Apple TV2 (ATV2) Upgrade from Hell

Apple TV 2nd Gen

Apple TV 2nd Gen

Well it seems that Apple is on its High Horse again. It’s seems that they want your investment dollars to pay for their new product lines maybe? What I’m talking / typing about is the Recent Apple TV 2 upgrade (I didn’t ask for). Apple said it was to support their new products coming out soon (iWatch) and they also put more content into it (playable video/audio sources) with the addition of now supporting a Bluetooth keyboard?!? Sorry did I here that correctly?!? My old hardware now magically supports Bluetooth where it didn’t before?!? That’s funny if my memory is correct… I thought the Apple TV 3 (ATV3) only has that feature with wifi also… According to the menus in setup I guess I do to now…. However it doesn’t seem to pair with any of my Bluetooth keyboards. Apple’s response to this was it only works with their keyboards. I guess I forgot to tell them I own one….

Anyway where the fun really starts off is when the ATV2 finished updating itself (again not asked for) it reboot to use the changes, and low and behold it couldn’t get the date and time off the Apple servers…. It just got stuck trying to update its time settings… I guess you need to have an accurate time setting when working with Digital Rights Media (DRM) files that don’t store onto but stream to itself. Without the correct time sync on the ATV2 the device wouldn’t work if bypassed and reset with the correct settings for the network (yup they were reset back to defaults).

Anyway Apple says to buy an ATV3 or newer (depending on when you read this article) and all my problems will be gone. Ok, will they give me back my investment of the ATV2 which was working fine before the upgrade?!? Or will they let me downgrade the ATV2 to the working software?!? The answer is NO, they want myself and everyone else to buy new equipment and chuck out the old one. Well if you know me that is not gonna happen….

IMG_0778.JPGAfter going on for 6 months (ya, 6 months) of reading endless to endless ideas of solutions that said to work from other people nothing worked. I tried upgrading, downgrading, different routers, different modems, turning off firewalls (not recommended buy the way), putting the ATV2 behind the DMZ of the network fully open to the Internet all solutions tried thus far were hopeless and a big waste of time. I read to port forward port 123 (ntp) or have a ntp server on the same network, again waste of time solutions.

IMG_0784.JPGThen I read somewhere someone with the same problem had a working solution… And according to apple this will screw up the warranty, and that is to jailbreak the ATV2 so you can set the time manually after a full power cycle. It makes sense because apple closes off all ports like telnet or ssh (ways to set the date). After looking at all options the cost was better that what apple was charging for a ATV3 and that is FREE. The only cost involved is once Jailbroken the device you can add more features (that should be there). The scope of this article is not how to jailbreak the device (way too many other articles out there already on this subject) but to inform you that once the ATV2 is Jailbroken (rooted, whatever) all you have to do is get a SSH client to connect into the device and set the time.

IMG_0783.PNGAmazing this is once the time and date is set the ATV2 comes back to life with all of apple features (still no Bluetooth keyboard working) and not having to go out and buy a new ATV3.
I guess I’m just old school when it comes to technology, if it does everything you need they why upgrade?!? Yes I know the ATV2 doesn’t support the newer TVs out there today, but if I’m not putting in a new tv then why would I buy a new device from apple (that by the way is forcing us with the new upgrade we didn’t ask for)?!? Maybe down the road when a newer TV comes along… But with tactics like this from so called good companies today doing this then maybe I will look elsewhere when the time is right and not apple. Just a thought.

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