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What could I do with a jailbroken ATV(2)?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by orvn, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    So I need a brief and selective explanation of some of the basics.

    The Apple TV is a product I've never really explored, but being the Apple fan boy that I am, I'm finally taking a look at it. I don't watch a terrible lot of television, but I do stream content off the web from time to time.

    Right now I just have my Macbook connecting via mini-DVI/HDMI to an LCD TV.

    I've been doing some scattered research and have a series of questions:

    1. If I buy an ATV from the Apple store tomorrow, will I be able to jailbreak it based on the native preloaded firmware version?

    2. I hear that when OS X 10.8 comes out, I'll be able to mirror my Macbook's screen wirelessly onto my TV using the ATV?

    3. It seems a lot of people are using software called "Plex" to broaden the capability of their ATV. Many of the articles I've read are dated. What would be the newest and most robust.. jailbroken addon manager (excuse the likely incorrect terminology).

    4. Lastly, how versatile is a jailbroken ATV2? To rephrase: what do you use it for?

    I know it's annoying whenever someone posts a series of basic questions like this, so you have my everlasting gratitude for your replies.
  2. macrumors member

    1. No because the one you buy will be a 3rd generation, running iOS 5.1 which hasn't been jailbroken yet.

    2. Wirelessly? im not sure but according to Apple you will be able to use the Apple TV to show your Mac's screen onto your TV.

    3. Plex/XBMC are two media programs which can play different files types on your Apple TV, i don't know if i am explaining this correctly, but they allow you to play .AVI and MKV, all these types of file without have to convert them through iTunes. My personnel opinion is i like XBMC over Plex

    4. You can use it to stream different file types to your Apple TV, you can have all your content stored on a NAS so you dont have to have your computer turned on to watch something all of the time.

    I hope i answered all of your questions..
  3. macrumors regular

    To add on to the above's answers...

    2. Are you familiar with the Airplay feature on iPhone or iPad? OSX 10.8 will have that. I'm not 100% sure but you should be able to enable mirroring (clone your OSX screen to ATV) as well as Airplay on certain apps (similar to mirroring, but plays videos/music straight to the ATV while keeping the interface up on the computer...depends on the app)

    3. & 4. I tried both and I personally like Plex better. With XBMC, you can stream off a NAS and not need a computer on (which I've never tried myself). With Plex, you need to have a server software running on a computer but I like the interface a LOT better. YMMV, but XBMC on my ATV2 kept crashing on me. Try both and see which you like.

    Without jailbreaking, you can only stream off a computer running iTunes, and videos that are in your iTunes library, which as you know are only limited to .mov or .mp4, and encoding .avi/.mkv/etc to iTunes-friendly file types can several hours. However, you're only going to find ATV2's on craigslist or eBay, still going for the same price as a new ATV3. And who knows when ATV3 will get jailbroken.

    BUT you can still play any movie on a non-jailbroken ATV! There's an app called Air Video (a cheap $2.99) so you'll need an iPad or iPhone. I have the Air Video server software running on my Mac Pro which has a bunch of movies, stream it to Air Video on my iPad, and Airplay that to my ATV. Maybe a little more complicated than it needs to be but it works for me.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Thanks guys. Those were really informative answers and I think I have something of a grasp on things now.

    I have an iPhone 4, but it's still on iOS4 (intentionally because I have it unlocked with a Gevey). I think I have a rough idea about what Airplay is.

    One last question/comment:

    Because Mountain Lion will allow mirroring of the desktop to ATV, won't that completely eliminate the need for a jailbroken ATV?

