Saturday, July 12, 2008
AppleTV 2.1 update - patchstick applied
Yesterday Apple released the 2.1 firmware of AppleTV. Like many others, I have my AppleTV patchsticked (jailbroken, hacked, or whatever you want to call it). So I hasitated to do the update (was still running 2.01). But after reading at the awkwardtv.org wiki I thought to give it a try.
The updated went just fine, within about 10 to 15 minutes the new firmware was downloaded and installed and working just fine. The biggest new features are MobileMe support and the new remote control from an iPhone or iPod Touch support. I had already updated my iPod Touch (grrr no iPhones left yesterday in my store) to the 2.0 software, which enables it to use applications from the App Store. On of the apps there is the 'Remote' app by Apple and its free. What this does is give you the ability to control your AppleTV or iTunes on Windows or Mac machine. Really cool and for AppleTV very nice to listen to music without having to turn on your TV.
Now for the patchstick part. I had a USB stick still lying around with the patchstick software on it, just a simple one that installs sshd (secure shell access). That worked just fine and after the patch I restarted it and everything is ok. Now ssh is available on to installing the plugins nitoTV, ATVFiles and Couchsurfer. Had to do the first two by hand and Couchesurfer installed through the nitoTV 'install software' menu. Also did all the other nitoTV installs (perian, mplayer codecs, kext load, smartUpdater). What's missing is afp. Had to install to that throught the commandline. The patchstick did some wrong copying of a Kerberos framework, so had to fix that. Setup the mounts to my movies, music and tv shows (hosted on a linux server running netatalk which gives you afp access to linux).
But not everything is working for the moment. nitoTv already issued an updated version for the 2.1 release which runs perfectly. But Couchesurfer and ATVFiles have some problems. Couchesurfer crashes a lot when leaving the page you're viewing and my bookmarks and history don't show up. ATVFiles works for music, but when starting a movie (m4v h.264) or a tv show (divx/xvid) the Finder restarts. So for now I have to use nitoTV to watch this type of content. For TV shows that's fine, but for movies there is a little problem still in nitoTV. When a m4v file has an ac3 stream (and that's how I convert all my DVDs) you loose the AC3 output when you pause or skip through the movie. On startup it's outputting AC3 just fine. This did not happen in ATVFiles on 2.01 and also does not happen when playing through AppleTVs own 'Movies' menu (using synced content).
Hope this little article helps some of you. Leave a comment if you have any questions, maybe I can be of help.
update: The ATVFiles problem has to do with AC3, if you turn off AC3 passthrough in the settings movies will play fine, but without the nice dolby digital sound track of course. Found the problem description in the AwkwardTV forum.
update 2: Good news on ATVFiles, the developer is working on fixing the AC3 crash problem, there's already some new code checked in, now we wait for the compiled update :-).
update 3:I fetched ATVFiles from svn (build 440) and compiled and installed it. The AC3 problem is fixed with that build. The official release for ATVFiles 1.1.1 is not there yet, but it looks like this will be the one.
update 4:ATVFiles 1.1.1 for AppleTV 2.1 has been officially released. Build 444 is the one being released.