updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri March 23, 2007
Apple TV Already Hacked
The Apple TV has already been hacked to run non-supported video formats, according to a pair of forum users. Confirming Walt Mossberg's claim that the media hub runs a custom version of Mac OS X, the technique involves removing the hard drive and mounting it on a Mac, where it appears as a native HFS volume. Installing the SSH server Dropbear, the video container Perian, and a custom script lets the Apple TV play files outside of its normal MPEG-4 and H.264 standards.
The solution is not failsafe, the discoverers say: the solution requires the creation of reference QuickTime movies, preventing the hub from directly synchronizing the movies themselves. No video formats outside of the XviD standard have been tested so far, they add. However, the discovery suggests that the Apple device will be relatively easily accessible for hobbyists.