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Apple TV 1 FAQ

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Stop hand.svg Starting in Kodi v14, support for the BCHD is being dropped from the software. OSMC might have a fork that contains support, but this would be from the OSMC project and not officially supported. This is due to the lack of a maintainer for the driver software. If new maintainer(s) arise to the occasion, support might be added back in officially, but no guarantees. Of course, BCHD will continue to work on XBMC v13.


Frequently Asked Questions for the original Apple TV 1 (silver).

For the Apple TV 2 (black) see: XBMC for iOS specific FAQ.

Contents


1 General FAQ (all platforms)

See also: XBMC all platforms FAQ for FAQs that apply to all versions of XBMC.

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 Original OS vs Linux-based OS

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  • To be blunt: Use the Linux-based OS option. There are two main distributions in use today: OpenELEC which is a minimal 'appliance' style Linux distro optimised for the AppleTV hardware (and other HTPC platforms) and Crystalbuntu which is a slimmed down version of Ubuntu. It might sound scary, but unless you still use some of the original features on the ATV OS, you will be MUCH happier using the linux-os version. Under a Linux-based OS the Apple TV 1 has more power to give to XBMC (due to various technical reasons) which will make XBMC much faster, and has greater support going into the future. It's also the only option if you want to have full 1080P output (Original ATV OS only does 720, which is then upscaled to 1080).

1.4 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.

1.5 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 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.

1.6 Wi-Fi alternatives when using BCHD

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  • See the documentation for Crystalbuntu or OpenELEC for how to instal a USB wifi dongle on the ATV1.

1.7 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

See also: XBMC for Linux specific FAQ
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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3 Original ATV OS

See also: XBMC for Mac specific FAQ

3.1 Installing XBMC

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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 XBMC for Mac 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 frontrow@appletv.local
    defaults write com.teamxbmc.xbmclauncher {{subst:Name}}ExpertMode 1
  3. Using the Apple Remote, go to Launcher -> Settings -> [enable] Multi-Finder.
  4. Reboot

3.6 Debug log

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