XBMC, the fantastic media center you’ve been enjoying since it hit your old Apple TV in 2008, has finally been released for the second-generation Apple TV. XBMC supports a very complete spectrum of audio and video multimedia file formats and codecs right out-of-the-box. Today’s release is a full XBMC install, this is not a remote or thin client streamer. It features full hardware decode for 720p/1080p movies, network files sharing and “everything else you know and love about XBMC.”
Old Apple TV is not dead! Remote HD has just released a new plugin for the old Apple TV that adds the missing AirPlay functionality. AirPlay can now be added to any first generation Apple TV by installing the Remote HD plugin and activating it using Remote HD iOS application. Once the plugin is activated, any AirPlay enabled application can be used to stream video and photos to the Apple TV.
It’s been a few days since this hack came out, but there is a chance you’ve missed it focused on your Thanksgiving and Black Friday activities: a jailbreak app called AirVideoEnabler can push out video from any iOS app (including Safari) to the Apple TV 2G via AirPlay. Developed by TUAW commenter Zone-MR, the app runs on every jailbroken iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad with iOS 4.2 (or greater) installed and can be downloaded from Cydia for free. According to Lifehacker, you may need to restart your iOS device for the hack to work, but then you can stream supported video (meaning most MPEG4/H.264 files) from any app that supports video out. Users report that thanks to AirVideoEnabler they were also able to stream live TV to the Apple TV via AirPlay.
And here it comes: Apple TV 4.2.1 software update is now available! It brings a support for AirPlay, a new feature that lets you stream movies, music or photos (and who knows what else!) from any iOS device running iOS 4.2 (also released today), Macs or PCs running iTunes 10 to your TV via the Apple TV. The new update also comes with VoiceOver support for spoken menus and meta data. NetFlix on atv is now Voice Over accessible too. Here is a video showing how the VoiceOver works on the new Apple TV.
“We’ve sold a lot of them but it’s never been huge hit,” Jobs said last week. How could we not agree: Apple TV wasn’t a game changer for the living room. But hey, there are hundreds thousands of users completely satisfied with the existing ATV (according to the analysts, Apple might have sold 3 million Apple TV devices worldwide) and most of them never even thought of hacking this mysterious box! That’s why here at Apple TV Hacks, we think Steve has figured it out very well: what the average customer wants from his/her HDTV in the living room is to play latest movies, popular TV shows, family vacation photo slideshow and maybe some music from time to time. We, geeks, need more, that’s obvious, and that’s why we are so disappointed with the new device. The only thing we can do now is to try to squeeze as much as we can out of this hockey puck when we put our hands on it sometime at the end of September.
But before that happens, let’s focus on what we know about the second generation Apple TV so far.
There was one more thing coming at the end of Steve’s show today and this time it was one more HOBBY… The new Apple TV is here! This tiny matte-black box (80% smaller than the previous generation) will stream HD (720p) movies for $4,99 and commercial free TV shows for 99 cents (ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America are on board; all rentals, no purchases) and your Netflix content if you are a subscriber. It has HDMI, Ethernet, USB and optical audio ports, Bluetooth and dual band WiFi (802.11 b/g/n at 2.4GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5GHz). There will be no local storage. AirPlay – the new feature that will come with iOS 4.2 in November – will let you to stream movies from any iOS device to your HDTV through the Apple TV. It will be shipping within 4 weeks for the “breakthrough “ price of just $99.