The Apple TV can appear quite limited when you compare it to other media set-top boxes. Unless you're really into the Apple ecosystem you’ll find that it offers a very limited number of channel apps and it's airplay features are quite marginal. However, we have good news! You can acquire a whole lot more content and much more functionality out of your Apple TV by a simple jailbreak.
The word 'jailbreak' does sound a bit worrying, hey? To some it may sound even criminal, but don't worry, jailbreaking has become very popular in the last few years, despite the continuous question about legality. In fact, it's such a simplified process now that pretty-much anyone who is capable of installing software on their computer can successfully jailbreak a mobile phone, home theater, or gaming device.
Unlock the Power of your Apple TV
Anyone who jailbreak their Apple TV is basically opening up endless possibilities of what the Apple TV is capable of. For example, the standard Apple TV is only capable of playing certain music and movie formats. It's because of this that most people decide to jailbreak Apple TV. Usually you're required by Apple TV to use the iTunes software to access media on your television set. This of course means that you're limited to the types of media and apps selected by Apple to be available in their iTunes store. In addition, you can install popular apps such as XBMC which make it so much easier to stream digital content right through your home network.
It should be noted that, when you jailbreak, you're not removing any of the functionality or native applications that have been included by Apple in the base firmware. This means that you can still purchase premium movie rentals on iTunes and access streaming video applications such as Netflix.
So, Is It Worth It?
Only you can answer this question because it depends entirely on your own needs. If your home network includes a huge library of stored media, there would be considerable benefit in widening the functionality of the Apple TV and installing XBMC or other media manager to assist in navigating your content. The XBMC and Plex server are great options if you want access to the huge variety of streaming video on the internet. If you're interested in accessing all the free television episodes from networks like NBC, ABC, SyFy, USA, FX, The CW, and so on, then you'll be able to access these with the Bluecop Repository installed within XBMC. And, if you want to change the layout of the navigation menus, tweak other settings, and add custom backgrounds, then Apple TV jailbreak will give you everything you want.
What About Apple TV 3 Jailbreak
The Apple TV 2 can be jailbroken very easily using Seas0nPass. No technical knowledge is required, and by using our free jailbreak guide it will only take about five minutes to successfully jailbreak your Apple TV.
It's true that the third generation Apple TV is already on the market, but second hand Apple TV 2 is still selling very well. And there's a very obvious and simple reason for this: currently there's no free jailbreak tool for the Apple TV 3.
At this point in time it doesn't appear that any hackers are working on an Apple TV 3 jailbreak; at least no-one that we've heard about. This means that there's very little chance that a jailbreak will be discovered for the latest generation of Apple TV. Therefore, you are left with two options: you accept Apple's limitations and enjoy the new third generation TV as is, or alternatively you stay with the Apple TV 2.