Tag: AppleTV

AppleTV? Pah!

I’m selling my AppleTV. At the end of the day it was all very pretty and had the usual Apple goodness, but didn’t live up to what I was used to with my modified Xbox running XBMC. So I’ve put it on eBay (ends 23 March 2008).

I was delighted, therefore, to come across a short Engadget post entitled Myka sneaks Bittorrent into the living room. So delighted, in fact, that I’ve pre-ordered one of the units which should appear sometime in the summer. “What is it?” I hear you ask…

Myka - front view

Well, quite clearly you can see that it’s a box that connects directly to a TV and, excitingly, it sports the official Bittorrent logo. This means that various TV shows and films can be downloaded directly to the device instead of having to download separately and then transfer over.

You see, I don’t really want companies telling me what I can or cannot do with my media. I also don’t want people telling me what I can or cannot download from the Internet. I just want a device that can play everything I throw at it, without complaints. Oh, and if I can download stuff straight to it, so much the better. Enter Myka and ‘her’ tech specs:

Key Features

  • WiFi enabled – 802.11/g
  • Direct ethernet connector for direct connection
  • HDMI, Composite, S-Video and SPDIF ports for maximum flexibility
  • Internal hard drive choice of 80, 160 or 500 gigabytes
  • BitTorrent peer to peer software built in
  • USB port for expansion

More geeky specs here. You can gather the sheer wonder and joy it’s likely to bring by just gazing at the plethora of ports at the back of the device:

Myka - back view

Component and S-video in, digital out, LAN, USB, HDMI… wonderful! I’ve gone on the pre-order list for an 80GB version ($299) with no obligation to buy. It’s all done via Google Checkout, so I’ve every confidence in my (potential) purchase.

This. Could. Be. Awesome. 😀

Sync any type of video (DivX, Xvid, etc.) with an AppleTV

AppleTVMy ongoing saga with the refurbished AppleTV I bought continues. After hacking v1.1 of the firmware that came as standard on the unit, I then upgraded it to v2.0 as soon as it came out. Currently I can transfer files via SSH directly to the device (instructions on how to do that here) and play pretty much anything, as I’ve installed the Perian plugin for Quicktime.

What I want is something like XBMC which I’ve got installed on my old Xbox. With that I can play almost any type of media directly from my NAS drive (an unmodified Buffalo Linkstation). I’ve tried following the instructions in the Take 2 Full Update Procedure on the AwkwardTV wiki, but to no avail; I still get errors when I try to access network shares from my AppleTV. 🙁

For the moment, I’ve found a workaround. It’s an AppleScript that basically fools the AppleTV into thinking it’s a standard .mov file that it can play out-of-the-box. I followed the instructions here, but all you really need to do is:

  1. Download and unzip AppleTV Fooler (backup copy here).
  2. Drop a video file onto the AppleTV Fooler AppleScript.
  3. Drag-and-drop the new version of your video file into ‘Movies’ in iTunes.
  4. Sync with your AppleTV.

That should do it. Any problems, just comment! 😀

Hacking an AppleTV v1.1

AppleTVThis post will be redundant tomorrow. Apple are scheduled to release v2 of their firmware for the AppleTV that will switch on the ability for the device to directly access the iTunes store. This will mean the ability to purchase music and rent films directly – at least for those in the US. What I and others have done, however, is made the AppleTV a bit more flexible. A bit like Xbox Media Center, in fact.

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HOWTO: fix your Xbox after messing about with the EEPROM

xTV

Further to my post How NOT to upgrade your Xbox, I’m pleased to say I’ve got it working again. It’s taken a long time, a great deal of trial-and-error, and some head-scratching. To save at least one other person some hassle, here’s my ‘journey’ from a useless Xbox to one that runs Xbox Media Center, etc.

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How NOT to upgrade your Xbox

Apple Xbox

When I was at school my teachers used to tell me that I would go one step too far and ruin my work. Although I was never great at art and tech, they would (quite rightly) point out that the useless mess in front of me was the result of just going beyond the point at which I should have been satisfied and stopped. It would seem that impulse to tinker hasn’t left me…

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