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 Intro.mov 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.
The members at somethingawful.com have kept tinkering with their Apple TV’s all day, and have made surprising progress. Amongst their achievements:
- They have the VLC player running on the box
- It has been noticed that components Apple Remote Desktop are installed, though no success in getting it working yet
- Some success getting SSH access up and running
- Where Finder.app would normally be is where the specialised interface app lives
Update: Thanks to reader Epon, we now have a way to do this without requiring iPartition. So you can now do the upgrade for only the price of your new harddrive.
Here it is, a step by step tutorial on upgrading your Apple TV harddrive. With thanks to Jonathan Bare, the brave soul who worked this out!
It should be noted that this process will almost certainly void your Apple TV’s warranty and you are attempting this upgrade at your own risk.
You can do this via the terminal, or by using some applications (which add $100 to the cost of the process).
What you need:
2.5″ hard drive (we used a Western Digital 120 GB WD1200VE drive)
Wiebetech Forensic DriveDock (optional, but recommended) or any 2.5″ to Firewire bridge
Subrosasoft’s CopyCatX ($49), or be comfy with the terminal
Coriolis’s iPartition ($45), or use the Apple Factory Restore
This process was done on an Intel Mac Pro. Connecting the Apple TV drive to a Power PC Mac might damage the GUID partition, especially for anyone who hasn’t upgraded to Mac OS X 10.4.6 or newer.
A big problem people have with the Apple TV is that you ‘require an HDTV’ to use it with; and a lot of the reviews posted are repeating this statement.
We have had a couple of people write in asking if some combination of cables could be used to rectify this. We are here to report, there is nothing to rectify, all you need is a TV with component inputs. Several of the first photos and videos on the net showed a “480i”, which is standard ‘old TV’ resolution in the Apple TV settings menu.
To confirm, the people over at Rogue Amoeba Software hooked an Apple TV up to a ‘square’ TV, and have a photo of it working just fine: