Just a couple days after the Apple TV ceased to be a figment of the imagination and started showing up on shipping trackers, hackers worldwide have already begun to explore and expand the device’s functionality. Of course, what does it say about the device that it ships so hobbled it can be upgraded by hobbyists in a matter of hours?
A Gizmodo reader has done what Apple should have done months ago, when the device was announced — expand the hard drive. In this case, they managed to triple the internal storage to something more in keeping with a box you could fit four iPods in. And if you think it’s incredibly complicated, Make Magazine offers a guide to cracking open your Apple TV in four easy steps. Then it’s just a matter of shoehorning an aftermarket drive in there.
Now how about the Apple TV’s insistence on m4v encoded media? Perian will fix that! A proof-of-concept hack to run xVid media has already been posted to the Something Awful forums. Of course, it doesn’t have on-board BitTorrent support like the Netgear EVA8000, but this opens up the Apple TV market to folks with a library culled from The Pirate Bay instead of the iTunes Store.
Keep ‘em coming, kids! But I promise not to publish another Apple TV post until someone ports Debian or Ubuntu onto the thing (or OS X, for that matter). Until then, the folks at HD for Indies have started a new blog, Apple TV Hacker. In the meantime, I’ll see if Om will let me come over with a screwdriver and a soldering iron.
Photo from the Make Magazine blog.