Author Topic: AppleTV as Media Director?  (Read 6609 times)

RDAC

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AppleTV as Media Director?
« on: September 13, 2007, 07:25:09 pm »
I've heard of some folks with reported success in getting linux up and running on appleTV hardware.

http://www.mythic-beasts.com/resources/appletv/

It would be very interesting if someone got it working and loaded up linuxMCE on it.

table9

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 08:03:55 pm »
Rdac,
We have been talking about this in this thread.
http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2358.0

Getting linux on there can be done, but the best solution seems to be adding myth tv on the OS natively.  If we can get the distro to work natively with OSx it would allow both apple tv and the mac mini to be media directors.  I will be testing apple tv in a couple of weeks when I get the other functionality working.  Disadvantage is you lose the non myth functionality.  Links to get it in OSx are included in the thread above.

darrenmason

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2007, 05:20:14 am »
I don't know if I agree that it would be the best solution - at least in the context on linuxMCE.
Just getting MythTV frontend on it is not puttling linuxMCE on it - it just becomes another MythTV frontend for which you can currently use a modded xbox or various other things.

The advantage of using it would to be get it to run as a full media director - because it is relatively inexpensive and looks nice plus it seems to have the bits that an MD needs (TV out, DVD drive, remote control, low noise, SFF, good audio out).
If you are going to be happy with MythTV functionality then I would suggest don't bother with linuxMCE at all - it just makes it harder. Just go with a dedicated MythTV distribution.


table9

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007, 06:26:51 am »
Darren,
Yes I agree the goal is full LMCE on it.  Right now to do so you have to install linux on the ATV and then get all of the drivers working.  Check the links on the other thread for more information on the install process and what is and isn't working.   I am pretty sure in a short amount of time the Linux install will be good enough to directly install LMCE on it with no major issues.  Until those are resolved is you want basic functionality you may want to go with the the Myth for apple install.  The best solution IMO be a LMCE that would natively install on OSx similar to the myth install I have linked to.  I will be trying both the linux and native myth installs and report back on how I do.   

table9

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2007, 06:40:53 am »
Links so you do not need to go to the other thread


Linux install not Kubuntu but should be doable
http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Linux_on_Apple_TV

Myth on Mac (should be doable to get LMCE on it)
http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/Installing_MythFrontend_on_an_AppleTV

Link from 1audio on resources to get Linux on ATV
http://www.mythic-beasts.com/resources/appletv/

gnomeza

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2007, 02:12:36 am »
Related to getting AppleTV to run as a media director:

I have a MythTV frontend running on a minimal Debian etch installation on my AppleTV.

Currently, the major stumbling block to having a Linux distro automagically install is that the firmware on the AppleTV will only load Apple-signed bootloaders.

To get Linux installed, or have LinuxMCE netboot it, requires installing a secondary bootloader (the one from MysticBeasts).

This can be done by either:
  • removing the harddrive from the AppleTV, mounting it on another machine and installing everything
  • forcing the AppleTV to boot off a USB stick - requiring that you have a copy of the proprietary Apple bootloader on your USB stick already

The first option voids the warranty and doesn't qualify as "automagically installing", and the second involves a non-distributable Apple binary.


1audio

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2007, 07:42:04 am »
Is there something special about the hard drive or could a generic drive be substituted and the original stored should warranty service be needed? What video formats does the Myth setup support on that platform?

gnomeza

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 05:06:34 am »
Is there something special about the hard drive or could a generic drive be substituted and the original stored should warranty service be needed?
Nothing special about the harddrive at all. The one in mine is a Fujitsu MHW2040A: a 2.5" 40GB drive with 44-pin ATA interface.

What video formats does the Myth setup support on that platform?
Any formats that MythTV normally supports. lavc, x264, xvid, divx, mpeg2 are all faultless at SD resolutions.  I haven't tested any HD media, it may be possible.

1audio

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 05:37:00 am »
Do you know which Nvidia graphics system is in it? I had thought it was an Intel system but your note said Nvidia.

table9

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2007, 06:02:59 am »
From:
http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Linux_on_Apple_TV

Hardware Support

Much of the AppleTV's hardware is supported natively under the Linux kernel. In this section, we will be expanding on the Linux driver details.

