Apple TV 2 & XBMC

Posted on March 19th, 2011 by Luke Sheldrick.
Categories: IT / Tech.
Tags: , , , , .

19 03 2011

I was browsing around the Covent Garden Apple store the other day, as I needed to get a new SuperDrive for my MacBook Air (MBA), as I’d cleverly managed to throw my other one out when I was having a clear out the other day.

I’d always been interested in the new Apple TV (ATV) , but never got one, as I have XBMC setup at home. On a nettop in the bedroom connected to my LCD, and actually on an original Xbox in the front room, so didn’t see the need. A few friends have total Apple houses (iMacs, Macbooks, iPads, iPhones, TVs, you name it, they have it)… they’re all very nice and all, but I never really felt the need to have the ATV.

Until, in the pub the other evening, a friend at work mentioned he’d bought one, odd I thought as he’s not the usual Apple fanboy. He explained that he’d bought one, jailbroken it, and installed XBMC.

I’d been battling with the Nvidia ION drivers on my nettop, so HD content wasn’t perfect. So when I was shopping, the impulse in me took over, and one was bought.

Jailbreaking was fun.¬†Seas0nPass doesn’t work if you have FileVault turned on, which I do. Creating a new user on the MBA, and making the IPSW on that user (without FileVault enabled). Then the way the ATV is constructed makes it somewhat difficult to plug the HDMI and MicroUSB cable in at the same time. On reflection, I think this is on purpose, as you don’t really need to. I was then getting 1602 errors in iTunes when restoring the custom IPSW, later turns out, you can’t have the power and USB connected. Restoring with just the USB cable connected did the trick. Seas0npass is currently tethered only, so anytime I power off the ATV, I have to connect to the Mac. Not a huge issue, as don’t plan on turning off too often, and have set it not to power off.

Once jailbroken with seas0npass, installing XBMC was easy, and setup in a few minutes. Have it playing full HD content from my NAS. The remote, optical out, and HDMI resolution alll work flawlessly.

The other nice feature is AirPlay, so I can stream the media from my MBA or iPhone 4. I would have been able to from my iPad too, but I sold that as hadn’t used it a single time since getting the MBA.

Overall am really impressed with the ATV2, for the price of it, it’s a stunning piece of kit.

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