AppleTV + Boxee and XBMC

Apple recently updated the AppleTV software to version 2.3 and I finally updated after seeing Christina’s post about Boxee. I had signed up for a Boxee account awhile ago and finally got my invite last week. Watch this quick video to see why Boxee is pretty cool:

quick intro to boxee from boxee on Vimeo.

You can easily install Boxee (and the excellent XBMC) onto your AppleTV without much trouble or voiding your warranty. All you need is a USB thumb drive. Just follow the steps here. Once you’ve installed it, you will need to run the updater in the Boxee/XBMC menu before running either Boxee or XBMC – at least I had to otherwise I’d get an error.

There is a fair bit of content available in Boxee.


Unfortunately, hulu doesn’t work from Canada so that’s a huge chunk of it’s content you can exclude.


Fortunately, there are lots of other things available:


An awesome bonus is the installation of XBMC which I’ve been using in some form since the original Xbox came out. Between these two apps, you should be able to play just about kind of media content on your AppleTV…not to mention, stream it from your local network (from say a network storage device) or the internet.






  1. I did a quick write up on Apple TV after borrowing a friend’s unit a couple weeks back. Unfortunately I didn’t get to check out Boxee at the time because I didn’t have an account. I’ve since gotten an account and installed Boxee on my MacBook. It’s pretty slick, but I would definitely prefer to be able to use it with my TV instead. I’m still holding off until at least January before picking up an Apple TV – just in case Steve has anything new planned for it…

  2. John says:

    While Macworld caution is always a good thing, it’s still a ways off and you’ve got a cold winter to get through first ;)

    It has been awhile since the AppleTV saw a hardware refresh, I’m not sure what they would do to it…plus, now with XBMC and Boxee, it’s the kind of thing that might even make me consider getting a second one for the bedroom tv, just like the old Xbox back in the day…or rather, my wife will ask for one for xmas after she sees how this works.

  3. Yeah, that’s the thing…I really don’t want to wait until the end of January. I guess it’s cheap enough that I could pick one up now, and if there is a compelling upgrade in January, pick up another one then. :)

  4. John says:

    Well played! Or simply return it before the Christmas return policy window runs out which depending on the store (available at lots of places besides Apple) may be before or after Macworld ;)

  5. Colin Clarke says:

    Are you able to install Hotspot Shield vpn client on Apple TV in order to watch the American content on etc.?

  6. John says:

    Colin: Haven’t had a chance to try yet but it’s on my list….I’m sure there is a way to make it work.

  7. Vanessa Harris says:

    Thanks for the information. XBMC is the best media player..Ever!

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