News

Repurposing the Apple TV

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on December 11, 2007

repurposing appletv Repurposing the Apple TV

Poor Apple TV.  Apple did very little to promote or support it.  The hackers who once were eager to find new ways to use it now flocked to develop for the iPhone.  Worse, the movie studios are pulling their content out from the iTunes Store left and right.

It’s a sure death for Apple TV if it continues the same path.  It can no longer by defined by its content but rather by its features.

Read on.

Jaman Player Beta 1.0 now available

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 29, 2007

jaman player 1 0 Jaman Player Beta 1.0 now available

Jaman has released Beta 1.0 of its Jaman Player, which is used for playing rental movies from the service.

As expected, Apple TV syncing is now a standard feature. Previously, you had to download a special version of the player to get this. Along with that, the company has added the following:

  • Jaman Wish List – this allows you to queue up downloads and pay/rent when you are ready to watch.
  • Convenient Remote Download – this convenient feature lets you pick movies you want to watch from remote sites (work, in-law’s, etc.) and have the movies be ready to watch once you get home.
  • Easier Movie Uploading – if you are a filmmaker and would like to distribute your movies via Jaman, you can use this to upload your movies directly to the service.

We are still waiting for the new features on the Jaman player plugin for the Apple TV ourselves. We’ll let you know if we hear anything from the company.

One more reason why we love NitoTV: console emulators

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 29, 2007

appletv emulators One more reason why we love NitoTV:  console emulators

Let’s make that 5 reasons because, after all, you get not one but 5 emulators that come with the latest version (0.2.6) of NitoTV plugin. This proves once again that this plugin is one giant step ahead of all the other Apple TV plugins.

NitoTV 0.2.5 (final) already came bundled with 3 game console emulators: Nestopia (NES/Famicom emulator), BNES (Super Nintentdo emulator) and Genesis Plus (Sega Genesis emulator). Version 0.2.6 adds two more: Boycott Advance (Gameboy Advance emulator) and SMS Plus (Game Gear/Sega Master System emulator). These emulators were all written by Richard Bannister. We can’t thank you enough, Richard.

With all the things that NitoTV can do, it shouldn’t even be called a plug-in anymore. It’s more like an operating system now. It plays DVDs, streams photos, plays music, emulates game consoles, and supports all kinds of media file formats. It’s truly a Swiss Army knife of Apple TV plugins.

If you want to see the potential of what your Apple TV can do, you owe it to yourself to try NitoTV out.

$50 off Apple TV at Costco

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 8, 2007

fifty dollar rebate costco $50 off Apple TV at Costco

It’s time to stock up for Christmas.  Costco is offering $50 instant rebate on the Apple TV.  The deal will run until either November 23rd or 26th, according to the Costco rep I talked to.  Since Costco is already selling Apple TV’s for $250, this means you can get one as low as $200.

Could it be because of the slow sales?  Or is it that a new version is coming out?  Whatever the reason, if you’ve been wanting to get one cheap, here’s your chance.

Enabling ssh and adding plugins the easy way

by editor @ AppleTVHacks.net on November 1, 2007

Every now and then, I still get emails asking me if there is an easy way to enable ssh on the Apple TV. Yes, we have tutorial for that but that one requires an uncivilized way of opening the Apple TV up, take out the hard drive, put it in an enclosure, etc. (you know the whole drill). That’s just old school and so cruel to your Apple TV. Besides that method actually voids the warranty on your Apple TV.

It is much easier to use the Patchstick method, which has been around for a while now. All you need is a USB stick and an Intel Mac. You have probably seen the Patchstick in action on the Jaman post a month back. However, Jaman’s version is specifically designed to get the Jaman player on to the Apple TV and nothing else.

Francesco Cerofolini has written a simple tutorial (in both Italian and English) of how you can get your Apple TV ssh-enabled. It is pretty much the same as what I have written for the Jaman post. The Patchstick file used in his tutorial also adds access to the Plugins directory from AwkwardTV. This makes it much easier to install new plugins from AwkwardTV.

To many of the frequent readers of the site, I know that this is nothing new. However, my intention was to simplify hacking for a lot of the newcomers out there.

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.

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