Author Topic: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director  (Read 4263 times)

johnycanal

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Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« on: April 04, 2008, 09:11:09 pm »
Hi all - I realize there's a few threads on turning Apple TVs into Media Directors such as

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2474.0   and

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2358.0

but I'm curious about the device's limited movement into the Linux MCE world. Given the $229 price and sweet form factor, it seems that the box is screaming to be used as an affordable, and powerful, Media Director. I'm guessing there's a few people thinking about mounting one of these behind their LCD/plasma screens.

Is anyone out there thinking the same thing or had any luck setting it up?


jtgamble

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2008, 11:50:44 pm »
I haven't personally tried it (still working on my setup) but one of the problems may be that it doesn't support 1080p. That is the one thing stopping me from trying it to be honest. Other than that, I do believe people have used it and it is working for them.

johnycanal

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2008, 06:37:46 pm »
True, Apple TV does not currently support 1080p.  It displays at 1080i; which, at $229 for such a small box, I would have thought there'd be more interest in making it something more useful -- like a Media Director.

Looking at the alternatives, a Fiire Box for $499 or similar barebones PC for $400 - $500, I'm guessing that there is some other reason why people aren't snapping up ATVs and hacking them into MDs.

Maybe I'm missing the point. Is there some other preferred hardware that I'm overlooking?

nesci2

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2009, 04:37:25 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?

(Apologies about the multiple posts, but I'm not sure which is still active)

wombiroller

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2009, 04:59:54 am »
The ASUS Eee Box seems to be an alternative around the same price...  :)
http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6365.0

colinjones

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2009, 06:37:54 am »
No, not in its current form and certainly not by a noob, it would need quite a bit of technical know how to get it going (if at all).

As wombiroller said, look at the ASUS eee box. Or for even cheaper the MSI Wind PC, with caveats.. search recent posts under my name and "MSI Wind PC"

Zaerc

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2009, 01:19:08 pm »
Apple obviously does not want you to use their hardware in such a way, so why even bother?  There are plenty much more viable alternatives as the others have pointed out.  And with the upcoming 0810 release a lot more hardware will be supported right out of the box (that required tweaking under 0710).
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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Schroeder

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 07:38:50 pm »
One reason that ATV can show 1080i content with such a small footprint is that it relies heavily on GPU decoding of the video stream. without that extra umph ATV will only be able to play standard-def streams.
Correct me if I am wrong, but LinuxMCE does not support GPU video decoding. 
How-ever it is supported in MythTV if using XvMC because it has an Nvidia GPU.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 08:33:36 pm by Schroeder »

colinjones

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 10:47:58 pm »
Its nothing to do with what LMCE supports. If your video driver provides support for GPU decoding and presents an OpenGL interface to that, then your video will be decoded in hardware. The main problem with GPU manufacturers is the shitty state of their proprietary drivers and that they are usually unwilling to release OSS drivers or even hardware specifications to build one (and reverse engineering a GPU's interface is a major task). There are some out there, nVidia now has some level of support for PV (PureVideo, a decoding function) for Linux and others are doing the same. Nevertheless, I often use 720p and 1080i video streams purely in software and don't really have a problem with a decent CPU.

los93sol

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2009, 03:23:21 pm »
I just picked up one of these and have already started tweaking it.  I found that there is a bootloader you can use to netboot the device, and that it is already possible to run linux on the box so maybe I'll try it and cross my fingers.  I assume this is moot though and that due to architecture issues with the libs it will just bomb out, but I'll be giving this a go sometime this week and will post back.

colinjones

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 02:12:39 am »
Apple obviously does not want you to use their hardware in such a way, so why even bother?  There are plenty much more viable alternatives as the others have pointed out.  And with the upcoming 0810 release a lot more hardware will be supported right out of the box (that required tweaking under 0710).

Actually, Zearc, I just thought of one good reason we would like to get AppleTV working with LinuxMCE as a PXE MD... converting existing ATV owners to LMCE! Imagine how easy this would be if you could just plonk a core in the network and tell them to reboot their ATV from network, then demonstrate the functions. At any time they can reboot back again and no impact. ATV owners could even setup a core and leave it online then boot back and forth whenever they feel like it... they get used to LMCE without having to make a wholesale change... salami tactics (piece by piece!)

Zaerc

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009, 02:10:57 pm »
Apple obviously does not want you to use their hardware in such a way, so why even bother?  There are plenty much more viable alternatives as the others have pointed out.  And with the upcoming 0810 release a lot more hardware will be supported right out of the box (that required tweaking under 0710).

Actually, Zearc, I just thought of one good reason we would like to get AppleTV working with LinuxMCE as a PXE MD... converting existing ATV owners to LMCE! Imagine how easy this would be if you could just plonk a core in the network and tell them to reboot their ATV from network, then demonstrate the functions. At any time they can reboot back again and no impact. ATV owners could even setup a core and leave it online then boot back and forth whenever they feel like it... they get used to LMCE without having to make a wholesale change... salami tactics (piece by piece!)

You're missing the point here, apple is obviously going to fight tooth and nail to make it that easy.  Just look at their crappy iphone which actually needs to be hacked if you want to use another telecom provider. 
"Change is inevitable. Progress is optional."
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colinjones

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2009, 09:45:18 pm »
No, I was missing your point but making one of my own :) Yes, I agree, Apple are worse for "proprietary" than M$ in these cases! Nevetheless, as if someone gets it to work (doubtful!) then I'm sure you agree that it would be handy in our conversion crusades in the way I suggested?

tailspower2001

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2009, 11:38:39 pm »
Will I had to set it up with Windows File Searing and Windows Media Sreaming for it to work with my X-BOX 360 and networked PCs; That's may be all you have to do to get it working with Apple TV.     

totallymaxed

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Re: Apple TV (ATV) as Media Director
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 01:38:55 pm »
Hi all - I realize there's a few threads on turning Apple TVs into Media Directors such as

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2474.0   and

http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=2358.0

but I'm curious about the device's limited movement into the Linux MCE world. Given the $229 price and sweet form factor, it seems that the box is screaming to be used as an affordable, and powerful, Media Director. I'm guessing there's a few people thinking about mounting one of these behind their LCD/plasma screens.

Is anyone out there thinking the same thing or had any luck setting it up?



Well we use VMware to achieve this on Intel Mac laptops with nVidia GPU's... we have not tried this on an AppleTV... but in principle it should work. We just use VMware to deliver a 'virtual BIOS'... set the PXE boot options in VMware for the VMimage you created and thats about all you need to do. Then just 'boot' your VMware image and allow your Core to autodetect it and it will add itself just like any other compatible PC ;-)

We have had good success with UI1 using the above technique and the added advantage is that you can drop in and out of the MD and back into the mac Desktop at anytime even while playing a movie or watching some TV.

All the best

Andrew
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