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Apple TV Hack

by | May 26, 2009 | 4 comments

atv-bootloaderI’ve written several post here on how to hack your Apple TV to allow FTP access and open up a wide range of useful and fun apps. Back then, the process was more complicated and involved several steps. But things have changed.

There is now a very easy way to hack your Apple TV and not only allow FTP access, but also give you the ability to watch TV from Hulu. This is quite cool.

The first thing you do is download atvusb-creator from this site: The instructions on this page are simple and easy. This software will create all the necessary installation files onto a 1GB or larger USB flash drive.

Once your flash drive is created, you simply plug it into the USB port on the back of your Apple TV and reboot. The installation takes a few minutes. Then you reboot the Apple TV again.

One of the many things that are installed is Boxee. As their site says: “on a laptop or connected to an HDTV, boxee gives you a true entertainment experience to enjoy your movies, TV shows, music and photos, as well as streaming content from services like Netflix, MTV, Pandora and flickr.”

I highly recommend this hack and Boxee.

Update: See this article for recent devlopments in Apple TV hacking: Apple TV Hack Redux


  1. John

    This is great info. Thanks.

  2. larry

    I am considering a Mac Mini (yeah, I Know), for my living room as an option for a MacBookPro.
    I know what you are thinking, but let me explain….
    I have, and love a 20″ Matte, 2.16 Core 2 Duo with 3GB RAM and an HP printer, Bamboo Fun Tablet, (Soooo, Cool. Highly recommended for even the slightest bit of creativity, plus the kids will love it, PS, Artrage(two thumbs way up), Skitch(fun), Sticky notes(using your own handwriting), oops, got off of the subject, again.
    Anyhow, I told my wife I wanted a MBP, 13 inch for $1500. She asked ‘why’, and I said, “it would be nice to take it into the living room and sit on the comfy couch, while going through the 20 Thousand+ photos I have, and browsing the ‘net, working on a project, etc.” I realized I never said to take with on shoots, trips or wherever, only the living room. My thoughts then turned to the beautiful 24″iMac, replacing my Mac and moving it into the Living Room, or my oldest son could have it. All I could think was $1500 for tiny (but AWESOME) and portable MBP vs. the same price for 24″ of beautiful, glossy Heaven and 640GB vs. 250 (what is in my iMac now, though I only have 19Gigs left!!!)
    Then, I started thinking about the gigantic computer monitor(ok, HDTV) I have sitting in my living room with a PC port, plus, I already bought the adapter for this mac to try it out and see how it acts as a monitor. If it passes the test, the Mini might be the way to go, and I believe I could use it for what the Apple TV does and then some. I already have Medialink, by Nullriver to stream content from my 20″ bedroom mac onto my PS3 and through to my HDTV and the pictures look astounding. I would save a heapload of cash, have a 52″ Monitor, but lack the portability a MBP affords me, Great, just when I thought I had it figured out, now I have to consider this option.

    What would you guys do???

    ps. I also have 3rd gen. Ipod Touch 32GB, so there is mobility there, just limited computing and wireless access.


  3. patrick

    Larry, I think a Mac Mini is a great idea! When I get some time, I’ll write something about hacking the Mini for AppleTV-like usage.

  4. thescragster

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