Getting the most out of 1st Gen Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cosmichobo, May 30, 2014.

  1. cosmichobo macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #1
    G'day,

    I have a 160GB AppleTV sitting in a cupboard, after I threw it there (carefully) in frustration, and replaced it with a G4 Mac Mini, which frankly has been much more useful as a HTPC.

    However... I'd like to have access to my media in my bedroom, so was considering reviving the ATV.

    The reason I stopped using it - pretty much every time I'd go to use it, I'd first need to restart it... And even then sometimes it would need further restarts during use.

    The only hack performed was ATV Flash, so I could play AVIs/etc via USB or smb. This option is still required, though doesn't have to be ATV...

    As the replacement option was only a G4 Mini, my media files are still all basically "Standard Definition" video files - no HD files...

    What are the best options for making the original AppleTV a useful device? (Oh, and - they need to be free-ish...)

    Cheers and thanks,

    cosmic
     
  2. Yvan256 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    If you need to play non-standard files like AVIs and MKVs, sell your Apple TV on eBay and get yourself a streaming box from another company. Roku seems to be popular.
     
  3. lunaoso macrumors 65816

    lunaoso

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    I use openELEC on mine. It's basically xbmc. Works pretty well.
     
  4. cosmichobo, May 30, 2014
    Last edited: May 30, 2014

    cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #4
    Interesting... Just been reading up on openELEC... I'm certainly open to trying something like that... Frankly, anything's gotta be better than Apple's OS, given the issues it has...

    My only major concern was reading that restoring the AppleTV back to factory settings can sometimes fail... (and apparently with no resolution).

    Just how much of an improvement does openOLEC offer? And how does it go with a Wifi connection? As is, it will need to connect to my Airport Extreme (2011), located 1 room away...

    I've read you can run openOLEC off USB first as a test run... Did you try this, or just jump right in?
     
  5. lunaoso macrumors 65816

    lunaoso

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    I didn't know you could do that. I just jumped right in, as I hacked it originally to have apple os and xbmc, but I found it laggy, so I just decided to install openELEC. The wifi works well, I haven't had any issues. I mean it still isn't completely lag free, but it works well enough for me.
     
  6. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #6
    I decided the first place to start would actually be to see where it's at right now... (and how it's going to fit in the household in a new position, new tv etc).

    About 2-3 hours later... and I've sorted out getting a colour composite image (VERY happy that NitoTV offered an easy solution to that one!), and created a mount point for the HDD attached to my Airport Extreme (after first almost bricking it due to incorrect mounting info, trying to use Terminal, then Cyberduck to delete the mounts.plist file...grr....)

    No real testing beyond that as the wife's gone to sleep, but I'm hoping playback will be pretty good due to the proximity to the Airport Extreme.

    Will just be a matter of whether it resumes the frequent freezing etc as to how quickly I try OpenELEC...
     
  7. stanw macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #7
    I also have a first gen in a box somewhere that is stock.

    1. I do not remember, does the first gen ATV have Netflix streaming?
    2. Can you still synch to a first gen ATV from iTunes in Mavericks? I think I read somewhere that it is no longer supported?
     
  8. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #8
    Since you said free-ish, you might look into adding the Broadcom CrystalHD card to the Apple TV. Along with quality software (I would recommend the excellent Crystalbuntu), you can breathe new life into your old device. The once caveat is the CrystalHD replaces the internal Wi-Fi card, so either ethernet or a usb Wi-Fi solution is required.
     
  9. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #9
    G'day OmegaRed,

    I think the Crystal card/s must have dropped drastically in price? Think they were $100ish when I got the ATV cica 2010... now about $25... so yes, if I can establish a stable device, I'd certainly consider that HD upgrade... (despite my tv only being 1368x756) though Wifi is a must...
     
  10. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502

    OmegaRed1723

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    The Waste
    #10
    Yeah, it has come down considerably in price, making it even more attractive. Usb Wi-Fi adapters are dirt cheap too, so it's very possible to modernize the device.
     
  11. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #11
    Any linux based version of xbmc on an atv 1 especially with a CHD card (as noted above) puts it head and shoulders beyond an atv3 imo. Can playback raw decrypted blu ray no problem. Have 3 of them and sold my atv 3. Problem with any hack using the stock mac os is the memory usage, the atv 1 only has 256 mb of ram which isn't upgradeable. The linux os variants us half the ram and therefore can render 1080p easily. xbmc on osx uses to much ram to do it.

    I would suggest crystalbuntu. Sam does a great job with it.
     

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