Apple TV 3.x with Boxee, USB Storage and AFP: a Non-How-To

  • boxee • usb • tv • appletv • mediacenter • afp • apple
  • 547 words

Our lounge recently welcomed an Apple TV first generation. It’s a simple, slick, beautiful piece of hardware. It’s Intel-based, has good hardware specs and has all the necessary output ports that a modern media center should have. And can do 1080p because is powerful enough: the new one can’t.

Very self explanatory

I bought with one aim in mind: Boxee! This media center project is just super, and I wanted something to run it on. Initially I though about a Mac Mini, but figured out that was too expensive (even a 2nd hand one) to do “just” mediacenter.

Also, I needed it to do an extra couple of things:

  • It should be able to read and write from an external USB drive (what is currently 500GB of Media attached to my iMac)
  • It should be able to share the USB mounted volume over the network with something like FTP or, better, AFP

Step 1: Install Boxee

It’s very very easy. It’s very well explained here. In short:

  1. Making the patchstick
    • Insert a “bootable” USB drive into your PC/Mac
    • Run the ATVUSB-Creator
    • Create Patchstick
    • Remove the USB drive and plug it into your Apple TV
  2. Installing
    • Power on your Apple TV and the patchstick will run the ATV bootloader
    • After the bootloader finishes (read the stuff at the bottom of the screen), remove it and restart your Apple TV
    • It now has options for Boxee / XBMC and for Launcher on the main menu
    • Browse the Launcher and Upgrade everything in there
    • Click Boxee to launch it
    • Now go to first time use to continue the installation process

Now, have fun with Boxee for a while, set up an account if you don’t have one, go on the website, register your feeds, twitter, facebook and what not account. Done? OK, close Boxee on the Apple TV: there is a lot to do.

Step 2: Install NitoTV

Your Apple TV is now accessible through SSH. The USB Patchstick did it for you!

  • IP Address: It’s in the network configuration/panel of your Apple TV (make it static!)
  • Username: frontrow
  • Password: frontrow

Through SSH we are going to ROCK it!

Wait a minute: it’s going to take a LOOOONG time to write all the instructions. That sucks! I don’t want to do that! :-(

OK, so, here is the deal. The URL where to find all the instruction you need is this: On this wiki there are step by step instructions.

Personally, I just followed section “Alternate 3 to 8”: it was all I needed.

Hey, this How-To sucks dude!

Yes, I know. But I really can’t be asked to write a lot of boring instructions, given that those are all very well documented already. So, be sure you check out all the URL I posted here. If you can’t figure out how to use them, well, you shouldn’t be trying: you will just end up having to factory restore your Apple TV.

Let’s do like this: this is not an “How-To”, this is more like a collection of useful links. Eh? EH?! It’s a “Non-How-To” What about that now! This post now sounds great, doesn’t it?!!? :-D


Thanks to all the folks contributing to without those resources I would have never be able to do it.