After a year with the AppleTV I decided it was time to do something about the only deficiency it had: The inability to play x264 encoded files.

Following advise from some of my fellow nerds I ended up bying a Tvix HD M-6500A.

The box itself is solid and even if some might find it less aesthetically pleasing than the AppleTV I think if looks good.


AppleTV

Versus

Tvix HDM-6500A

This is, in my opinion, how the Tvix stacks up against the AppleTV

Pros

  • Most importanly it supports true HD content including x264 encoded
    video in Matroska containers
  • Support for a wide range of files (None Quicktime movies requires hacking the AppleTV)
  • Support for SATA disks of any size (mine have a 500GB)
  • Build-in ftp server (Requires hacking the AppleTV)
  • Build-in Samba server (Requires hacking the AppleTV)
  • Support for mounting smb and nfs shares (requires hacking the AppleTV)
  • Good support from vendor (actually fixes bugs and improves the product)
  • Does not require iTunes

Cons

  • User interface is very basic. Not ugly, just basic
  • A bit more noisy (not fanless like the AppleTV)
  • Playing music is not as sexy (again a very basic interface and does not support generating playlists)
  • More expensive than the AppleTV. Without a disk the Tvix is roughly the same price as 160 GB AppleTV (In Denmark the cost of the AppleTV is somewhere around $600). And a 500GB disk adds another $100.

Which one is better? Unless you are a Apple [email protected] (which I am not) I say the technical features of the Tvix wins.

This just in

Due to continuous illegal activities surrounding patchstick I’m giving up. End of the line, everyone off. It was a fun year or so.

Read more

Update 18:46

ATV4Windows.com is also shutting down

In reference to AwkwardTV shutting down because of patchstick. We are taking the same route!

Read more

Update 23:59


April's Fool

;)

Apple has released a new version of AppleTV OS (version 2.0.1).

For the time being, do not upgrade. Little is yet known about the changes made by the update but the USB patch no longer works.

Oh yeah, this also means that unless your ATV is stock 2.0, you are no longer able to update :(

Damn you, Steve

Thank you Andreas for this one

4%How Addicted to Apple Are You?

(I own no other Apple products than my AppleTV)

I had my AppleTV running with Take 2. USB was working. But if I did what I seemed to remember having done with 1.0 Finder would not start (that is symlinking /Volumes/MyVolume/Media to /mnt/Media).

It seemed that Finder was started before the USB disk was mounted, hence /Volumes/MyVolume was not available. Running

diskutil list

showed the disk being there just not mounted.

The solution was actually pretty easy (why didn’t I think of this before reinstalling Take 2 for the third time):

Start by moving Finder

$ sudo -s
# mv /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder.old

Then create a new script to mount the disk and start Finder

# cat > /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder <<eof
#!/bin/bash
/usr/sbin/diskutil mountDisk disk1 /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder.old $1
EOF
# chmod a+x /System/Library/CoreServices/Finder.app/Contents/MacOS/Finder

Then move /mnt/Media to /Volumes/MyVolume

# mv /mnt/Media /Volumes/MyVolume/
# ln -sf /Volumes/MyVolume/Media /mnt/Media

That’s it. Next time you boot, your iTunes should see your USB disk.

I’ve just upgraded to Take 2 and so far everything is working out great.

I would like to thank CiscoTM for making the PatchStick and guides available to the public.

I followed the guide
on ATV4Windows – The guide for Windows works great with Linux.

Basicly upgrading consisted of

  1. Factory restore to 1.0
  2. Doing a full upgrade to 2.0
  3. Patchstick the sucker
  4. Install nitoTV 0.2.2 beta
  5. Install ATVFiles Take 2 beta
  6. Use nitoTV’s SmartInstaller to install various needed software (for NFS for instance)
  7. Use nitoTV to enable USB
  8. Use nitoTV to install Perian
  9. Enable ftp server
  10. Use the USB disk as main storage for iTunes

The guide covers these steps in great detail. Have fun.

While enjoying a VMware course in London I thought I might post links to some of the great stuff happening in the AppleTV community.

Also check out my previous ATV Take 2 post

It seems people are really kicking it now!

Once again I’m impressed how fast the community have been able to get all this done.

When I’m done moving my webserver to a new hosting provider I think I might give Take 2 a go.

Get it while it’s hot

[20:44] <ericIII> atvfiles take 2 alpha 2:

http://forum.awkwardtv.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1175

Go to the forum thread for changelog and other updates.

ericIII has just released to first alpha version of ATVFiles for Take 2

Go to the forum page for more details.

On the same note Perian has also been verified to run on Take 2.

This is great news indeed. Once ATVFiles is running on Take 2 it will not be long before I upgrade :)