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How to: Install XBMC on AppleTV (Jailbreak)

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xbmcPhoto credit: RogierN (Flickr)

We posted our guide  “How to: Jailbreak AppleTV using greenpois0n (RC6)” back in February 2011, now in January 2012 we’ve been pleased to deliver our guide on, How To: Jailbreak AppleTV 4.4.4 with Seas0nPass (Untethered). These guides took users through the necessary process to jailbreak AppleTV as an untethered device. We want more from the AppleTV 2G though; for example the ability to watch video content that’s located on our local network but not necessarily from an iTunes host, or for that matter, in an Apple format. How about the ability to decode 1080p content (still displayed in 720p though)? With us? Then you need to install XBMC upon your AppleTV (2nd Generation).

XBMC or XBOX Media Centre as it’s known on the weekend, has been around for years. Initially designed as an alternative dashboard for modded original XBOXes and later forked to run on other popular devices such as BOXEE, we’re delighted its available for AppleTV too. Here’s how you* can install it too:

  • If you haven’t already, jailbreak your AppleTV
  • Open Terminal (Under Applications > Utilities)
  • Type in ssh root@apple-tv.local
  • (If apple-tv.local doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to find and then enter your Apple TV’s local IP address)
  • If prompted, accept the certificate
  • Enter password “alpine” when prompted (without the quotes)
  • Type in the following one command at a time and answer yes as appropriate

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

apt-get update

apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2

  • Enjoy a few sips of your preferred drink whilst you wait for XBMC to install
  • AppleTV will automatically reboot when installation is complete
  • Enjoy using XBMC

*  assumes you are using a Mac to carry out the installation – can work on a Windows computer too, you just need to open your favourite SSH client and enter appropriate settings

If you’ve recommendations for plugins or apps to use within XBMC then please share them here.

Updated 3rd Jan 2012

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  • Ricky42

    Hi, any (good) news about the iPlayer on ATV2? Looking forward getting the iPlayer on my new Apple TV 2G. Thanks!

  • Ricky42

    Hey, just got ATV2 (iOS 4.3) and iPlayer working using the latest XMBC “Unofficial semi-nightly builds” org.xbmc-032611 … -6374166b.deb. I can watch some content, but not all.

  • djthomas

    Hey Ricky/all, any chance of a step-by-step please for BBC iPlayer/Apple TV? I have a jailbroken Apple TV 2 with XMBC installed. Copied ‘plugin.video.iplayer’ folder to an entirely new directory I created on my Apple TV at root/Applications/XBMC.frappliance/XBMCData/XBMCHome/addons but it’s not showing up in the list of add-ons within the ‘Videos’ section of XBMC on the Apple TV.
    Please help – can’t find the BBC iPlayer on the Plex app either (even though it runs fine on my Mac).
    Thanks and all the best!

  • Cazz87

    BBC iPlayer would be awesome.

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