    I mean, with 10.8 you'll be able to play anything on your Mac and have it reflect on the TV, be it a non-mov/mp4 video, a keynote presentation, or anything. So why Jailbreak?
  5. macrumors 6502

    For some maybe, but what about if you don't upgrade to ML, or have a PC, or don't want a Mac/PC on all the time because you have your media on a NAS ?
  6. macrumors regular

    I use Smart Converter Pro from the app store and convert .avi and .mkv videos all the time and it does not take hours for me - well depends on your computer.
    2 hour film in .mkv takes all but 30 seconds to a mine and .avi takes about 15 mins or so for a full length movie. If you are using a quad core MBP, Mac Pro or imac it takes really not time at all. You can also batch convert in Toast as well. Usally i just load the que and do something else for a bit or eat dinner and by the time i am done most of the files are converted.
  7. macrumors member

  8. macrumors regular


    In case it's still relevant to you: I have an AppleTV 2, I jailbroke it with ATV Flash (Firecore) and have plex installed.

    Overall, since i jailbroke, I can do so many more things and the plex interface is great. I have my computer running in a separate room and so being able to navigate the files, without have to use the computer is an advantage I think.

    I'm not sure what the possible limitations of Mountain Lion screen sharing with the apple TV will be, but I kinda expect there will be some.

    But I guess, the point i'm trying to make is that the ability to navigate the AppleTV and content with the remote from the couch, without having to have your computer nearby is a plus for me.
  9. macrumors member

    a) Stream any file format.
    b) Stream from a NAS (no need to have content in iTunes, or a computer left on all the time).

    These are the 2 main reasons to jailbreak your apple tv2.

    I use XBMC.

    Already bought myself an appletv3, just hope they manage to crack it sometime soon.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Thanks again.

    So I guess my real question is: when 10.8 hits, will the Airplay feature be hardware dependent i.e.- apply only to ATV3's or will it just be something that can be facilitated through an iOS upgrade?
  11. macrumors member

    I think it would be through a iOS upgrade, not dependent on the hardware, unless it needs more RAM in which case it would be a thing for the ATV 3's
  12. macrumors regular


    Will i still be able to use airplay on a jailbroken ATV2?? can you give me the features of the ATV2 that will be disabled after jailbreak??

  13. macrumors 68030

    No features will be disabled.
  14. macrumors regular


    thanks hafr,
    another question, is there a jailbreak for the 3rd gen ATV?

    im not sure if this site is legit
  15. macrumors 68030

    No, there isn't. That site is not legit, not at all actually. This is the real Seas0npass blog: http://blog.firecore.com/
  16. macrumors 68040


  17. macrumors 68020

  18. macrumors member

    Well, after jailbreak, you can add additional functionality by installing XBMC, Plex, and Nitro TV, and enjoy it on the go.
    if you like live sports, stream movies, Live ESPN3, Amazon VOD and Hulu are for u.
    For more tip turn to this wiki: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/AppleTV_2
    And this site can give you more ideas:
  19. macrumors regular


    well im a total newbie when it comes to apple tv.

    I just got my new atv2 this day. can you guys please post the direct link on how to jailbreak and install the great apps for my atv2?

    Im not sure which one of the links that can be found here

    many thanks


    OK i found it. just need a confirmation from you guys if this is legit


  20. macrumors 68040


  21. macrumors 603


    Is the main advantage of a jailbroken ATV to play any file type?

    i currently just convert my avi(torrents) to the proper format and than add them to my itunes library this way i can add descriptions, genres, Cover Art ect

    what else can a jailbroken ATV do?
  22. macrumors member

    Yes that the main advantage of jailbreaking an ATV, you can then install XBMC/Plex onto them. Which can then play any video type; I believe that most of the common ones are supported.
    You can download a program called Ember Media Manager for Windows which allows you to tag and add covers, and stuff like that. A Mac equivalent is YAYMan (Yet Another Yamj Manager), iFlicks or MetaX. However I haven’t used any of the Mac versions.
  23. macrumors 603


    thanks, for the reply
  24. macrumors 65816


    Jailbroken ATV2+IceFilms FTW!
  25. macrumors 603


    can you elaborate? is that a website to stream TV shows and Movies?

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