How to jailbreak your Apple TV to run unofficial apps and software

“The Apple TV is a great media player. With an Apple TV you can play video, music and movies from your iPhone, iPad or direct from the official Apple Store, and you can watch anything on Netflix, if you subscribe to that service,” Lou Hattersley reports for Macworld UK.

“But a jailbroken Apple TV is a whole different ball game,” Hattersley reports. “Once you have jailbreak software running on an Apple TV you can install new apps, services and systems on the Apple TV that make it far more interesting than the device Apple sells.”

“Here is some of the neat software you can install on a jailbroken Apple TV: Kodi (formally known as XMBC) is an entertainment hub that enables you to play most music, videos and podcasts. It also enables PVR functionality so you can watch, and record, television,” Hattersley reports. “aTV Flash (black) | FireCore: is user-friendly software that enables you to play new file types (such as .mkv), browse the internet and use unofficial apps such as Fortunately it’s pretty easy to jailbreak an Apple TV as long as you have the right model…”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Jailbreaking gets press, but since 2007 in Orange County, I’ve not met anyone who has jailbroken their iPhone, let alone Apple TV.

    Hence, just how useful are articles to the MDN readership on jailbreaking? You jailbreak, you lose warranty and Apple support, so a jailbreaker basically has to risk losing his product if something goes awry.

    I admit I don’t work in software development, but that group is a small % of the population.

    How many on MDN jailbreak their devices?

    1. I used to jailbreak my iPhone, but this became moot once AT&T started offering tethering and family data plans for reasonable prices. I never needed to jailbreak an iPad. And my unjailbreakable Apple TV 3 has now been on the market for 1,049 days making it highly unclear what the timeliness or purpose of this article is.

    2. I’ve always jailbroken my devices to gain functionality that Apple was too slow in bringing… it became less of an issue with iOS 8 though because they finally conceded to give features that actually aide productivity rather than hinder it…

      Remember Jailbreaking started with iOS 1 since Apple didn’t have an SDK for developers. At that time if you wanted to do anything outside of the 8 apps Apple provided on stock iOS 1 (at that time called iPhone OS) then you needed to jailbreak and it literally opened a whole new world of opportunities. Eventually Apple got the picture that people didn’t want crippled web apps and they made a real SDK. And the app ecosystem was born. Even with that though there were so many productivity hindering limitations imposed on developers and the SDK that jailbreaking stayed a viable option for many and a thriving community of Jailbreakers brought pretty significant functionality outside of the stock SDK. Much of that though has now been answered by Apple directly finally after 8+ iterations with iOS 8.

      There are some new tweaks and functionality that still tempts me to jailbreak even after iOS 8 but stock iOS 8 is at least passable as an OS that you can get things done with, without jumping through an extraordinary amount of hoops to do so (compared to some of the competition) so I’m in no rush to jailbreak it.

      Apple TV is just another case of Apple being slow (not using slow as a derogatory dig, it’s just the fact of the matter) to bring true utility and functionality so jailbreaking is a viable option for those who want to do more with what they purchased. It certainly beats waiting for Apple to bring an actual SDK for developers to the platform (it’s been long heck of a wait so far indeed). Additionally you can restore your device back to stock anytime you want if you need to use your warranty for any issues so the warranty voiding aspect isn’t as big a deal is at sounds. Even if you’re new to it, it literally takes less than 10 minutes to jailbreak and revert back if needed.

  2. How to jailbreak your Apple TV to run unofficial apps and software…

    …Destroying its security and exposing it to malware. It’s just like owning an Android phone! What fun.

    Suggested for techno-geeks who know what they’re doing ONLY.

  3. Wow. The poll shows over 11% of you have or do jailbreak your AppleTVs. I know this is the die hard user base here, but I’m really shocked at that high number. More than anything, I’m pointing out that the poll is there, in case you missed it. 🙂

    1. I jailbroke my Apple TV previously, but the latest version of the Apple TV still can’t be jailbroken. I made the chose of going with the latest version (and 1080p) rather than jailbroken with the old Apple TV. I have about a half-dozen or so of them.

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