View Full Version : Apple TV (1) with a Crystal HD card running XBMC

08-06-2011, 10:15
I'm unsure as to whether any of you folk here use such devices, so I thought i'd write a little about my main viewing source.

So, it's an Apple TV 1st gen, it did have a 160gb hard disk, but that was soon removed along with the internal wifi card into which I fitted a Broadcom Crystal HD card, this gives the little unit the ability to play 1080 files without a hiccup. It's using a standard, fairly rubbish 40gb hard disk which i'd like to replace with a faster one (7200rpm) or, if I can, an 8gb SSD or CF card - just to disk read speed is as fast as it can be.

I have it cabled through to my office where a HP Microserver sits, this was a fab buy at 200-ish but with a 100 cashback promotion from HP. Inside are two 2tb western digital green drives, it's currently running Windows Home Server but this will soon be replaced with Ubuntu and the EXT4 file system, so again disk speed is increased and overall throughput is increased.

I rip all my films to either .iso for a dvd (with all menu's removed) and .mkv for Bluray rips (which can take some time to complete).

Anyway, onto the XBMC interface. I'm currently using the Apple TV remote. It plays every single file I can throw at it, quickly. .flac files sound good and while it is distinguishable from my Cyrus cd player, there isn't a huge amount in it. (not enough for me to purchase a DAC just yet)

The interface can support playlists, some visuals if that's your thing, album art, has a great library interface for your media collection and is pretty responsive.

I picked up my ATV1 for 60 and the card for 20. Which makes it a really great, low cost solution for my media.

You could also use Boxee and that supports 4OD along with iPlayer (XBMC just supports iPlayer)

Anyway, feel free to ask any questions and i'll help if i can.