Backrow – Apple TV’s software

by editor @ on March 24, 2007

Jonathan Bare has peaked on the Apple TV harddrive (whilst replacing it with a larger one), and noticed the software running on Apple TV has been dubbed by Apple as “Backrow”:

The interface that runs Apple TV is, in part at least, apparently called BackRow and can be found in the OSBoot/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/BackRow.framework. All of the imagery and the startup movie for the Apple TV can be found in the Resources directory at that location.

You can also find the background logo for the boot at OSBoot/System/Library/BootLogo.png.

  • Man… I want an AppleTV to tinker with :-/

    Backrow is also the name of FrontRow’s ugly, unofficial Windows-cousin:


  • Jonathan

    Not technically a hack, but there’s at least one Screen Saver on Apple TV that works on any Mac OS X system.

    On the Apple TV OSBoot volume, navigate to System/Library/CoreServices/ Savers/Apple.frss/Contents/Resources and then copy the AppleLogo.qtz file to /Library/Screen Savers/ or ~/Library/Screen Savers/ on your Mac.

    Open System Preferences and choose Desktop & Screen Saver and you will see a new option, Apple Logo.

    The other Apple TV screen savers are more complicated QTZ files that have separate dependencies for the cover art or the photos.

    It appears that you could change the images or add your own, but I’m not sure how to make the QTZ files work on a Mac as a screen saver. Anyone know more about how QTZs work as screen savers?

  • Jonathan

    Diagnostics mode…

    This definitely boots the Apple TV OS from a different partition. I am very interested in seeing the contents of that partition and see if there are any avenues to the USB port or other options in the diagnostic version of the OS. I’m guessing its the 400 MB unlabeled partition on the drive, and when I boot my SSH-enabled Apple TV to diagnostics mode it no longer allows me access.

  • Sam

    Has there been any sort of effort to run BackRow in regular OSX? I suppose this would be a difficult accomplishment as it is a separate operating system, and Apple could easily thwart such attempts, but osx86 and the new OSX hack for AppleTV have given me hope.

  • Backrow is also the name of a great poker communety

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