ATV (1st Gen) as Airport express - no monitor

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by eightball8, May 24, 2011.

  1. eightball8 macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2008
    Okay folks I'm guessing this is a dust off your memories question.

    Here's my situation, I've got a 1st Gen. ATV thats been collecting dust for several years. I never hacked it, etc.

    So now I'd like to use it basically as an airport express and stream music to it through airtunes. I'm not even going to connect it to a tv.

    So is there a way to enable airtunes on it without hooking it up to a tv?

    Alternately is there an easy way to enable remote desktop so I can use one of my other macs to set things up rather than connecting to a TV.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  2. eTip macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    This will will give you remote access to the ATV1 if you have an IOS device:

    If not, there's a VNC install through nitoTV - which definitely works on ATV2 - not sure about ATV1.

    Both of those solutions require you to hack it though.

    I am using an unhacked ATV1 in a similar fashion for music in my home office but have it hooked up to a cheap 15" LCD through the DVI input so I can see what's playing.

    If you can at least have a TV or monitor hooked up to it while you set it up, you should be able to just put it in place & perhaps restart it occasionally it it misbehaves.
  3. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Sell it - if it's a 160GB model it fetches more 2nd hand than the new ATVs go for new.
    Buy an AirPort Express and keep the change.
  4. eightball8 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 14, 2008
    Thanks for the input.

    What's the most direct link to a hacking tutorial?


  5. laurenr macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2008
  6. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I don't need to hack it to do what you want. You might have to hook it up to a TV to set it up on your wireless network? If iTunes sees it you should be fine to stream music.
  7. grawk macrumors 6502


    Jan 26, 2004
    Southern York County, PA
    If it's possible to put it on a tv long enough to set it up, it works like a charm. I have 2 160gb atv1s that do exactly this in my house.
  8. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    This is exactly correct.

    You can use the ATV as both source and destination for AirTunes with the Remote App. Mine, in addition to being an ATV, serves as AE style feed to an amp under the TV, as well as an extra zone for driving one of the four AEs in my basement.

    Once it's set up, can see the network, and has been paired with an iTunes base, it'll work just fine. At least until the next powercut/ATV fart, at which point you'll want to get it a display again.
  9. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Heck, I sold my 40GB one for $70 on eBay and bought a refurbed ATV2 from Apple for $84 so I almost got it for free. :)

    But ditto on being able to stream to it from iTunes without any hacking. You will be out of luck though, as others have stated, if the power burps since you may need to do some fiddling to make sure everything is up and running and this may require a few clicks in various menus. Although in most cases, even after a power blip, it should come back and reconnect with the network without issue.

    If you have had this on your network before, you might want to just plug it in and try it out. Although, your claim of it collecting dust for 'several years' makes it sound like you may have made changes to your network and the like since you last had it attached. (Although for a product that has only been in existance for 4 years, the several-year-dust-collecting claim seems dubious ;) )

    Plug it in, hook it up to your amp/speakers and then choose AppleTV in the lower right hand corner of iTunes as your external speakers and you should hear your music from that source. Of course, if the AppleTV does not automatically hook up to your network, you won't see it on iTunes and will need to hook up to a TV monitor to get everything set up.

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