?tv on your Mac

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by papadopolis1024, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. papadopolis1024 macrumors 6502

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    #1
  2. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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  3. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #3
    Kind of interesting, not sure of the point, but suppose there is always because we can.

    Will check it out.
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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  5. papadopolis1024 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5

    Congrats! Can I ask a few ?s

    1. How well dose it work (and flaws or bugs?)
    2.How hard was it to do?
     
  6. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

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    #6
    The files were extremely easy to find, if you know where to look.

    Works pretty well. There are a few bugs that were extremely annoying when trying to install the appleTV software. One of which was when quitting the appleTV it would start up again. Another was when launching it would make the sound go to full system volume, which considering i was doing this at 2 oclock in the morning was pretty annoying. Also the appleTV likes to change the resolution around which does get a bit annoying.

    These problems have now gone since i fully completed the install.

    How hard was it? In truth if you aren't afarid to mess around and are reasonably experienced with messing with stuff then it is actually reasonably simple. I went wrong a few times but that is beause it didn't fully read the instructions, just follow the instructions and all should be well. The one major problem though was getting it to view local media. This is because the application wants to be full screen and so entering the details into iTunes was a real pain. There are tips on how to get this to work but i could only get it to work once for about 10 seconds. I went and borrowed my housemates external monitor, once i had this it took 30 seconds to do what i spent about half an hour trying.

    I was also looking in the wrong place to put the iTunes streaming code. I was looking in preferences - appletv. When in fact as the machine recognises the appleTV it appears in the main window just like iPods do.

    So if you aren't afraid to mess around and have a decent backup (i did a full system backup right before trying this) then go ahead. Just read the instructions will save a lot of time.

    I am sure this will probably get broken with any update that apple release e.g 10.4.10 but it was fun to see and playing around with the appleTV interface actually means i am more inclined to buy one. Will just wait until a.) have enough money, b.) have a tv which isn't apart of my iMac.
     
  7. blybug macrumors 6502a

    blybug

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    #7
    I've already had a Mac mini hooked up to my TV for about 6 months, using Front Row as an AppleTV. Getting AppleTV to replace Front Row was just as simple as following this tutorial. The advantages? Check out the screen shot below from my main PowerMac G5's iTunes:

    [​IMG]

    By directing the root-level "Media" folder via symlink to an external 500GB USB drive, I have effectively turned my mini into a giant AppleTV, but with easy access to modify it remotely by VNC, AFP drive sharing, or even SSH. With the added plugins "ATVFiles" which allow playing of non-iTunes compatible media (ie MPEG2, AVI, etc), and the "Exit" plugin, this setup is much friendlier and more elegant than Front Row. The family understands the interface a little better, and the kids are much less likely to accidentally "MENU" themselves out onto the OS desktop. Less need for a keyboard and mouse in the living room.

    When the AppleTV software is running, my PowerMac sees it as a genuine hardware device. I can much more easily manage my content from my main computer, selectively choosing what is sync'ed (with 500GB I've chosen everything :) ). So I've got 150-some odd movies Handbrake'd in and a few dozen episodes of ripped and/or iTMS purchased TV shows. This conveniently creates a remote backup of all my media simultaneously (though the Media folder directory structure and file naming conventions are rather cryptic, all the files are there if needed). Unlike Front Row and other iTunes sharing, the AppleTV software also correctly updates play counts and last played on the mothership which is great for my smart playlists.

    FWIW, I also successfully created a separate boot partition that turns the Mac mini into a pure AppleTV, but I found it to have much less customizability this way.

    PS - one more advantage...I have an old-fashioned 4x3 Sony Wega with only RCA inputs...the Mac mini DVI-->Video adapter works perfectly. From what I understand, the AppleTV would not easily interface with my TV.
     
  8. Jasonbot macrumors 68020

    Jasonbot

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    #8
    That is frikken kewl! But you seem like an expert at harware hacks and the like? Just a few Questions though:

    Isn't it easier to just use fronrow?
    Was it hard or did you just follw a set of instructions from appletvhacks.org?
    Isn't it "technically" illegal to do this since you don't even own an :apple:TV?
    Is it buggy?

    Well Done!
     
  9. blybug macrumors 6502a

    blybug

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    #9
    In some ways, yes (main one being that Front Row is pre-installed and ready to go). But as explained in the longwinded :rolleyes: explanation above, there are a number of advantages not only to the AppleTV interface, but to its convenience and functionality. For me it's mainly better using AppleTV because I can set it up in a way that my wife and kids can easily use it with no confusion or fear of slipping out into the computer underneath. They never really got the hang of Front Row without me navigating to where they wanted to be. The AppleTV interface is somehow more intuitive for them...except for no DVD player :mad:

    Just followed instructions, sir.

    Well I suppose so, but I did buy a computer from the same company at twice the price to act as a media player in my living room, so I don't think Apple has lost a sale to me. Actually having gotten to play with it I'm highly considering buying a real AppleTV for the bedroom. I'm also expecting that the next (Leopard??) version of Front Row will probably be more like AppleTV at which point I may likely go back to the default "legal" install.

    So far all the "bugs" I've noticed are unique to the AppleTV itself, not my "hacked" setup (such as lack of video playlists, can't shuffle music videos, album artwork doesn't always come across...these are all well discussed on the apple.com boards). If anything it's less "buggy" because of the few already available plugins that extend the functionality and lift some of the real AppleTV's limitations.

    Thanks! And I'm no expert on hardware hacks. This was all done without any screwdrivers or case-cracking, just finding the software on the web and following instructions :D
     
  10. BayAreaMacFan macrumors member

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    Feb 8, 2007
    #10
    Where do you find these files? I have an Apple TV already, I just want to replace the current Front Row with the IMO much better one from ATV.
     

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