Hear that? That’s the sound of silence (or maybe just some crickets chirping) of the Apple TV hacking scene. For now, there are no new hacks to write about.
We are anticipating some big Apple TV-related news next week from Mr. Job’s keynote at Macworld Conference and Expo ’08. We know for sure that the movie rentals feature announcement is to be expected at the keynote. And maybe, just maybe, a new line of Apple TV’s (perhaps with Blu-ray drive?) will also be announced.
I’m sure one of the first hacks that people will be asking for after the announcement will be how to get the rented movies to play past its expiration date.Â Personally, I don’t think this is going to happen easily knowing Apple’s track record for its DRM technology.Â Â But we’ll just have to see.
For now, just enjoy the sound of silence. It just maybe the calm before the storm (the good kind) for Apple TV.
With great anticipation,
Have some free time and looking for something to do?Â How about taking a stab at enhancing the Sapphire plugin?Â Now that the source code for the plugin is now readily available, you can do just that.
Hobbyists rejoice!Â Yes, one of our favorite plugins, Sapphire Browser, is now released under an open source license.Â Â For more information on the Sapphire Browser plugin, you can go to its wiki page at awkwardtv.org here.
We have to thank Graham Booker and Patrick Merrill for their effort they put in developing Sapphire and also for releasing it as open source.Â Â We need more people like you.
Poor Apple TV.Â Apple did very little to promote or support it.Â The hackers who once were eager to find new ways to use it now flocked to develop for the iPhone.Â 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.Â It can no longer by defined by its content but rather by its features.
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.
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.
Enabling keyboard and mouse on the Apple TV is not new. You can do it by plugging them directly to the Apple TV or you can use connect them via Bluetooth. However, what if you don’t want to physically connect them. After all, you probably don’t want to clutter your nice home theater setting with unsightly keyboard and mouse.
This is where Synergy comes in. This multi-platform open source software allows one set of keyboard and mouse to be used on multiple computers all at once. Based on a client/server model, the server portion of the software gets installed on the computer where the mouse and keyboard reside. Client software is then installed on other computers (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix, etc.) to receive the server’s input.
Dotcom78 has posted steps on AwkwardTV.org’s Wiki of how the OS X client of Synergy can be installed to be controlled by a master computer. The procedure to get this working is pretty involved so be sure to follow them carefully.
For a look at how Synergy works, you can check out this YouTube video of someone controlling 7 screens with one set of mouse and keyboard via Synergy.