'Unlocking' the AppleTV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Grunze, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2006

    I am by no means a technological guru, but here is my thought.
    If the :apple:TV is capable of doing all the things that it does, then why can't there by some way to 'unlock' it to be able to wirelessly display a mirror image (or extended desktop) of your current display?

    If it can sync information and dynamically transmit video, then it seems like it should not be too difficult to transmit it as a display..

    That's my thought of the day.
    Thanks for listening.
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Aug 11, 2007
    The sole purpose of AppleTV is to extend iTunes to the living room so users can enjoy their content on a nice television... im not sure that you can unlock the appletv and if you do you would be fiddling with the firmware of it and thus hacking it and using it in a way which it was not designed to be and this voiding your warranty. You should not discuss such illegitimate topics in a forum where users wish to use their AppleTV's in the intented manner.
  3. macrumors 68020


    Jan 10, 2007

    You mean a forum that has a dedicated 'iPhone Hacks' thread?

    What's an illegitimate topic, exactly? :confused:

    Thanks for trying to be the forum police zainjetha, but there are moderators for that sort of thing.
  4. macrumors 6502


    Sep 23, 2003
    People who only use products for their intended purpose are the people who never innovate, or are, as I like to use my personal nickname, noob sheep.

    Original Poster ... break it, hack it, make it beg for mercy ... and when you do, make sure you tell us all about it.
  5. macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    I don't believe there is anything wrong with modifying any product so long as the user understands they risk VOIDING THE WARRANTY.

    If they are willing to assume that risk, then so be it.

    It's like buying a car and wanting to " hop it up " a bit.

    You bought the Apple TV, you own the Apple TV, you can do with it whatever you want. Just do it in the privacy of your own home! :eek:
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2002
    well... if you really want to, sure you can. Just install a full copy of OSX, install remote desktop and there ya go, a copy of your desktop.

    I dont know... I guess I dont see the point tho.. what would you use such a thing for? it can already do video and images.. if your looking for more desktop space, I would assume that would mean the tv with the Apple TV is close to the computer, in which case there are much better ways I can think of to connect the 2.
  7. macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    People has hacked into AppleTV to run regular OSX, so yes it can be modified to mirror your computer screen. However, do not expect to play a movie on your computer and expect to watch it on your TV. The data rate for such an uncompressed image 30 times a second would be too high. You can try to use VNC to mirror a remote computer's screen to see how well the connection can be.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Not with AppleTV take 2.

    I've hacked mine. I can play DVD's (the whole DVD), .mkv's, .avi's, high definition content, check the weather, play NES, and even order pizza from it. Sole purpose or not, its a thing of beauty.
  9. macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2006
    Mr. matalino, how did you hack yours? Are there some good articles on doing this somewhere? I'd love to see a screen shot if you have one.
  10. thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 16, 2006
    Thank you all for your answers...
    My goal here is to be able to use my 42" lcd as a computer display. I have a wireless mouse and keyboard, so I though it would be a cool thing to do.
    The TV isn't very close to the computer, otherwise, of course I would just use a simple cable.

    And by unlocking, I didn't mean it in a 'hacking' kind of way.. I means, why cant apple do that as a new feature to the appleTV...

    I know there is a device called the SlingCatcher which will accomplish what I wan to do, however, it doesn't yet exist.

  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    Check out awkwardtv.org's how-to section. The website is filled with lots of info. If you are not familiar with the terminal or ssh, it might take a bit of a learning curve. But it's all worth it in the end. Check out the NitoTV plug-in too.

    Also, please note that the previous update erased all hacks and deleted all unauthorized content (not in iTunes). So with the "Take 2" update coming soon, we suspect that the same will happen again. Just a warning.
  12. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008
    i havent really gotten a definate answer yet, and i havent had the time to read awkwardtv, but is it possible, with minimal hacking, to hookup an external harddrive and play dvd images on the apple tv similar to how you would on ur mac using VLC Player?

    this is the deciding factor for me. if i could do this i would buy it in like 2.3 seconds.
  13. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2005
    It depends on what you mean by "minimal hacking". There is no code rewrite or partition schemes you need to mess with. If you know what you're doing it takes less than 20 minutes. If not (like I did when I started), it might take days or weeks. But its worth it.

    Install SSH
    Enable USB storage
    Install ATVloader
    Install NitoTV from ATV loader
  14. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2008

    Thanks man, I am going to go buy it today and try it!

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