Our beloved XBMC hits iOS devices

For those who have been longing to unlock the power of the Apple TV 2 the wait is over. XBMC is now available for iOS devices. This isn’t limited to the tiny ARM-based set-top box, but extends to the entire family including iPad and iPhone 4. Included is the ability to play high def video up to 1080p without transcoding. But we think the best feature might be XBMC’s ability to easily stream media over the network from just about any operating system. Goodbye iTunes tethering.

If you’re comfortably using SSH to work with a Jailbroken device, ATV2 installation will be a snap as there’s already a source repository to install from. iPad and iPhone 4 are even easier, just add the repository in Cydia and install. Wow, when we first looked in on the new generation of ATV we really thought it would take longer than it has to see a port of our favorite open source media client. Thanks Team XBMC!


  1. John says:

    My two questions are:
    1. I know it only supports 720p but can it output a 1080p signal?
    2. If so, can it handle full-bluray-bitrate m2ts’s?

    I’m kind of holding out for the next gen that would supposedly have native support for 1080p.

  2. fartface says:

    Play 1080p and then scale it back down to 720p. you will not output 1080p on any of those devices.

  3. reboots says:

    …Unlock the power of the Apple TV 2 to output 720p video? Pending clarification by the XBMC dev team, “play” 1080p seems to mean downscaling to native resolution. And the ATV2 is one of the pitiful minority of streaming media players still limited to 720p. See:


  4. Mike Szczys says:

    @Fartface and reboots: I’m fine with the downscaling if it means they can decode the video. Since ATSC is 1080i this means you can record over the air and playback the video without transcoding. For $99 that makes the ATV2 a win as a MythTV frontend (well, using XBMC to playback MythTV recordings).

  5. strider_mt2k says:

    I admit it, I’m jealous.

    I’d love to see this for other mobile OSs.

  6. Gdogg says:

    That’s pretty sweet. I was going to go the nettop route, (xbox isn’t cutting it anymore) but this looks pretty damn decent. Anyone know how to jailbreak an appletv with a windows pc?

    Anyone know any better setups?

    Hell… what’s everyone’s opinion on the boxee box?

  7. Erik Johnson says:

    Hum, it apparently is fixed at 480×320 on iPod/phone, so no “retina” support and the text is muddled

  8. Oliver says:

    Would love to see XBMC for the WDTV from western digital.

  9. fdawg4l says:


    Looks like XBMC and Sigma are collaborating. It’s doubtful old devices will support XBMC out of the box, but from the blurb, new devices may get it natively. Timeline unknown.

  10. Gdogg says:

    Ahh.. I was going to buy one tonight and hook it up, but it looks like if you run Windows you can only install a ‘tethered’ jailbreak where you need to plug it in to a laptop every time to boot up. Not cool. I will wait this one out, but $130 (in Canada :s ) is a deal.

  11. XBMC^N says:

    This is really impressive. The apple TV looks like a pretty much ideal device to mount on the back of a wall-mounted TV — less than 10cm square and 2.5cm thick, only 270 grams.

    Some 3M command adhesive strips should easily hold it in place. Hell, even hot glue or self-adhesive velcro could do the trick.

    I would never have pegged apple as the company to release the device that would free our tv from the ugly but awesome old xbox.

    And certainly not for 100 bucks. Talk about a wife-friendly gadget!

  12. pun says:

    That’s a nice start, but I can safely say I will never own one of these devices… I hope and pray they’ll find a way to make it run on Android… On a related note, Java makes me angry… :P

  13. Chris says:

    Hmm This seems promising for $100, may not need to have my htpc hooked up to my tv anymore.
    With the Atv 2 with xbmc installed can it handle mkv’s and other formats like it? Or is there a better setup like the Atv 2?

    Just tried out a mkv on ipod xbmc and it cant do it.

  14. Romen says:

    Now.. if they’ve ported XBMC to the frakin iPad etc first.. Why haven’t they make XBOX Media Centre for Xbox 360 yet?! BAH! I say… BAH!

  15. anon says:

    iPod touch 2G 4.2.1 doesn’t work… Installs fine, application wont load though.

    Anyone else?

  16. doron says:

    yep same here, ipod touch 2g 4.2.1 doesn’t work, i believe this works on 4th gen only.

    and to @Romen about xbmc on 360, if you search around there are countless threads on 360 xbmc port. i think the jist is, 360 is powerpc, xbmc would need to be totally re-written, so i think thats why its never gonna happen. i also believe someone did get it running on the 360, but no hardware acceleration, so no HD essentially.

  17. doron says:

    @roman, :) i just got it, if they have devs to re-write for arm, hopefully soon they’ll have full time devs to port to ppc

  18. strider_mt2k says:

    ppc? As in Pocket PC?

    Shirley, you jest.

  19. doron says:

    @strider_mt2k, sorry no, i meant PowerPC, as in what the xbox 360 runs on.

  20. I have a first gen ATV here, with the hardware accel card replacing the wifi card in the minipci slot. Works great for everything I’ve thrown at it so far. Rarely there are a few glitches. Still the ATV is slow and cumbersome, lacks kb+mouse support without kernel hacks that don’t work anymore, if I didn’t get it for free I wouldn’t have bothered. (total cost 30 dollars, for the HW accel card, plus hours of time hacking an One For All remote to replace the missing ATV one.)

    In all honesty, XBMC really shines on a platform with a bit more power, not these hacked devices. With HD resolution videos being the norm now, and spotty HW accel support, it’s simpler to put a old PC to work and have a much better experience with XBMC and Boxee.

    The thing I miss the most these days is the old XBox controller for browsing media. Analog triggers are brilliant.

    In other news, check out SubSonic (http://subsonic.org) for music and video streaming from home collections to mobile devices. (iOS + Android) Better than any commercial offering, with a very respected and responsive developer. It’s come a long way, and it’s the only streamer I’ve found that supports terabyte music collections without going pearshaped. (ie Orb, TVersity, etc)

  21. jim says:

    Suddenly Apple TV is cool

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