How do I block the Apple TV update server?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by PocketSand11, Jul 9, 2014.

  1. PocketSand11 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    What IP address does it connect to to check for updates? I know how to block IP addresses, but I don't know which address to block or whether it will cause any other problems.

    My parents keep updating the Apple TV by accident. Every time, it's a HUGE pain to get it fixed. For some reason, after updates, it changes the color mode back to automatic. It needs to be on one of the non-default ones (I forget which) to work with our TV. But it sometimes switches back to automatic when I connect it to another TV, fix it, then connect it back to the main TV… Changing the connections is already really annoying due to our setup and involves crawling into small spaces. At this point, I don't even remember what I did to make it work the first few times, so I'll have to figure it out again. It had to do with the order of plugging the power, HDMI, HDMI switch, and something else in. And the updates never do anything but add some paid channel nobody cares about. To make matters worse, they sometimes unplug it while it's updating so it'll get corrupted, forcing me to search for the obscure micro USB cable to restore it -_-
  2. babaroga73 macrumors regular

    Jan 10, 2014
    Isn't there a settings toggle for this somewhere in Settings, something like Check for update - Automaticaly , Don't check , etc. ??
  3. Idgit macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2004
    PlexConnect also has an option to block AppleTV updates.
  4. PocketSand11 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2014
    That would be good, but I really don't want to modify the Apple TV's software… unless I can also disable HDCP this way. See, I have to use a special box to remove the HDCP since the Apple TV and FiOS box (but not TiVO) keep thinking that our TV doesn't support HDCP even though it does. I'd only consider it worth it if I could get rid of that.


    Not that I know of. But if there is, I'm going to feel like a fool :eek:
  5. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    I have somehow managed to do just this, i have never had any of my apple TVs auto update.
  6. betman macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    It's not the auto-update that's the issue but the constant nagging by Apple TV whether to update now.
  7. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    Never had it prompt me to upgrade now, despite auto updates being on, updated the one in the spare room manually yesterday when i moved it to the dining room, and it was 2 updates out of date.
  8. betman macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2013
    You mean "off," right?
  9. Nightarchaon macrumors 65816


    Sep 1, 2010
    no i have auto update ON, its never prompted me to update, and its never auto updated...

    seem to be stuck between the two settings :(
  10. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    You would probably have to plug a computer in between the Apple TV and the router and have it sniff the IP's as the Apple TV goes about it's business.
  11. elementary, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014

    elementary macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2012
    I actually did this myself, because I run an older Apple TV 2 2010 (720p) and want it to stay on software version 5.3 (the post iOS-7 updates run like crap and make it extremely slow and laggy).

    There are hypothetically two ways to do this. First, a very old thread from 2008 about blocking updates on the older AppleTVs:

    Stop the device from accessing (Apple software update server). Now, there are two ways (I suppose) you could do this.

    - Jailbreak your Apple TV.
    - Use the Apple Configurator profiles to add a filter to the device and block the Apple software update web site. (I haven't tried this).

    I chose #1, since you can jailbreak a AppleTV2 2010 at any time unlike later models. So I made a jailbroken 5.3 image using Seas0npass and installed it on my AppleTV.

    The directions change slightly compared to the old thread. We'll modify the /etc/hosts file but the frontrow account is no longer accessible.

    0. Jailbreak your AppleTV with Seas0npass.
    1. open Terminal app
    2. ssh -2 root@[IP address of your AppleTV]
    3. you'll login as root. The password for root with a Seas0npassed-Apple TV is 'alpine'. (Google "Seas0npass ssh root password" if you can't find this or it changes in the future).
    4. echo " >> /etc/hosts
    5. cat /etc/hosts
    6. Confirm that the entry was added to the list.
    7. logout
    8. close terminal.

    Since you're root, you'll need to use a different path relative to hosts than the old frontrow account from the other thread.

    Now I check "Update Software" under Settings, and AppleTV fails immediately and returns "the software update could not be downloaded at this time", which is exactly what I want.

    With a later AppleTV, you can't use the seas0npass/root access directly, so you should use Apple Configurator to set a filter profile on your AppleTV, and add "" to the blocked list.

    *#2: Protocol 1 no longer seems to work as in 2008 (I'm not an ssh guru, don't ask me what that means).
  12. mtneer macrumors 68030


    Sep 15, 2012
    My AppleTV has auto downloaded new apps whenever they get released. But the OS never gets updated without me reading about it on the internet, going into settings, manually checking for an update and opting to install it.

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