The new Apple TV

You’ve probably already heard about the Apple TV 2. It retails for $99 and packs a punch with HD video, optical audio, and WiFi in that tiny package. But as always, we like it for its hackability. Even though it’s just starting to ship, the hacks are already rolling in. The firmware is available from Apple’s servers and has already been unlocked with the yet-to-be-release SHAtter exploit. [Das_coach] even sent us a link to a video of the new Frontrow ported for the iPod touch (embedded after the break).

But the holy grail has to be XBMC. We’ve seen it on the first generation Apple TV and it was good. The second generation switches to the A4 processor which is an ARM Cortex-A8. Not quite as easy to port for as the Intel chip on the first generation was. But there is hope, one of the 2010 Google Summer of Code projects worked to port XBMC to another ARM device, it’s just a matter of inspiring some developers to take on the quest to make it happen. We can’t wait for the day that we can just velcro one of these to the back of our TV and be done with it, that first generation Xbox isn’t going to last forever.

[Photo credit]

Comments

  1. 3nigmat1c says:

    XBMC on the AppleTV would be pure win.

  2. fdawg4l says:

    Why bother with xbmc on ATV? Isn’t Boxee a derivative of XBMC? Why not just get the Boxee box?

    Boxee is super sweet to begin with and blessed hardware avoids maintaining a device before you can tune out in front of a TV.

  3. ejonesss says:

    does it have an internal drive to store the videos and or can you use a usb drive to play the videos from?

  4. biozz says:

    im not an apple fan im waiting for google tv!

  5. Brennan says:

    Can someone explain to me why XBMC is so great?

  6. Normally I hate Apple… but 99$ sounds great to me and just let me get my custom firmwares and some spraymailing to hide that stubbet logo and we are good to go….

  7. Phil says:

    I’m hoping Plex will get ported to it soon after the thing’s jail broken. It’s already been ported to iOS and is available on the app store so it shouldn’t take them too long.

  8. Mythgarr says:

    Minor correction – while HD Video is technically true, the maximum output resolution is currently 720p. A software patch might be able to tease out full 1080p, but that remains to be seen.

  9. Johannes says:

    @Brennan:

    http://www.google.nl/images?q=xbmc+aeon

    http://www.google.nl/images?q=xbmc+alaska

    Perhaps there’s other nice skins, but who needs more :-)

  10. redbeard says:

    Annnd, that being said, part of the holdup for XBMC on a lot of devices is that they want it to be able to run 1080p… not just 720p. That combined with no internal storage AND no expansion ports will leave this being a little lonely compared to Boxee.

  11. Keot says:

    The Apple TV has 8 GB of onboard storage, and nice row of solder pads for a dock connector hidden on the circuit board. This device is screaming to be hacked. Port Plex (a fork of XBMC) to the device and I’ll suddenly be £99 poorer…

  12. Riccardo Cagnasso says:

    awh 720 :|

  13. redbeard says:

    Also, let me eat crow here, as I just noticed that there is a usb port that was unlabeled on the site under the HDMI port.

    And @keot, thanks for the tip on plex. It looks like a dope solution.

  14. Brennan says:

    @Johannes

    OK, it’s skinnable, which admittedly is nice, but I don’t see it as much better than my WMC setup with my 360 as an extender for the TV. If I were to try and use XBMC I would need a small HTPC with a Core2Duo or higher CPU hooked up to the TV at all times, just to stream content from my main PC. Plus with WMC I get DVR functionality and the Guide, as well as watching/pausing live OTA TV. And my 360 is hooked up to the TV anyway so I don’t see the need in adding another box.

  15. walt says:

    is it really $99? or is it $99 for the hardware followed by additional apple fees to actually do anything with it?

  16. cantido says:

    Getting XBMC running on Linux/ARM shouldn’t be too hard.. assuming the graphics engine is going to be a PowerVR design accelerated video playback should be ok too (a bit of googling shows that someone is working on a VA-API driver for some PowerVR chip).

    Is it worth it though? General XBMC users will probably want a machine with more guts (ION based Atom machines are great for XBMC on Linux). Nothing against XBMC (I use it..) but those who are willing to pay Apple will probably prefer Apple’s software over the slightly ropey and confusing XBMC.

