Last year, I had no idea what to purchase for my partner for christmas – so because she is a avid user of Apple products I thought I would purchase and Apple TV for her.
The device itself I found to be quite a good form factor, very small so it wont take up a lot of room.
Upon opening the present she was surprised and full of joy, then she asked can we use this instead of what we have now?
At that point in time we were using an old laptop connected to a TV and amplifier to stream things that we had downloaded – I thought to myself of course we can, and we can get rid of that eyesore of a laptop.
Then I began to think more of it and recalled that Apple tend to only support a limited number of playback formats, the majority of the files that we were currently downloading or had downloaded were not part of this list.
This was an issue, because it meant we would have this new device that basically wouldnt do what our old Dell laptop could.
However, after some google searches I happened to find http://firecore.com
Firecore really opens up the capabilities of the Apple TV whilst still leaving intact Apples own software. So you can still use Airplay, iTunes and everything you would normally expect of an Apple TV 1 or 2.
Firecore is not free, although depending on the software version of your Apple TV the jailbreak http://support.firecore.com/entries/387605-jailbreaking-101-seas0npass is.This will allow you to SSH into your ATV and start using things such as wget to obtain packages. Initially when I set my first device up, I used Seas0nPass to jailbreak, then SSH to gain command line access to download the packages required to install XBMC – if your ATV 2 is version 4.4.4 or 4.4.3 this is still possible. If you like me, unfortunately upgraded to iOS 5 without saving the SHSH blobs from your old software version, paying for firecore is the best option as XBMC for iOS5 is currently slow and buggy.
What about the Apple TV 3? – Firecore are working quite hard at implementing there system on the ATV3 but the ability to access the underlying system is proving to be a very daunting task.
So at this point in time, if you want to improve your playback capabilities and functionality of your AppleTV 1 or 2 check out firecore, and possibly in the future they could even have software for the ATV 3.