Get hack-tastic with Apple TV

Written by Wil Harris

March 26, 2007 | 12:27

Tags: #apache #hacks #remote-desktop #tv

Companies: #apple #divx

Apple's new TV plug-in has barely been shipping for a few days, but already the hackerati have been clawing into its plastic-housed secrets.

The Apple TV, for those that don't know, is a box that contains a 1GHz Dothan processor and 40GB hard drive. You can transfer iTunes content to it, then watch that content on your HDTV.

Of course, one of the big limitations is that it only works with iTunes video and audio, or video that has been specifically converted to work with it (the latest version of QuickTime Pro includes an 'Export to Apple TV' option). So, in order to combat some of these limitations, AppleTVHacks.net has been set up!

On it, you can find instructions for enabling Divx playback, which will open up the device to the vast majority of content around. You can also learn how to swap out the 40GB hard drive for something a little bigger to store more content.

Even more bizarrely, there are instructions for installing SSH and Apache on it, to use as a cheap and cheerful web server, and tips for enabling Remote Desktop for virtual administration of the box.

And if you're feeling the need for some Apple TV love but don't actually want to buy the device, you can download the OS and install it on your Mac Mini or other compatible hardware. Which, obviously, is slightly illegal.

Reviews have popped up all over the place, praising the Apple TV for its combination of good looks and ease of use. However, those of us in Europe have one simple thing to point out - there's no video content available on iTunes in Europe, so what's the point? Even Apple has noticed this, removing all mentions of TV content from its UK website, instead suggesting that customers enjoy 'home videos'. Err, great.

Have you picked up an Apple TV? Are you hacking it? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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