News

Aspect ratio correction using displayutil utility

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 25, 2007

Here’s a tip from one of our readers, Jordan Shinall from Gainesville, Florida.

Jordan tried connecting his Apple TV to an LCD monitor via a DVI connector (using an HDMI-to-DVI connector). His monitor’s resolution was 1440×900; this was confirmed in the settings menu as “1440x900p”. When he changed the display resolution to 720p, the “1440x900p” disappeared from the menu. Not only that. Since the aspect ratio of his monitor is 16:10 and 720p’s aspect is 16:9, the image displayed got stretched vertically.

To remedy this problem, he used a utility called “displayutil” by Jonathan Bringhurst. The utility was meant to be used under OS X but since Apple TV’s OS is a specialized version of OS X, he tried using it anyway.

After many attempts of running the utility on the Apple TV, he stumbled upon the following combination:

./displayutil -r1440x900 -b32

kill `ps aux | grep Finder | grep -v grep | awk {\’print $2\’}`

./displayutil -r1440x900 -b32

Here is his logic:

Now the important thing here is to type in the display util line first so that it is kept in the bash history. Then when you enter the second line (which just parses the ps output for the pid of the Finder and kills it) hit enter and then immediately hit the up arrow twice and then enter. What you are trying to do is sill the Finder and run display util before it has a chance to restart. If you did it correctly, you should see a grey screen fade in and out for a moment. When the Finder loads again, head into the settings to verify the resolution.

So far this solution worked out for him. There might be a better way. If you think you have a better solution, let us know.

You can download displayutil utility here.

Not just Firefox, Skype too

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 17, 2007

skype on appletv Not just Firefox, Skype too

James Mandy of the InvertedReality blog just got Skype working using the pretty much the same technique for getting Firefox to work.

I did get a few emails asking if Skype would work on a hacked Apple TV. Well, here’s the proof that it can.

Now, all you need now are just a mic and a webcam and you’ll be Skyping on your big screen.

Play DivX movies from a NAS: a step by step guide

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 12, 2007

divx nas Play DivX movies from a NAS: a step by step guide

Playing DivX files is nothing new to the Appe TV hacking community. It was probably one of the first hacks done since the release of the Apple TV. And playing files from a NAS (network-Attached storage not “Nas” the rapper) is nothing new either. But it is good to see a step by step guide on how to combine a bunch of hacks to get this working.

Thank you, Jonnytech, for putting this together.

Get color output from Apple TV’s composite video output

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 12, 2007

composite hack Get color output from Apple TVs composite video output

Mauricio Pastrana has figured out how to get color output via the composite video connector. This is good news for people who want to use the Apple TV with regular non-HD TV sets.

Here’s what he did:

  • Plug your composite-yellow in the green “slot” (this will give you an image, but BW)
  • head over to resolution and set it to 480i (not sure if this step is needed tho)
  • now STAND on 480p and unplug the composite-yellow, plug an HDMI-DVI adapter
  • press “ok” on the remote and count to 5
  • unplug the HDMI-DVI adapter and replug the composite-yellow, when the image comes back, it comes back full color!

Great job, Mauricio.

Update:

As noted in one of the comments, you can also enable composite video via software using instructions found here.

Thanks, drag0n.

How to run Firefox on the Apple TV

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 11, 2007

firefox appletv How to run Firefox on the Apple TV

Agentgonzo has just detailed how you can get Firefox to run on the Apple TV using a combination of hacks including keyboard/mouse hack, mouse pointer hack and application loader plugin.

Actually, this technique can be used to run just about any OS X application on the Apple TV.

Thanks, Agentgonzo, for putting the article together.

Road Trip GPS plugin now available

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on October 11, 2007

roadtrip available Road Trip GPS plugin now available

Brandon Holland has made available Road Trip, a GPS plugin for Apple TV.   This plugin was featured in our previous post on Brandon’s mod to put his Apple TV in his car as an in-car entertainment system.

From Brandon’s email:

“It is currently sitting at version 0.2 and I am hoping to finish it all off into a finished product very soon. At the moment, Road Trip has the ability to detect any serial devices connected to the system (gpses) and allows you to connect to it, read the status, speed, longitude, latitude, ect. It can also show your location on a map fetched via expedia.ca which uses the mapblast servers. It can then track your location in realtime on the map that it downloads. Road Trip automatically figures out whether your in Europe or North America and loads the correct map from expedia. Next feature on the list to get done is map caching and auto loading when the location tracker goes out of the maps lon, lat range. I’m hoping to get it done very soon so that map packs or trips can be cached for a trip.”

Road Trip is currently in its very early stage of development.  If you have any suggestions, bug reports or donations, you can send it to Brandon at bholland@whatanutbar.com.

Thanks, Brandon.

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