Intel CPU Core

    * Speedstep functionality - WORKING

GeForce 7300 Go (NV40) Note: framebuffer fixes in SVN as of April 6, 2007 - please recompile

    * Official NVidia binary driver works without modification. Full 3D and framebuffer acceleration.
    * OSS NVidia driver works without modification (also provides acceleration)

(==) NV(0): Write-combining range (0x10000000,0x4000000)
(II) NV(0): Using XFree86 Acceleration Architecture (XAA)
   Screen to screen bit blits
   Solid filled rectangles
   8x8 mono pattern filled rectangles
   Indirect CPU to Screen color expansion
   Solid Lines
   Scanline Image Writes
   Offscreen Pixmaps
   Setting up tile and stipple cache:
   32 128x128 slots
   32 256x256 slots
   16 512x512 slots

    * HDMI - WORKING (DVI tested)
    * Component working using a single cable (chinch cable at the green video output connected to the yellow video input of my old 4:3 CRT-TV). Colors are fine and so you don't need a video converter box (as suggested in many forums). Tested using the binary nvidia driver and this config:

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Card0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "nVidia Corporation"
    BoardName      "Quadro NVS 110M / GeForce Go 7300"
#    Option         "MetaModes" "1680x1050"
#    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP,TV"
    Option         "TVStandard" "PAL-B"
    Option         "UseDisplayDevice" "TV"
EndSection


Intel HD Audio

    * HDA-Intel driver recognized by default
    * Analog RCA - WORKING (see http://forum.awkwardtv.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=167&hilit=&start=70)
    * Optical SPDIF - WORKING
    * HDMI - apparently NOT WORKING

irDA interface

    * mactel-linux driver recognizes it - untested otherwise
    * first signal from apple remote is somewhat recognized. Any following signals are not reported. After reloading usbhid module another signal is reported (using cat with /dev/input/by-id/usb-Apple_Computer,_Inc._IR_Receiver-event-ir)

patch appleir.c to include the AppleTV IR USB id (#define USB_DEVICE_ID_APPLE_TV_IR 0x8241) in the same way as USB_DEVICE_ID_APPLE_IR and it will work.

    * Apple_TV_Linux_IR_Howto details the userspace method.

Broadcom BCM94321MC wireless

    * NDISWrapper Windows drivers - WORKING with a Dell Driver and ndiswrapper 1.41


USB

    * USB booting works when you disable ehci-hcd in kernel
    * possible to boot Linux from USB Flash memory?
    * USB HID working (keyboard, mouse), but not with ehci-hcd
    * USB Storage working (tested with usb memory stick), but not with ehci-hcd



nite_man

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 10:23:55 am »
As I see AppleTV is the best and cheapest candidate for VESA mounted MD. It'd be very-very good to setup that box as MD. I think it's possible. I heard that one guy have installed Kubuntu on AppleTV and was able watch 1080p! I need to contact with him if I'll able to do that.

BTW, I don't understand why PC producers don't make something similar (I'm talking about functionality not the price). All VESA mounted PCs are based on VIA chipsets. Why they cannot use nVidia as Apple does?
Michael Stepanov,
My setup: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Nite_man#New_setup
Russian LinuxMCE community: http://linuxmce.ru

table9

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 06:51:19 am »
nite_man,
Can you forward the information once you locate it?  I have been meaning to work on this for a while but have been fighting other issues with my integration and am very interested in this solution.

nite_man

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2008, 09:41:32 am »
nite_man,
Can you forward the information once you locate it?  I have been meaning to work on this for a while but have been fighting other issues with my integration and am very interested in this solution.

Sure. I'll share it.
Michael Stepanov,
My setup: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/User:Nite_man#New_setup
Russian LinuxMCE community: http://linuxmce.ru

nesci2

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2009, 04:36:25 am »
Hi All,

Sorry I'm a noob, so please be gentle.

I'm keen to know more about the Apple TV as a Media Director option, but searching these posts I can't seem to get a definitive answer.

Can the Apple TV be used as a Media Director with LinuxMCE?

colinjones

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Re: AppleTV as Media Director?
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 04:48:02 am »
As I see AppleTV is the best and cheapest candidate for VESA mounted MD. It'd be very-very good to setup that box as MD. I think it's possible. I heard that one guy have installed Kubuntu on AppleTV and was able watch 1080p! I need to contact with him if I'll able to do that.

BTW, I don't understand why PC producers don't make something similar (I'm talking about functionality not the price). All VESA mounted PCs are based on VIA chipsets. Why they cannot use nVidia as Apple does?

nite_man - with the new nVidia chipset that type of thing is bound to start coming out! I think it was either 9200 or 9400 video, plus all the rest of the n/sbridge stuff on a motherboard that can fit in the palm of your hand! Add CPU and memory and off you go - ultra low power, imagine how small the MD would be :)