[mythtv-users] Apple Products as FEs

Tony Brummett brummett at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 15:40:15 UTC 2009

On Mon, Feb 9, 2009 at 8:54 AM, Eric Mesa <ericsbinaryworld at gmail.com> wrote:
> 1) How hard is it to just overwrite Apple TV with MythBuntu or Mythdora.
> 2) If 1), then which has better Apple TV support?  (I currently use a
> Mythdora FE/BE)
> 3) (I think) I saw that Myth FE can be installed onto Apple TV and still
> keep the original functionality while adding Myth as another menu item.  (I
> think) it said that this requires owning a Mac so you can copy some
> utilities over
> 4) if 3) do I lose Myth FE every time there's an Apple TV update?

I ended up wiping out the original Apple software and installing
Ubuntu, so I can't help out much here...

> 5) Does Apple TV play 1080i?

Yes(*).  With XvMC enabled, underclocking the GPU, not using any
deinterlacing, and turning off all other services on the box (no cron
jobs, no unnecessary daemons, etc), then it'll play 1080i mpeg videos.
 While the OSD is on-screen, it stutters a bit.

> 6) Are the formats Apple TV can play dependent upon the hardware or
> software?  IOW, if I overwrite it with Linux - can I play OGGs and any
> format I can play with Linux?  Or is the hardware too limited for that?

It's not fast enough to play HD resolution videos in any format other
than mpeg (because XvMC doesn't help there), but it'll play any SD
resolution video, and any music format that any other Linux box can

> and, finally, thoughts from people who've used it - Mac Mini or Apple TV?
> (Again, this is just for FE)

I do have a few issues with mine.  The internal fan is software
controlled, so while it's playing an HD video it can get hot.  I've
removed the rubber pad from the bottom and stand it on edge to help
get more air circulating around it.  It can also be problematic
getting a different remote working with the built-in IR receiver.
I've had mine in service for a while, so more recent software may fix
both of these problems.

If you're not worried about the cost, then the Mini is probably the
better choice.  You don't have to deal with the limitations of XvMC,
and it comes with an optical drive.

-- Tony

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