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Archive:Apple TV 1 FAQ

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Stop hand.png Starting in Kodi v14, support for the BCHD is being dropped from the software.

Apple TV 1 users can use these modified/unofficial versions:




1 General FAQ (all platforms)

1.1 HD video playback

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  • XBMC v10 and up allows the Apple TV to play 720P H.264 encoded videos without any hardware modification.
  • With a Broadcom Crystal HD video decoding card installed XBMC can playback most codecs up to 1080P. *Highly recommended*
  • The original ATV OS will only output 720P from the HDMI port.
  • A Linux-based OS will output full 1080P from the HDMI port.

1.2 Installing the Broadcom Crystal HD

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1.3 USB port

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  • The USB port on the ATV1 can be used for hard drives, wifi, bluetooth, keyboards, mouse, and just about everything else that uses USB.

1.4 Remotes

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  • Apple remote (both white and silver version).
    • How do I bring up the context menu? - Press and hold MENU
    • How do I bring up the OSD during playback? - Press and hold SELECT
  • Any Keyboard such as wired, wireless, bluetooth (by using a USB bluetooth dongle and additional software). This includes "keymotes" such as the Rii or Boxee_Box_remote.
  • Web interfaces, including add-on interfaces
  • XBMC smartphone and tablet remote apps.
  • Other IR remotes can be used with USB IR receivers such as the FLIRC.


1.5 Apple TV 1 case gets hot

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  • This is normal and should not cause any issues. The top of the Apple TV 1 will feel warm or hot because the top part of the cover has a metal plate that acts as a heat sink to both the CPU and GPU. The insides of the unit are not as hot, though even if they were it should still be within acceptable operating temperature.
  • Using a Broadcom Crystal HD card (so the CPU doesn't have to decode as many video codecs) and enabling dirty regions will both decrease CPU usage and make the unit right slightly cooler.
  • Avoid putting the ATV1 in a totally covered space (such as a closed cabinet) and don't place anything on top of it.

2 Linux-based OS

Warning Before installing a Linux-based OS, you will want to make sure that your ATV1 has been updated to the original ATV OS 3.0.2 at least once in order to flash the HDMI controller firmware. You also want to change the original ATV OS settings to "RGB High" in the AV settings.

2.1 Installing XBMC

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  • See: HOW-TO:Install XBMC on Apple TV 1 (Linux)

3 Original ATV OS

3.1 Installing XBMC

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  • See: Archive:HOW-TO:Install_XBMC_on_Apple_TV_1

3.2 How does it work?

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  • Apple TV 1 is "patched" to turn on certain software options required for XBMC to run. The patching is done by using ATV USB Creator that lets you make a patchstick, a bootable USB flash drive which boots the ATV and patches/modifies it. After you patch your Apple TV 1 a new Launcher menu will appear that allows you to download and install XBMC.

3.3 Original ATV software after installation

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  • XBMC will not replace the original Apple TV software, it instead works as complement the existing Apple TV software. XBMC is installed onto the Apple TV built-in harddrive but you will still be able you use your Apple TV software as normal. XBMC will only be an extra option that you can launch from the Apple TV's original menu.

3.4 Apple TV OS

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  • Apple TV 1 runs a slimmed down version of Mac OS X v10.4 and runs Mac OS X as a native Mac OS X application.

3.5 Boot directly into XBMC

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To boot directly into XBMC when you turn on the Apple TV 1:
  1. Exit XBMC if it’s running.
  2. Launch your Terminal app and issue the following commands:
    ssh [email protected]
    defaults write com.teamxbmc.xbmclauncher KodiExpertMode 1
  3. Using the Apple Remote, go to Launcher -> Settings -> [enable] Multi-Finder.
  4. Reboot

3.6 Debug log

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