  17. dhilan says:

    @Brennan

    Well, 1) XBMC plays any format you throw at it. 2) Its open source and you can tweak it. Lots of community support, skins and addons are out there. Very flexible architecture. 3) It runs on many devices. The original Xbox, AppleTV, PC, Linux, Mac etc. 4) Easy UI. (Passes WAF – Wife Acceptance Factor). 5) It just works. Install it and its ready to go. No configuration needed.

  18. GZ says:

    Hmm… bet you could do it for less with a hacked dockstar and few usb parts. :)

    Glad the second one is on the way! Of course.. this means I now need a third…

  19. Whatnot says:

    You can get a dozen different brand media players for about the same price that don’t need to be desperately hacked, I don’t get this excitement.
    Now if you could run android on it.. then maybe >:)

  20. h_2_o says:

    what i don’t get….well i do idiot fanboys who think apple is the end all. anyway back to my oint what i don’t get is why this gets the attention and stuff like roku who actually embrace development (well more than apple) get no lovin.

  21. Ford says:

    Whatnot, do you mean to hack a Dockstar to output video to your TV? That seems like a pretty serious endeavor.

    fdawg4l, it looks like the Boxee box is $200. The $100 difference seems like a good enough reason to me…

    Personally, I’m still out on the Apple TV. I’m very interested in getting something like it, but the fact that it doesn’t have actual support for an external USB HD is a big drawback. Let’s see how well hacking it goes.

  22. Gert says:

    I hope someone programs a nes clone for this.
    Controllers via the IR-receiver.
    8 Gb rom space.

    Is the A4 capable of running NES games?

  23. ChalkBored says:

    @Ford

  24. ChalkBored says:

    @Ford,
    you meant GZ, and while it’s possible to get output to a tv through a dockstar using a displaylink device, I don’t think it will be happy doing it.

    @ Gert,
    It will probably happen shortly after people port PSGroove to it, since that seems to get ported to everything ASAP.

  25. jjrh says:

    Well on the one hand this is hackaday, so people want to hack something, not buy a device that is already open requiring no hacking. On the other hand if your looking for a device to play movies on your TV either by streaming or a internal hdd, there are lots of options in the 100$ range.

    I have been looking at the Argosy HV335T which is selling for about 100$, plays MKV files, room for a internal hdd, ethernet port. I haven’t been able to find many solid reviews on the thing, but it might be worth it. Only thing it’s lacking is a way to play emulators on it which is probably better off done with a dedicated device anyways.

    Just my two cents.

  26. pooty says:
  27. Lewis says:

    Apple TV is pure hype. The Roku player has more bite in it than ever. With Roku, you can get Netflix or Amazon On-Demand. With Amazon On-Demand, you get to keep the Tv shows you buy, unlike Apple TV, which lets you on rent them. Currently, Roku has over 100 channels and is looking to add Hulu plus before the year is out. The Roku $59 plays 780 while the high end $99 plays 1080 and has USB support and a instant replay. Check out a Roku before you invest in Apple TV.

  28. daqq says:

    @Lewis: Apple producing something that’s pure hype… that’s a first!

  29. Whatnot says:

    It’s true that hacking it is in itself interesting from the pure hacking viewpoint, but when hacking to go for simply running XBMC on it and get excited about that possible prospect and then saying it would be a dream and it would give you a ‘$99 player’ is silly if you can walk into any electronics retailer and get a player for that already.
    But if that makes you happy I’m OK with it though, I sometimes have quaint things that I find thrilling too, things others might find uninteresting.

  30. lakeboy says:

    what we need is “air video” app running
    that should work easily

  31. Dan says:

    Does anyone think about open atv2 to streaming files from external NAS. like an ITunes server for music?

  32. thescragster says:
  33. joe says:

    if you haven’t used XBMC, and you download a lot of media, you are living in the stone age.

  34. Josh says:

    how do i know if my apple tv is jailbroken, i tried using seasonpass but idk if it worked

  35. arturito says:

    This a short tutorial on installing XBMC on Apple TV 2 (untethered) with Windows/Linux/Mac.

    http://arturito.net/2011/02/14/apple-tv-2-untethered-jailbreak-on-windows-and-xbmc-media-centre-installation/

  36. Ted says:

    Boxee Box and DLink violate GPL and admit it!

    Every Boxee Box shipped with GPLv3 in firmware, yet they lock down the box explicitly violating licensing terms while profiting from the open source community.

    See the details of the test reproducible on every single Boxee Box here:

    http://infinityoverzero.com/bbox/

    Will this be the first test of GPLv3 in the courts??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,301 other followers