle connection cable).

Download and install Seas0nPass on your computer from here: http://support.firecore.com/entries/387605-jailbreaking-101-seas0npass

Seas0nPass will download the latest firmware and patch it, don’t worry if  iTunes fires up during this process it is normal.

Once you’ve completed your Jailbreak, plug it back into your TV and hook it up to your network. If you have a mac then you can use Terminal to send these commands to your box. If your using windows you’ll need to download an SSH client like Putty.

Installing XBMC

Put these commands in one at a time.

  1. Open up your terminal/ssh application and enter the following command to log in to your ATV2:
    ssh root@Apple-TV
  2. You will be asked for a password: default password is alpine
  3. Continue to enter the following commands:
    apt-get install wget
    wget -O- http://apt.awkwardtv.org/awkwardtv.pub | apt-key add -
    echo "deb http://apt.awkwardtv.org/ stable main" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/awkwardtv.list
    echo "deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/atv2 ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list
    apt-get update
    apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2
    apt-get install com.nito.updatebegone
    reboot

Installing the latest build (recommended)

  1. Open http://mirrors.xbmc.org/nightlies/darwin/atv2/ in a web browser and copy the url of the most recent file in that listing.
  2. Open up your terminal/ssh application and enter the following command to log in to your ATV2:
    ssh root@Apple-TV
  3. You will be asked for a password: default password is alpine
  4. Continue to enter the following commands:
    wget URL-FROM-STEP-ONE-HERE
    dpkg -i FILENAME-FROM-STEP-TWO-HERE
    rm FILENAME-FROM-STEP-TWO-HERE
  5. You should now have the latest build of XBMC for ATV2.

Setting up XBMC with a Network HD

Now if you look on your TV you should have XBMC as a menu item, click on it to launch.

If you have lots of Movies and TV Shows already on your HD, it will really help things if your can seperate them into two different folders beforehand.

One mistake I made was using UPnP as my protocol, unfortunately this meathod breaks the scraper that retrevies all of your movie/tv information. You want to use a Samba network. For me I had to enter the source manually which looked something like the following SMB://MYBOOKWORLD/ From there you should now see all of your files, add two separate sources Movies and TV Shows.

If you hold the menu button down on the folders you should get a context menu. Here you can setup the scraper for all of the information.

Sidenotes

You may also want to know that to turn off your Apple TV you need to be on the apple dashboard and hold the select/main button down for 3 seconds. Took me a while to figure that one out.

Published in Play

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