Apple TV first gen: Apple’s improper abandonment and what to do

“Apple left the 1st Generation Apple TV behind as of May 25, 2018. You can no longer connect it directly to iTunes,” Dan Bashur writes for Low End Mac. “Even if you attempt to sync authorized content to it through an authorized Mac, it’s over.”

“Streaming, streaming, streaming,” Bashur writes. “Must be the only path forward, right? Ease of use and no need for storage anymore. The Internet must be so great now that no matter where you go, it just works. There would never be a dead zone or a place where WiFi just stinks in 2018, would there? There would never be cellular providers with data limits, would there? Just stream away like turning on the faucet. In case you didn’t read into it – this was a very sarcastic paragraph.”

“Lack of a modern single-purpose non-streaming Apple TV: This is where Apple really screwed up. There are dead zones everywhere and bad WiFi implementations today in most hotels. Data limitations from cellular providers and reception of LTE signals put you at the mercy of your signal strength and proximity of the tower from your provider and even then, you are stuck competing for a clean 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz channel wherever you go now,” Bashur writes. “Where does that leave us though as Low End Apple TV users? Well I’ll be perfectly honest – the next closest thing without going through some real trouble is using either iTunes 10 or Front Row with a Mac mini (Front Row can be found in Mac OS X Tiger through Snow Leopard).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Enjoy iTunes 10 while that lasts, too!


  1. I prefer to hook my Betamax VCR into my iPhone and I have a splitter running into my iPod video. I still haven’t figured out how to sync up my reel to reel with my 8mm video, but I have an 8track player with quadrophonic sound so I still feel “cool”

      1. Actually I’m using my 2009 Mac mini with 2tb FireWire 800 lacie rugged as an iTunes hub for storage like the original Apple TV had. No need to use front row. All modern Apple TV ammnenities and no storage issues. If I need local w/ no wifi, just plug the drive into my laptop and use hdmi. Problem solved. Never actually had any problem. I abandoned 1st gen Apple TV in 2009.

  2. Apple is generally quite good at maintaining longevity in its devices. Upon reflection, however, Apple’s first generation devices often become obsolete must faster than the average – the original iPhone, MBA, and Apple Watch are good examples, imo. They lacked processing power, sensors, or other features that were incorporated into the second generation and beyond, making them far less attractive. That is why I am not an early adopter – my frugal nature values the future opportunities over the immediate gratification.

    I did not like it when Apple removed the local storage from the AppleTV. It seemed short-sighted to me, because the local storage enabled future possibilities like DVR functionality that might enable me to dump my cable box completely. But, after several generations of the AppleTV without local storage, I should have anticipated that the first AppleTV was a dead end in Apple’s eyes, a “mistake” that they are now addressing.

    Apple does many things well, but some things poorly. Sometimes it is difficult to tell when an Apple decision is good or bad – it can take years for the merits (or demerits) of a decision to be fully realized. And many decisions, perhaps most, involve both positive and negative aspects.

    I have to assume that Apple has a plan and is executing according to that plan. I must admit that I have had a bit more difficulty maintaining that faith in recent years, given Apple’s notable missteps with the Mac Pro, Mac mini, and other products. But, I am not aware of aby other consumer electronics company with even half of the bona fides of Apple. Apple remains the best option.

    1. The Cylons had a plan, too. The Emperor had a plan.

      Look where -that- got them.

      Deadski, that’s where.

      Look at me, I had a plan too, a very good plan, but I ended up on pre-paid.


  3. Yep, here in Rural France streaming is still a word only associated with having a cold. I’m currently ditching my four Apple TV’s for a mix of Plex and Raspberry Pi’s. We use them for educational purposes. The ATV’s just don’t give us any flexibility, so they’ll be hitting EBay very soon.

    iTunes is also being kicked into touch and being replaced by Plex Sever on a NAS and local storage on the Raspberry pi’s. The thing I like about the Raspberries is that I can image an SDXC card and copy it for the other R Pi’s and then swap them out for a completely new set up, very handy as we teach multiple languages.

    Before anyone picks up on my Grammar mistakes I’m not part of the teaching staff. 😁

      1. True bluray will be here for many years since rural people will not be served with affordable broadband thanks to monopoly stranglehold on deadbeat congress and a corrupt FCC.

        If you have broadband Roku does provide the most services and useful stuff like audio outputs and a usable remote. Atv sux in comparison

        1. At the end of the day, Roku is just another generic streaming service. If you don’t have broadband, it is just as limited as any other streaming box. Saying “ATV sux in comparison” may make you feel good, but it has no basis in truth. The fact is, ATV has a much better user interface. Have you tried to do something as simple as scrub video on both devices? I’m guessing you haven’t.

          I also like the direction Apple is going with the next release of TV OS which includes things like zero sign on and actual support for Dolby Atmos, etc. You see, there are very clear examples of where ATV is the better solution.

  4. Cloud DVR on my AppleTV 4K works great. Don’t know why i’d want more local storage. Apples main problem with the current AppleTV is not including a better remote that converts to a decent gaming controller.

  5. Used to take an Apple TV with a HD loaded with DVRed TV content for the call room at a rural hospital where I did weekend call. The local cable was awful and the internet available for unofficial use was not that special.

    For my money the best Apple TV would be a modern Mac mini with an updated version of Front Row.

  6. Originally apple was setting us up for a home “cloud”. Back to my mac. Apply tv with storage and so on. Then the cloud hit and everyone smelled the cash of subscriptions and now we have an apple tv that is a cool product but useless in lots of ways. Take a new Apple tv to a cottage without wifi, bring your router and mac mini to watch videos and enjoy the waiting. Damn things won’t load video without a long, like 3 min pause for each video before playing. They talk home to apple before playing the video and when they can’t you get the long wait. Yet they don’t track us and respect our privacy. Yea. Right. I’m ditching all my apple tv’s and itunes for a system that works when connected or not. Hey Tim, see ya later!

  7. I just hope they don’t abandon the early black puck Apple TV’s completely. I upgrade mine, but the older ones go into other rooms. There’s no way I’m upgrading five of them every couple of years. Keeping the old ones working (even without all the new functionality) just helps make them more pervasive.

  8. This article is much to do over nothing. The 1st generation Apple TV is now more than 11 years old. Are we really crying because Apple is dropping support over a product that old?

    If internet connection is a problem, then you still have the option of streaming content from a local PC over WiFi.

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