XBMC on Apple TV 2nd Gen iOS 4.3 (4.2.2 firmware)

Jailbreaking 101 – Seas0nPass

Seas0nPass.jpgNOTE: Seas0nPass provides an ‘un-tethered’ jailbreak for the latest 4.2.2 (iOS 4.3) AppleTV software. This means the steps found under the “Using Seas0nPass for a tethered boot” section can be skipped.

Download Links

Seas0nPass for Mac (check for updates first) [10.6 or later] or direct link (0.7.8)
Seas0nPass for Windows [XP or later]
Troubleshooting tips

 


Pre-launch checklist

  1. Latest version of iTunes.
  2. Latest version of Seas0nPass (use links above).
  3. micro USB cable.
  4. Disconnect any iPods, iPhones, and iPads from your computer.

Using Seas0nPass to jailbreak the AppleTV

Step 1: Unzip the ‘Seas0nPass.zip’ file and launch Seas0nPass.

SP-launch.jpg

Step 2: Select the ‘Create IPSW’ button to start the jailbreak process.

SP-main.jpg

Step 3: The latest AppleTV software will be downloaded and used to create a custom ‘jailbroken’ software file.

SP-create.jpg

Step 4: When prompted, connect your AppleTV using a micro-USB cable (leave power disconnected), and hold both the ‘MENU’ and ‘PLAY/PAUSE’ buttons for 7 seven seconds.

SP-restore.jpg

Step 5: iTunes will open automatically and start the restore process.

SP-itunes.jpg

Step 6: iTunes will confirm the restore when complete – your AppleTV is now jailbroken!

If you’re using a version prior to seas0npass 0.7.8 you might want to consider this:

Be sure you’ve entered DFU Mode properly! That’s the only advice i give you, cuz that 
was the only problem in my last 300+ tries.

To be sure of the atv being in DFU, check if the light is blinking constantly but not as
fast as if you’re holding down menu and play/pause. I followed the exact order
displayed at http://support.firecore.com/entries/387605. As Seasonpass displays that
the iTunes script failed I entered iTunes and alt-selected the custom ISPW at the
root direcotry and IT WORKED trust me. Be sure of being in DFU Mode and you’ll be fine.

You will now see the Seas0nPass menu after connecting the AppleTV to your TV. (Note: An option to hide this menu is available when clicking ‘More Info’)

Seas0nPass.jpg


Using Seas0nPass for a ‘tethered boot’

Note: The tethered boot steps described below are not required for the current AppleTV 4.2.2 [iOS 4.3] software.

Some AppleTV software versions require a tethered boot. This means the AppleTV must be connected to a computer for a brief moment during startup.

Note: The AppleTV MUST be disconnected from the computer (for at least a brief moment) after restoring in iTunes for the tethered boot process below to work properly.

Step 1: Open Seas0nPass and select the ‘Boot Tethered’ option.

SP-main.jpg

Step 2: When prompted, connect the AppleTV to your computer via USB. Wait for the rapid flashing light then connect the power. Once both are connected hold both the ‘MENU’ and ‘PLAY/PAUSE’ buttons for 7 seven seconds.

SP-tetherprompt.jpg

Step 3: Seas0n Pass will complete the tethered boot automatically. Once complete, remove the USB cable and connect the HDMI cable.

Note: Timing is key. Once the you receive the success message shown below, the USB cable should be removed and HDMI cable connected before the light on the front of the AppleTV stops flashing. (Don’t worry there is ample to do this, so you don’t need Superman speed).

SP-tethercomplete.jpg

How to Install XBMC on Apple TV 2

 

You can follow this tutorial that will install nivoTV which I recommend because it comes with a lot of running options and from there you have xbmc package available from your appletv. Else, follow this tutorial.

xbmc on appletv2

The excellent media center software XBMC has finally come to Apple TV 2, but beyond being a great media center, if you’re wondering why else you should care I’ll sum it up in one word: 1080p. Yes, using XBMC, you can unleash 1080p video playback on the $99 Apple TV2… the playback suffers from occasional choppiness on uncompressed bluray video, but hey it’s the first release, and could make the ATV2 the cheapest 1080p video playback device on the market.

You’ll need the following to get started:

We’ll now walk through the process of both jailbreaking the AppleTV2 and installing XBMC:

Jailbreaking the Apple TV2

The first thing you’ll need to do is to jailbreak your Apple TV, this is made remarkably easy withSeas0nPass, which is arguably one of the easiest jailbreak apps out there for any iOS hardware. If you’re familiar with the process of jailbreaking an iPhone this will be very familiar to you, here’s a quick overview:

  • Download and launch Seas0nPass (Direct Download link)
  • Click on the “Create IPSW” button, this will download and create a custom jailbroken IPSW file
  • You’ll now want to connect the Apple TV to your computer using a Micro USB cable, and then put the AppleTV into DFU mode (follow instructions on the screen for this)
  • Once in DFU, iTunes will launch and start to restore the Apple TV with the custom IPSW Seas0nPass created, this is how the jailbreak is actually installed
  • After the AppleTV is jailbroken, you’ll need to disconnect it from your computer briefly and then perform what is called a tethered boot. This basically just means you have to assist the bootloader by connecting it to your computer and using Seas0nPass again, but this time selecting ‘Boot Tethered’ from the menu
  • Follow the instructions to tethered boot your newly jailbroken AppleTV

Now that your Apple TV2 is jailbroken, you can install the XBMC software onto it.

Install XBMC on the AppleTV 2

Installing XBMC is just a matter of using SSH to connect to the newly jailbroken ATV2 to download and install the software. Here are the instructions from the XBMC team:

ssh root@128.9.9.9 (fill in your own ATV IP address)

When prompted for your password, enter ‘alpine’ if you haven’t changed it. Now you’ll want to install the XBMC software, execute each of these commands independently:

echo "deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/atv2 ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list

Next use apt-get:

apt-get update

And finally, install the software:

apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2

When XBMC has completed installing, your AppleTV’s built-in media manager FrontRow will restart itself and you will see XBMC in the list of options, just select it to launch XBMC.

I haven’t had the chance to try this out myself yet, but apparently XBMC runs quite well. 720p video runs beautifully as expected, but some uncompressed 1080p videos have occasional stuttering and choppiness as you can see in the video below from Engadget. It’s possible that the stuttering may be resolved with future software updates that better optimize hardware acceleration:


If you don’t have an Apple TV you can still setup a media center on any Mac by using Plex or XBMC. It’s simple, just download the software, grab an HDMI adapter and AUX cable, and your Mac is now a media center.

Oh and while we’re on the topic of XBMC, perhaps less useful but still interesting is that it was also just released for iPhone and iPad. This too requires a jailbreak, and the XBMC app can be found via Cydia.

 

 

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