Welcome to MacTalk Australia

the largest Australian community for Apple discussions and topics

» Join the discussions, Register Now!
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 55
  1. #1
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default Apple TV 1080p Support w/ Crystal HD + XBMC

    Hi all,

    I am about to dabble in the world of Apple TV modification once again after I ditched my first one with the horrible 1.0 software and at that point, no modification.

    One of the most interesting, useful and well needed modifications for the Apple TV is almost upon us. There is 1080p support for the Apple TV in the very near future. This is achieved by adding a relatively inexpensive piece of hardware to your Apple TV (sacrificing 802.11* wireless for it, but hey, its 1080p) called Crystal HD. It is a mini-PCI-E card built by Broadcom that has 1080p encoding and decoding built into it.

    From the others that have been installing it, it is really a simple process to add.

    But there are limitations,
    • Support is contained within XBMC only (XBox Media Center) because the drivers that are being written (and working to some extent) are only loaded within the XBMC environment
    • You must modify your Apple TV and physically install the card
    • iTunes will not let you sync 1080p material


    But its 1080p!!!

    Once I get my hands on another Apple TV, install my new hard drive, chuck out wireless in favour of Crystal HD and get some decent drivers up.... 1080p on the Apple TV will be a reality

    Also I am thinking of offering this as a service once I've done it a few times to those interested.

    ravage.

  2. #2
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    I'll be very interested in watching this one, my Apple TV in the lounge room is connected via ethernet and all content is streamed over the network, so lack of WiFi isn't a problem for me... hell I'll run extra cable into the bedroom (where I have another ATV) if is means I can have access to more content.

    I'm already running XBMC on both anyway so again, no issues

    Got any links to more details?
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  3. #3
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Yeah it is certainly something that is going to draw a fair few people away from the totally legit Apple TV world of things.
    I can't wait to see some decent results, but it is probably still some time off (read: a few months) until a few things are sorted out, but when that happens, it should be great!

    My bedroom is about to become a world of tangled ethernet cable

    XBMC is a great piece of software, adds a lot of functionality that you would expect Apple would have included.

    Sure, links:

    Broadcom Product Description
    Apple TV Hacks Article
    XBMC Team Article
    AwkwardTV Wiki Page on Crystal HD
    Crystal HD Driver Status @ XBMC
    Hardware Installation
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  4. #4
    bacco007's Avatar bacco007 is offline The Lord of the Maps

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tamworth, NSW
    Posts
    265

    Default

    I'm keen to see how this works too, lack of wireless doesnt worry me too greatly

  5. #5
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ravage221 View Post
    That link seems to say it's working now?? or am I reading it wrong?
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Correct me if I'm wrong*, but doesn't the TV do 1080p already?

    iTunes Store probably doesn't give us downloads at Blu-Ray bit rates; but isn't the hardware already in place?



    * it happens

  7. #7
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    That link seems to say it's working now?? or am I reading it wrong?
    Nope your right, the support is there. It is just too buggy at the moment to use. If you want to do it now, of course you can, but it switches all video processing to the Crystal HD hardware instead of doing a software based decode using the CPU. Edit: Let me be precise, the drivers now install at a operating system level and are loaded on startup once installed, but 1080p video playback is only in XBMC but you can switch it on and off at will.

    There are big issues with the drivers at the moment, which is the only reason I have not already done it. That and I am getting an Apple TV again soon.

    __

    Quote Originally Posted by displayb333 View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong*, but doesn't the TV do 1080p already?

    iTunes Store probably doesn't give us downloads at Blu-Ray bit rates; but isn't the hardware already in place?



    * it happens
    Nope, the Apple TV doesn't playback material at 1080p. It can display it's menu and other things at 1080p, but all encoded 1080p content (read: video) cannot be played back. The system just doesn't have enough grunt.
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  8. #8
    Byrd's Avatar Byrd is offline Moderator

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    6,853

    Default

    Is the Mini PCI-E slot already being used on the Apple TV, eg. for wireless?

    JB

  9. #9
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    Is the Mini PCI-E slot already being used on the Apple TV, eg. for wireless?

    JB
    Yep, the wireless card in the Apple TV occupies the Mini PCI-E slot in a normal configuration.

    It's a toss up between living with Wi-Fi or having 1080p.

    I guess really, you could sub anything in for the Wi-Fi and add something else to your Apple TV.
    But yes, the Wi-Fi has to go.
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,897

    Default

    sounds promising.
    • Mac Mini 2.0ghz Intel 4GB ram (apple wireless keyboard/magic mouse) • DroBo V2 • Macbook PRO 2.33ghz Intel 3GB ram + 60GB SSD • Imac G4 13inch 1.0ghz 1.25GB ram • iPad 2 16GB Wifi • AppleTV Gen2 • iPhone 4 16GB • iPhone 4S 16GB

  11. #11
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ravage221 View Post
    It's a toss up between living with Wi-Fi or having 1080p.
    If you want to play 1080p content (especially over a network) you'd want to be using ethernet anyway really

    So... to find one of these cards and have a bash... decisions decisions...

