Things You'll Need:
- Apple TV 2G (small black model)
- A microUSB cable (get one here)
- Latest version of iTunes installed
- Disconnected all other iDevices from computer
- aTV Flash (black) software ($30)
Step 1: In order to hack your AppleTV, you'll need to 'jailbreak' it. Don't worry, this is completely legal. Just run over and download the latest copy of Seas0npass. Best to make sure no other iOS devices are plugged in at this point.
Step 2: Launch Seas0npass and select 'Create IPSW.' Connect your AppleTV into your computer with the microUSB cable when prompted (no power cable needed), let it do its magic, and then plug it back into your TV when it's finished.Step 3: Install aTV Flash (black) and wait until it picks up your AppleTV 2G. This shouldn't take long. Once it picks it up, let it install the software package and then proceed to restart. Once it boots back up, proceed into the 'Manage Extras' tab and install whichever apps you want.
So what does all your hard work earn you? If you know and use MKV, AVI, MP4 files, your Apple TV now can play them. You can also use a built-in web browser for couch surfing and listen to Last.fm radio stations. And streaming files directly from any machine, Mac or PC, is made as easy as a few button presses. It's a big upgrade from the out-of-box Apple TV experience we can't recommend enough.
We also recommend checking out Media Player (streams pretty much anything you throw at it, and it even has subtitle support) and Remote HD (an iPhone remote app that makes typing anything into the AppleTV so much easier).
If you get stuck for any reason, check out FireCore's jailbreaking 101 for a more thorough walkthrough!