Apple TV: my updates

by Erica Sadun

Lots of new stuff on the Apple TV front today. Here's a brief rundown of it all:

Elgato released EyeTV 2.4. Download it here. Lots of bug fixes and, best of all, Apple TV export. Here's a screen cap from Monday's "Drive", which I recorded in High Def and then exported to Apple TV format. It automatically loaded into iTunes. Unfortunately, you really do need to sync these things or use 802.11n because streaming playback with this bandwidth nearly killed my 802.11g network. Lots and lots of pauses. Also, the detail looked very soft to my eyes, not nearly as crisp as the High Def original.

Screen shot from "Apple TV video" exported from EyeTV High Def content. [Click to open at full resolution]

Apple posted a few Apple TV hints in their RSS support feeds. According to Apple, Apple TVs can be stored in media cabinets despite their warmth. Also here's a doc about Apple TV Standby Mode.

I completely rewrote all my plugins. Here are updated versions of the two I've previously talked about and a new one. The URL appliance lets you load video from the Internet by supplying URLs in a text file. The Perl appliance runs any perl file you drop into /Users/frontrow/perlbin. And the new one, Quit, lets you quit form the Apple TV UI. I tried uploading the project sources but I ran into a file size limit with the O'Reilly server. If you want copies of the source, just send me e-mail. The new versions should all run concurrently on Apple TV without interfering with each other the way the earlier prototypes did.

URL Appliance: Download file

Perl Appliance: Download file

Quit from UI Appliance: Download file

Speaking of the URL appliance, readers have asked me if I could mod the plug-in to allow users to label their URL files. You can actually do that right now without any modifications. Just put text labels into your urldata.txt file. If you try to load a label, Apple TV will simply tell you that "no content was found". The URLs should load normally.

Create your own organization in the urldata.txt file. [Click to open at full resolution]


2007-04-19 00:47:10
how on earth did you download that Elgato update ? I've been trying since the minute it was announced, and I keep getting timeouts !
2007-04-21 06:11:55
The label point you raised is valid, but it would be cooler if we could have the label shown instead of the URL. Also, it'd also be cool if there was some way of getting graphics next to the labels, as you can have with ATVFiles if there's a jpg file with the same name as the media. Thanks for updating the plugins though, especially the perl one as it means I can set up launchers for different things from the menu!
2007-04-21 11:56:46
anyone tried scripting non-appleTV macs with Front Row in this manner?
Erica Sadun
2007-04-21 21:44:40
Lon: As far as I can tell, the standard Front Row does not use Plug-ins.
Erica Sadun
2007-04-21 21:46:39
Steve: Unfortunately, "cool" has to give way to "proof of concept" with my limited time. You're welcome to adapt the code. Drop me an e-mail and I'll send you the source.
appliance parts
2007-11-12 07:41:40
I didn't know that to put Apple TV in standby mode you have to press and hold the Select/Play/Pause button for about 6 seconds.

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2008-01-06 09:20:02
Perlbin does not appear to work with ATV 1.1. Any suggestions?