    Anyone got a recommendation on who to get one from?
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Menai (Sth Sydney)
    Posts
    1,474

    Default

    Better solution: buy a second hand Mac Mini from ebay, install XBMC... your done, no hacking needed.

    I gave up my apple TV at the start of the year for a Mac Mini Media Center approach with Eye TV and XBMC, apart from terrible interaction with my harmony remote i will never look back.

    My Bluetooth Mac Keyboard is now my remote... love it!

  13. #13
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    I do use a Harmony remote (on both ATV's) so would prefer if I could keep them running.

    I like the idea of a mini, but lets face it, if the ATV can play 1080p with a minor mod (and to be honest it doesn't look like rocket science) why would you bother with a full (and much more expensive) mini if you don't want anything more than a streaming play back device?

    For me XBMC is 90% of my use, but the iTunes integration is used for party music.


    ...that and I have already trained the wife and kids on how to use the current setup :P
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  14. #14
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    If you want to play 1080p content (especially over a network) you'd want to be using ethernet anyway really

    So... to find one of these cards and have a bash... decisions decisions...

    Anyone got a recommendation on who to get one from?
    Yeah, 1080p content is a big plus, and something that I have being looking for a way to do for a long time with the Apple TV, so good bye wireless... Hello Crystal HD.

    Doesn't look like it is sold retail anywhere major in Australia.
    Just ordered on off this guy from eBay. Seems reputable. $60!

    ---------

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    I do use a Harmony remote (on both ATV's) so would prefer if I could keep them running.

    I like the idea of a mini, but lets face it, if the ATV can play 1080p with a minor mod (and to be honest it doesn't look like rocket science) why would you bother with a full (and much more expensive) mini if you don't want anything more than a streaming play back device?

    For me XBMC is 90% of my use, but the iTunes integration is used for party music.


    ...that and I have already trained the wife and kids on how to use the current setup :P
    It's is relatively minor, cheap and to top it off, easy to pull off.

    XBMC looks like its got some huge upgrades coming in the near future too.
    Last edited by ravage221; 25th February 2010 at 03:52 PM.
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  15. #15
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    Got a link for where you picked up the card? (or was is a one off random?)
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  16. #16
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    Got a link for where you picked up the card? (or was is a one off random?)
    BroadCom BCM970012 Mini PCI-e HD Decoder Chipset 4 UMPC - eBay, ExpressCards, Notebookzubehör, Computer. (end time 05-Mar-10 23:08:27 AEDST)

    Seems like he sells a lot of these. Also in other form factors. Be sure you get the Mini PCI-E version.

    Also I checked out the LogicSupply website but they dont seem to ship it outside of the US.
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  17. #17
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    Just grabbed this one:

    BCM70012 HD Hardware Decoder Mini Card For Apple TV UK - eBay (item 200438289115 end time Mar-12-10 16:35:00 PST)

    just under AU$45 shipped

    Will see how it goes when it gets here, can't wait
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  18. #18
    ravage221's Avatar ravage221 is offline iPwNer

    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Geelong, Victoria
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    Just grabbed this one:

    BCM70012 HD Hardware Decoder Mini Card For Apple TV UK - eBay (item 200438289115 end time Mar-12-10 16:35:00 PST)

    just under AU$45 shipped

    Will see how it goes when it gets here, can't wait
    Damn you! That $15 bucks could have been an extra couple of beers at the meet coming up!!

    Yeah, should be good. I can't wait to finally see some 1080p content on my damn TV.
    Mac Pro (2006): 2.66GHz Quad, 10GB RAM, 2.5TB total HDD Space, ATI 4780 1GB (PC card, Mac Flashed) || 15" MacBook Pro (Early 2011): 2.2GHz i7 Quad Core, 8GB RAM, 500GB 7200RPM HDD, AMD Radeon HD 6750M ||32GB iPhone 4S w/ Telstra

  19. #19
    The_Hawk's Avatar The_Hawk is offline Subtle plans are here again!

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Sydney, Australia ;)
    Posts
    3,076

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ravage221 View Post
    Damn you! That $15 bucks could have been an extra couple of beers at the meet coming up!!

    Yeah, should be good. I can't wait to finally see some 1080p content on my damn TV.
    Here's hoping it all works

    While I am interested in 1080p, for me the real benefit is knowing that it will play anything I throw at it instead of the slide show you get with improperly formatted 720p (read higher bit rate)...

    ...and now we play the waiting game...

    ...the waiting game sucks...
    MBAPr 15" | Mac Mini | iPhone 5 64GB | 2TB Time Capsule | iPod Classic/Nano/Touch | iPads
    Drive a VW?

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Menai (Sth Sydney)
    Posts
    1,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    ...and now we play the waiting game...

    ...the waiting game sucks...
    ... lets play hungry hungry hippo's!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •