Apple TV 1st gen in 2019

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by retta283, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. retta283 macrumors 6502

    retta283

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Location:
    Kingman, AZ
    #1
    Anyone still using the first gen Apple TV? What are you using it for now that the iTunes Store is unsupported?

    I've been looking at getting one to mess with, I've never owned an ATV before. Since they can be had for around $20 I think it's worth trying.
     
  2. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
  3. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502

    retta283

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Location:
    Kingman, AZ
    #3
    Really? How would I go about this?
     
  4. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502

    retta283

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
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    Kingman, AZ
    #5
    Interesting. Seems like a lot of work though. I probably wouldn't do this because I'd want to have more ports on such a system, but would be a cool side project in the future.
     
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

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    Jan 13, 2011
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    Estonia
    #6
    Yep. 1st gen was actually a trimmed-down mac mini running a trimmed-down OS X with Front Row as the UI. So that's why it works also with a regular release package of OS X Tiger.
     
  6. markfc macrumors 6502a

    markfc

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Prestatyn, Wales, UK
    #7
    I have a boxed 160gb 1st gen here. Was only thinking at the weekend about slinging it on eBay.
     
  7. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    #8
    install linux and there are several flavors of xbmc/kodi for it.

    FYI, I did the 2nd stage bootloader for it :) Oh so long ago.
     
  8. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    Would it be possible to install a linux distro on it and use it as a low power Plex server and time machine server? What about Windows?
     
  9. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #10
    I am not sure it is that low power ;)
    That machine used to heat up so you could fry an egg on it, while in use. Granted, operated in headless mode, that may not be the case any more.
    https://everymac.com/systems/apple/apple-tv/specs/apple-tv-itv-specs.html

    Other than that, it is a weak Intel machine (1.0 GHz Pentium M, GeForce Go 7300 with 64 MB GDDR3 VRAM), so windows should run as well. Take the BootCamp drivers disc of same era.
     
  10. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    #11
    It's pretty low powered, single core. Forget trying to run windows, no one ever got that working. Booting is tricky because you don't have access to efi. So you have to do a two stage boot. That's what https://github.com/davilla/atv-bootloader is all about. Trust me :)
     
  11. oneMadRssn macrumors 601

    oneMadRssn

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    I had one of these back in the day, upgraded to the maximum.

    Basically, it a 1ghz Pentium M with 256MB of RAM soldered. That's right, this thing had soldered RAM before it was cool.

    Oh, it also had an nVidia GeForce Go 7300 with 64MB of RAM! But this was pretty much useless.

    Between the CPU and low RAM, it's really slow. Without more, it could not decode h.264 AVC encoded video in HD.

    It had a wifi card in it's only mini PCI Express slot. You could take that out, and instead put in a Broadcomm CrystalHD card which, with the right drivers, could decode h.264 AVC video up to 1080p. Pretty much anyone that ran XBMC on it did this.

    Another neat upgrade was the drive. It had a 2.5" IDE/PATA spinner drive that was super slow. While rare and pricey, there were (maybe still are) some companies that make IDE/PATA SSDs. Either way, even a low quality SSD could saturate the 100MB/s speed of the PATA connection. That made booting a lot faster.

    With those upgrades, it made a decent XBMC box. Not good, but decent. Even with those upgrades, it was still utter rubbish at running full OS X.

    However, I believe it is still to this day the most elegant streaming box that technically supports 1080P and has composite video output. So if you're one of those suckers that bought a 1080P television before HDMI existed, and you don't like using converters/adapters, this baby is for you!
     
  12. retta283 thread starter macrumors 6502

    retta283

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2018
    Location:
    Kingman, AZ
    #13
    I used a CRT until 2009 because I didn't watch anything new on TV... Would mostly use this to stream some local videos to my TV. The 2010 Mac mini is also something I'd consider since it features a DVD drive, and running Snow Leopard I would have Front Row. But since I'm about to spend over $1,000 on a new laptop I really don't have the money for a Mac mini, even a 2010.
     
  13. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #14
    I use it in my RV to hold movies since streaming isn't an option very often.
    But I have also ripped my entire DVD/Blu-ray collection to MP4 files.
     
  14. Scott Davilla macrumors regular

    Scott Davilla

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2016
    #15
    LOL, I was also the guy responsible for the entire Broadcom CrystalHD experience :) That was great fun. It started with a cold email to someone high up at Broadcom/CrystalHD division.

    Little known fact, some later AppleTV1's had the nVidia GeForce Go 7300 with 256MBs of video ram.

    I've still have my original dev box and about 3-4 sitting around gathering dust. Plus god knows how many CrystalHD's. Include a very rare pcie version that I used to do the OSX driver port.
     

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