Apple’s new AppleTV appears to have been modded by several early adopters, who have gotten file-system access to the device (surprisingly easily), and enabled it to play XviD, AVI, FLV, DivX, 3ivX, and every other media type supported by Perian.
AppleTV is now useful for a ton of purposes: Watching downloaded TV without transcoding first (time and quality saver). So, in a nutshell, AppleTV becomes what it should have been all along: a media jukebox that plays what you want.
So, how is it done? Quite simply, actually. From the modder’s posting:
1. Open it up (4 screws on the bottom, small Torx bit)
2. Put the 2.5″ drive into a USB enclosure or whatever you want
3. Mount the HFS filesystem
4. Install Perian in /Library/Quicktime (as you normally would)
5. Install Dropbear (or enable SSH if you know how… we gave up and used Dropbear)
6. Add a startup script to disable the firewall or open up the ports you need for SSH
7. Put the drive back in and boot it, ssh login as frontrow, password frontrow (or add an ssh key for yourself)
8. Use a reference movie (use QT Pro to save a reference movie) to bootstrap your xvid file
The most fascinating part, IMHO, is that the SSH username and password is…
No, Apple didn’t want this device to appeal to a homebrew club, did they!?