Boxee on Apple TV?

by editor @ on June 30, 2008

Go to Boxee at

Have you tried out Boxee yet? If not, I encourage you to get on their alpha list. You might be able to get in and experience this remarkable social media software.

Based on XBMC, Boxee not only organizes and plays your local media flawlessly, it also has many web-centric features like streaming media from, and other online services. Throw just about any media at it and it will play it; it is quite impressive, really.

But the most important aspect of Boxee is probably its social networking features. You can recommend media to your social network and also keep up with what people in your network are watching/listening to.

And that gorgeous user interface is a big plus, too.

So why am I writing about Boxee when it doesn’t have anything to do with the Apple TV? Well, I just talked to the folks at Boxee and they’re definitely interested in having the software ported to as many platforms as possible. Apple TV included, of course.

I am currently reviewing Boxee for an article in which I will post later this week. But I encourage you to check out Boxee and sign up as a developer. Who knows, with your help, we might have Boxee running on the Apple TV very soon.

Check out Boxee at

Hacking Apple TV without a patchstick?

by editor @ on June 20, 2008


Wouldn’t it be nice to update your Apple TV with the latest hacks/plugins all without opening it up or using the troublesome patchstick?  What if all this can be done by just clicking on the “Update Software” option from the Apple TV menu.

In theory, it is entirely possible.  And it will be quite a breakthrough if someone can make it a reality.

It is simple, really.  The whole idea behind this hack is to use DNS spoofing technique to “trick” the Apple TV to think that it is getting software updates from Apple.  However, the reality is that it is getting the updates from a fake server that we setup with all the hacked updates.

Here are steps:

  1. setup internet sharing on a local computer on a private network.
  2. connect Apple TV that computer.
  3. setup a fake update server on the same private network.
  4. on the computer shared internet connection, tell it to override the Apple update server with the IP address of the fake server.
  5. put dummy software update on the fake update server.
  6. run software update on the Apple TV to download the dummy software update.

Now, though the idea is simple but, in reality, it is not as simple as it sounds.  This is mainly due to the fact that each software update package is “signed” with a special signature.  And so far, nobody knows knows about how the signature is generated yet.

So there, the idea has been presented.  If anybody has any insights into how the  software update package is signed, we can really revolutionize the way Apple TV is hacked.

The world’s first SSD-equipped Apple TV

by editor @ on June 13, 2008


Josh Lee is not a typical kind of guy so why should his Apple TV be like anybody else’s? Why settle for a 40GB traditional hard drive when there are solid-state drives out there that run faster, quieter and cooler?

And that was exactly what Josh did. He replaced his clunky old 40GB hard drive on his Apple TV with a new state-of-the-art Transcend 32GB SSD. All he did was taking an image of his 40gb drive, doing a little diskutil repartitioning trick and then writing the image back to the new drive. Voila – the world’s first SSD-equipped Apple TV.

So was it worth it? Josh reported that the heat coming off of the Apple TV has been reduced. However, as far as speed, it is more or less the same. He mentioned though that it might have made a difference if he got a faster version of the SSD.

Here is Josh’s original email to me:

attached are a few pics..

its the Transcend 32GB SSD model# TS32GSSD25-M
I picked it up for about 160 bucks + shipping..

all i did was take an image of my 40GB drive..

then mounted it, resized the Media Partition with “diskutil resizePartition disk sizeG”

which didnt change the size of the DMG file, i suspose there is a way to compress it with hdutil.. ?

then i DD’d the image to the SSD, which took forever. it came back and said it was full not enough space..

i tried it anyway in the apple tv. then did a factory restore, (i think this recreates the partitons) and came out like you see in the pics… then it asked if i wanted to upgrade, and i did.

used the patch2stick and im up and running without all that HEAT! :) lol

its basically the same process for upgrading the drive…. as far as space is concerned.. who needs so much space on the ATV anyway? i store everything on a NAS.. :)

Here are the photos forwarded to me:


WWDC 2008 – what about Apple TV SDK?

by editor @ on June 9, 2008

iPhone, blah, blah, iPhone, GPS,  3G, iPhone, blah blah.. , Enterprise support, push email, games, blah blah blah.  iPhone…

OK, we get it.

Jealous?  Yep.

ATVFlash – playing fair?

by editor @ on May 28, 2008

By now, you probably have seen quite a bit of coverage of ATVFlash, a patchstick sold by Apple Core LLC to help ease the installation of plugins like Couch Surfer, Media Cloud, nitoTV and many others.  The patchstick is sold for $59.95.

I am all for entrepreneurship.  People are entitled to charge whatever they want for their work.  However, I learned that the developers whose software were included on the patchstick did not grant Apple Core LLC permission to include their software on the patchstick; let alone, charge for it.  I don’t think it was ever the developers’ intention to charge money for their work.

Also, I do not agree with including Apple’s copyrighted files on the patchstick to be sold. It is true that, in creating a patchstick for personal use, these copyrighted files have to be copied to the patchstick in order for it to be useful; one does not break any law by copying these files from one place to another for personal use.  However, redistributing these files to others, whether it is for profit or not, is a definite violation of the copyright law.

What’s your take?

New bootloader to boot Linux

by editor @ on April 28, 2008


Scott Davilla of the atv-bootloader project has informed me that a new bootloader for Apple TV to boot Linux is now available. With this version, kernel patches to the EFI are no longer required. Also, atv-bootloader can now boot Linux from any mass storage device (including external USB device).

For more information on this, go to atv-bootloader site here.

Actually, Scott wrote to me a couple of weeks back. I just didn’t have a chance to update the site until now. Sorry, Scott.

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