sell me on hacking my Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by scottiep, Jun 7, 2008.

  1. scottiep macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2008
    I'm intrigued by all the "patchstick" hacks, and would like to add some functionality to my Apple TV. But, I need some explanation as to the need for all the different codecs that people are clamoring for.

    I'm not experienced in swapping videos through torrents--is this the reason many users like the added codecs? Is this a way for me to get more content on my Apple TV? Does this practice put you at risk from a legal standpoint?

    My only experience is 1.) ripping my DVDs to view on my Mac/Apple TV/iPhone and 2.) copying (then encoding) video streams from my DVR to my Mac for viewing on Mac/Apple TV/iPhone.

    I'd love to cut down on the time I spend encoding files--I'd love to play max quality stuff on the Apple TV and save me the time encoding.

    Do any hacks allow for playing DVD disc images or .iso files?

    What about transport streams from my DVR (.ts files)?

    any help is appreciated,

  2. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    Standard ATV canot play Divx, mpeg etc. movies. By adding codecs to a patched aTV, you get the possibility to use many more different file formats.

    Some Patchsticks (apparently the one from ATV4Windows) heavily messes around with the bootloader and puts people at risk to brick their ATV.
    As long as you can restore your ATV using factory reset, there is no issue with the warranty.
    Using nitoTV (another plugin), you can play DVD image files.
  3. chas0001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Alicante, SPAIN
    I used ATV4Windows on my 2.0.2 AppleTV and it installed fine. All the features work fine plus I can use an external USB drive and keyboard, mount network disks, FTP and SSH. If anything goes wrong or you decide to uninstall you can just restore to factory (Just like new).
  4. rcrh macrumors newbie

    Jun 13, 2008

    Are you sure that a factory reset completely removed the ATV4windows patches? I've been playing with one for a week and I can't get SMB mounts to work. If I don't sort it out today I'm giving up and taking the atv back.
  5. tom1971 macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2007
    Yes, a factory restore should do that. Unless Cisco screwed up his newest patch...
    Anyway, i am not really sure if I should sell anyone on hacking their ATV, since our self-declared SuperModerator and Informer MikieMikie as around and checking the threads... :eek:
  6. chas0001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Alicante, SPAIN
    A factory restore will definitely get rid of any hacks because it restores the OSBoot and Media partitions from a non writable partition on the AppleTV called Apple_Recovery

    -bash-2.05b$ diskutil list

    #: type name size identifier
    0: GUID_partition_scheme *37.3 GB disk0
    1: EFI 34.0 MB disk0s1
    2: Apple_Recovery 400.0 MB disk0s2
    3: Apple_HFS OSBoot 900.0 MB disk0s3
    4: Apple_HFS Media 35.8 GB disk0s4
  7. ejsjrnc macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2008
    The main draw to hacking for me was to enable divx playback. The other part is I just like doing that kind of stuff. I was moving stuff on and off my Tivo before I got the appleTV and before it was really practical to do so.

    I've got a pretty extensive collection of TV shows in avi format that I really didn't want to spend the time transcoding to mp4 to play on my ATV. I did it with a few series so that I could watch them on my iPod, but the time invested to do it was not really worth it in my opinion.

    Plus, it's easy to find all of the newest releases out on teh internets :D in divx format. I can watch them in a matter of moments as opposed to spending 12 or more hours transcoding to mp4.
  8. gtg941f macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2008
    Are you sure about this? ATV4Windows messed up on my ATV. Everything appeared to be going well, then on the final restart after the patching screen it just rebooted to a normal ATV home with no modifications installed. Now my boot sequence is all screwed up as it shows the ATV4W splash screen, then the Apple splash, then goes into the "ATV4W Patching..." screen everytime the ATV is rebooted.

    I clicked Factory Restore in the settings and it is doing nothing to clean up the boot sequence. It's still the same crappy sequence described above.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Did you image your ATV's hard drive before modding it?
  10. gtg941f macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2008
  11. chas0001 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Alicante, SPAIN
    Sorry that you are having problems. I think that the issue is with the patchstick updater itself. There has been a fall out between the programmer of the patchstick (versions 2.3 and above) and the administrator of ATVPatch leaving the project in disarray. Your AppleTV is only part modded.

    Leave a message in the ATVPatch (previously ATV4Windows) forums, you should be able to get help from the administrator directly.
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Cave Man's first commandment of ATV hacking: Thou shalt always make a backup drive image of thou Apple TV hard drive before hacking it. ;)

    Seriously, though, you could be in real trouble getting it back. If your other partitions, you're going to have a heck of a time restoring without an image.
  13. WilliamLondon macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2006
    I hacked mine a few months ago. Bought it first day it came out and tried several times (unsuccessfully) to do the patchstick USB thing. Finally, I relented and cracked the case and quickly discovered it's not nearly as difficult as it sounded. Now it runs nitoTV and I just fugu all the files over to the ATV and I'm able to watch any file type now! I love the ATV - so much so that I got rid of my cable tv and DVR.

  14. Donz0r macrumors 6502a

    Jun 29, 2006
    i had no trouble hacking it last night using iClarify's guide.
    to get the Apple TV 1.1 update I just searched the .dmg and torrented it.
    I installed ATVfiles via the iClarify guide and perian via the engadget guide, and transferred transformers.mkv to my Movies folder for ATVFiles, but when I click on Files, all that shows up is the Media folder...

    I'm not trying to hijack your thread, but just chiming in that i had no trouble hacking via patchstick.
  15. David R macrumors 6502

    Nov 10, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    I had mine hacked for a while but I noticed that its performance kept getting slower and slower so I just restored it. I haven't tried it again.

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