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Why there is no longer a good reason to jailbreak your Apple TV

Matthew Mombrea | Aug. 28, 2015
Apple TV is no longer the clear choice.

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Credit: Amazon

One of the most popular posts I've written is about jailbreaking your Apple TV - why you'd want to and how to do it. Written three years ago, the Apple TV was either peaking or had already begun its decent as the clear choice for a video streaming device that could also run XBMC (now known as Kodi) when jailbroken. At the time the Apple TV 3 was just coming out and there was not yet a successful path to gaining root, so people were left to either grab a generation 2 model off eBay or continue to wait. The jailbreak process never came to the generation 3 model and the popularity of the device as a choice for a home theater PC faded. 

A major problem with jailbreaking your Apple TV is that you'll no longer get the standard software updates for the device. That means once you gain root access, the Apple TV will never improve, even as new features and services are added. You could always redo the entire process but that's a pain. This was OK before there were such a large number of services available but now with HBO Go, an upcoming NFL season ticket service, etc. it's hard to justify keeping it around just for streaming media from your PC - especially when there are alternatives.

I've been using my Apple TV 2 - jailbroken with Kodi - for over 3 years now as my primary streaming device. I've upgraded the iOS version a couple of times to gain new services like HBO Go but it's still not at the latest version. Lately my device has been unable to play video through HBO Go, probably due to the jailbreaking process. The fix is to factory reset the device but that would mean jailbreaking it yet again. Adding to my hesitation to do so, Kodi has announced that starting with the current version 15, the Apple TV will no longer be supported as a viable device. The whole point of me jailbreaking the Apple TV has always been to run XBMC/Kodi and now it's not supported anymore! 

But I'm over it. The Apple TV can still exist as it does for me today and move to the basement TV or whatever. It's time to upgrade.

I still want to use Kodi but now I don't have to compromise thanks to a larger number of supported devices - most of which don't require jailbreaking. There are a few standout options:

  • Amazon Fire TV [FireOS]
  • Amazon Fire TV Stick [FireOS]
  • Google Nexus Player [Android TV]
  • Nvidia Shield TV [Android TV]


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