Home Entertainment: Hack Apple TV
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Home Entertainment: Hack Apple TV2:24 /
Add media center and Web site capabilities to your Apple TV.
The Apple TV is an excellent little device if you limit yourself to the Apple universe of music, video, and podcasts. Who wants to be limited? I'm Tom Merritt from CNET.com, and I'll show you how to add DivX, AVI and more to your Apple TV. XBMC is free and open source software for Windows, Linux, and OS X that many consider the best media center software out there. It grew out of the mod chips used on the original Xbox. Because it can run on OS X, that means it'll run on the Apple TV, which runs OS X. Boxee, is a service based on XBMC that is currently in private Alpha. You can get some free invites at www.boxee.tv/cnet. You'll have to download and set that service up separately. Let's get started. Make sure you have your Apple TV, turned off. Then make sure you have a USB stick with at least 1GB of space. Download the ATVUSB-Creator from Google Code. Insert a "bootable" USB drive into your Mac. Run the ATVUSB-Creator Select "ATV patchstick" Make sure the XBMC and Boxee plug-ins are selected. Make sure your USB drive is selected. And press "Create Using." Again, make sure you Apple TV is off...remove the USB drive and plug it into your Apple TV. Power on your Apple TV, and the patchstick will run the ATV bootloader. After the bootloader finishes, remove it and restart your Apple TV. It now has options for Boxee/XBMC on the main menu. Click on Boxee then select Update Boot Launcher--this helps prevent problems with the remote. Then select XMC/Boxee, then Update, and then Boxee. This will download Boxee from the Net. Once it's done installing, restart your Apple TV. Then do the same for XBMC. You'll probably want to explore the FAQs at XBMC and Blog at Boxee to make the most of your new capabilities. That's it for this Insider Secret. I'm Tom Merritt, CNET.com.