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20 Cool Reasons to Hack Your Apple TV

Apple has only one hobby that we know about and they call it the Apple TV ($229).

6. nitoTV (aTV Flash & atvusb-creator)

It's a media player, it lets you install an emulator, it lets you streams content. nitoTV allows you to install all that and more. You can even use it to install a plugin so that you can use a Composite cable with your Apple TV. nitoTV is similar to the Launcher app that comes preinstalled with the atvusb-creator. You can install the same way you install Sapphire. With atvusb-creator you may have to go into the Frap Mover to arrange it to appear on your main menu.

7. Turn on FTP Access (aTV Flash = easy & atvusb-creator = medium)

SSH is fine, but dragging and dropping files with the Finder is easier. To turn on FTP access you're going to have to fire up the Terminal. For atvusb-creator, awkwardTV has all the code you're going to need to enable FTP access. Once you've done that, you can sign in to your Apple TV with:

FTP: apple.tv.(ip address)

User: frontrow

PW: frontrow

8. Game Emulators (atvusb-creator)

Before you start scouring the Internet for ROMs, you need to remember that you should only use ROMs for games you already own. Don't be a thief.

Okay, we got that out of the way. After installing nitoTV you can install emulators for NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega Master System, and GameBoy Advanced by navigating to nitoTV>Settings>Install Software>Install Emulators. When you do that it will install all of the emulators mentioned. It's an all or nothing deal.

After the install navigate to nitoTV>Application and there you'll see all the emulation apps.

9. Browse the Internet - CouchSurfer Lite (atvusb-creator) =medium / CouchSurfer Pro (aTV Flash) = included

You might as well start browsing the web while you're sitting on the couch. Instead of having everyone crowd around your MacBook, iPad, iPhone to read the latest article on MacLife.com, you can just load the site up on your gigantic HD TV and enjoy your personal space again. Also it's harder to spilled your drink on your device when it's 10-feet away. It's not impossible, just difficult.

If you hacked your Apple TV with atvusb-creator you'll need to install CouchSurfer Lite via SSH and FTP. Instructions on downloading and installing Couch Surfer are on awkwardTV. If you used aTV Flash, CouchSurfer Pro is already ready to go.

10. Bit Torrent with Transmission (atvusb-creator)

We know, we know, bit torrent is used primarily to download copyrighted material. But, you can find media on there that is actually supposed to be distributed via bit torrent. The bottom line, don't steal. Now that we have that out of the way, you can install and run the Transmission bit torrent client on your Apple TV. Like CouchSurfer Lite, Transmission installation requires a bit more than a few steps. Once again, awkwardTV to the rescue.

Next: Replacing the Apple TV HD and expanding media type support>>

11. SAMBA Server = Hard

Tired of syncing? Create a server from your Apple TV and drag and drop media files directly on your Apple TV from your Mac. The SAMBA server install is a bit more involved that what can me put on this list, so cruise on over to awkwardTV's wiki for details.

12. Replace the HD = Hard

If your Apple TV is busting at the seams with all the content you own, maybe it's time for a larger HD. AtvDrive will allow you to swap out your Apple TV's included HD with a larger capacity one.

13. Stream Audio and Video Feeds (aTV Flash & atvusb-creator)

If your favorite video site isn't YouTube, the ability to add your favorite site's video or audio feed to the Apple TV is pretty great.