Do you really need ATV? Pls debate

i am a fan of the Jailbroken ATV. I have had one for 2 years.

A tiny black box that is not only good looking but has immensely transformed my home entertainment experience by making it possible to have access to tons of online content. You name it… movies music videos, photos,  radio etc.  The benefits are immeasurable.

However, (please correct me if i am wrong here) i believe over 90% of ATV enthusiasts desire the jailbroken ATV because of the benefits of XBMC. XBMC has greatly transformed the way we watch tv and has become the ultimate home entertainment multimedia experience.

Funnily, you do not need the jailbroken ATV in order to have the XBMC as part of your home entertainment. My point: Why not install the XBMC software on a superfast (highend) pc that has hdmi output and is hooked up to your tv. This pc will act as a dedicated home entertainment centre with bluetooth support added in order to enable a mini bluetooth keyboard to be used.

If you follow the latter option, you will likely create the same home entertainment experience at (may be) a third of the cost of buying an ATV on ebay or Amazon. The Jailbreakable ATV2 versions (v4.4.4 or other) are bidding on ebay up to £400 here in the UK. Not only that, ATV flash black from firecore required to supercharge your ATV, costs an extra $29.

So pls explore your options wisely.

Your comments are welcome!


Hi, I’m going to give it a go.  

I personallly can’t stand XBMC for me the interface is all over the place it runs pretty badly on the ATV IMO.

The reason I use ATVFlash or Infuse is because (for me) Firecore understands that essentially I want an Apple device that connects to the TV and plays my content from wherever I choose. (My NAS generally).

It also seems desinged as an application for the Apple TV rather than a replacement for the stock software.

XBMC is designed I believe with the objective of being the only software you use on a device.  (This isn’t for me).

A HUGE part of my ATV use is Airplay music streaming (which no other device nails as well).  

I currently own a MBP, iPad and iPhone.  They serve different use cases.  If I want to watch a movie (or a TV show) I want to close the lid of my laptop and stream content from my NAS I also dont want to have to mess about with converting files for the most part.  

You mention connceting a bluetooth keyboard connected to a computer.  For me, this is kind of clunky (I want to use a remote, although type2phone is a nice compromise).

Discalimer:  I bought my ATV2 for £90 from

NAS was £50ish

2TB HDD around £100

Yes, I could get a Mac Mini, my friend recently did in fact.  It’s nowhere near as plug and play as you’d expect hes had constantly had problems with audio settings over HDMI into a Onyko reciever for instance.  Also MAC OSX isn’t designed for use on a TV.  It’s designed to be used as a computer and it’s overkill.



Hate XBMC, use INFUSE on ATV, to watch mkv, that’s it.

I agree with the 2 replies above - not a huge fan of XBMC.

Like many people I stream a lot (actually all) of my content from a NAS and am not interested in having a PC, laptop or other device running.  This setup works great, however…

I admit that I am now exploring other options due to the resolution limitations of the ATV2.  A 55" HDTV is not getting used to it’s full capacity through the ATV2 and I’m keen to get the best viewing experience possible.  The ATV3 would be perfect if not for the fact that it is currently as useful as a hockey puk for those of us streaming from a NAS.

I was thinking that as FC are so closely linked to the ATV2 (and the hopes of a one day jailbroken ATV3), that they may slowly become irrelevant.   Interestingly though, there still isn’t a really good alternative that I can find.  There are alternatives, but each has its own issues.  Roku 3 is getting great reviews but streams content from the net and not easily does it stream locally stored content.  The WD Live hardware is apparently pretty good, but doesn’t do all the codecs, likewise xbox (no mkvs?).

I’m now considering running a plex server on the NAS and streaming direct to the latest smart TV (which has a plex app)… offers a superior alternative to the jailbroken apple tv 2 for a much more affordable price and they ship world wide. They even have a promocode for $74 off the price bringing thier box down to $250 canadian for firecore users (the promocode is “firecore”)

Granted you can make a box your self but these guys include everything you need and tech support for less than the cost of building it yourself.


Thanks for your responses.

I have looked into NAS drive and the PLEX server options; i think these are brilliant ways to create the ultimate home entertainment system. However, I thought i should share this with you guys.  Over this christmas I was shopping around for a Smart 3D tv and after researching on some of the functionalities, I decided to buy the Samsung UE46F6320 46 Inch 1080p.

This tv is DNLA COMPLIANT - meaning you can stream your media content that is stored elsewhere (eg. from a PC that is within your wireless network) direct to the dnla compatible tv using a software that comes with it. I have copied a link here to explain in more detail what dnla is?


This may be a good alternative to NAS drive or PLEX for streaming home entertainment media to your TV.  Just a thought!