Yep, that’s a picture of a live football match running on my Apple TV 2. Interested in the ability to watch live sports, stream movies from Amazon VOD and Hulu? Then you’ve come to the right place.

In our third and final tutorial in our Apple TV jailbreak series, we show you how to cut the cable cord completely, and gain access to all sorts of streaming goodies, courtesy of that tiny black miracle box.

If you’ve already taken the steps to jailbreak your Apple TV with Seas0nPass, and install aTV Flash (black), then check inside for the final piece of the puzzle — installing XBMC and streaming content from a PlayOn instance running from your Mac or PC…

Understandably, that sounds a bit complicated in writing, but watching the video shows how ridiculously easy it really is.

For those of you looking for ways to maintain some for of entertainment while eliminating expensive cable of satellite bills, this may be just what you need. I know that I’ve recently “cut the cord” and I’m fairly satisfied with the offerings here.

Live ESPN3, Comedy Central on Demand and Amazon VOD in Action

Granted, this isn’t a 100% free solution, but you get what you put into it. The jailbreak is of course, free; aTV Flash (black) will set you back a one-time fee of $19.95, and PlayOn costs either a monthly or one-time fee, depending on you. Couple that in with Netflix and/or Amazon Prime subscriptions, and you’re possibly looking at $20 bucks a month or so.

Still, that’s a lot cheaper than the $100 a month cable was requiring of me, and I can cancel any of these services with no hassle.

For cable cutters, the Apple TV 2 will only become more desirable as more features are added by the jailbreak community.

What do you think? Is this enough to get you to consider cutting cable? Or does it still leave a lot to be desired?

  • OCD Steve Jobs

    i have my computer hooked up to my 42incher. i still think thats the best route to go

  • soccerkrzy

    And my usual fuck Time Warner Cable for blocking ESPN3 access to their Road Runner users.

    Personally, my wife and I cut the DirecTV cord (actually suspend the account) from April – September and use my HTPC during that time to DVR OTA TV. Then use DirecTV from September until the end of March Madness.

    Apple TV looks cool and thanks for doing the tutorial; however, Apple TV would be too redundant in my Home Theater if I went with it.

  • Honestly, I don’t think the ESPN3 thing relies on your cable service when using it this way. I believe it comes with your PlayOn subscription.

  • Chris

    Um…football? You seem to be confused, that’s clearly soccer *wink*

    • Footballer99

      Football indeed! Perhaps you are referring to American football… sport played with hands and armor

  • Soto

    I cut the cord ever since I bought my PS3 with Netflix. So, I have my Apple TV JB’nd and I’m ready for my espn3 and all the other goodies 🙂
    Does anyone know the monthly charge or fee for PlayOn?

    • you can do around 4 bucks a month, or I believe it’s $70 flat for lifetime.

  • Soto

    I cut the cord ever since I bought my PS3 with Netflix. So, I have my Apple TV JB’nd and I’m ready for my espn3 and all the other goodies.
    Does anyone know the monthly charge or fee for PlayOn?

  • Angelo

    A really big thanks. I watched all tutorials out off simple boredom, but now i really want to have a Apple TV and first thing i will do with it is of course jailbreak it. So thanks for showing me how powerful a Apple TV can become.

  • Joe

    Good tutorial. Good things with appletv. One thing. If u r a sports guy. Direct tv has Sunday ticket plus slot if collage games espn3 doesnt cover that much of any

  • Chico

    Thanks for the tutorial Jeff but unfortunately it doesn’t work in Australia

    Cheers mate

    • Sam

      Probably should’ve read this comment prior to buying a year’s subscription to PlayOn…

  • Matt

    So I followed steps 1-3, but have yet to set up the playon. 2 questions. 1: The xbmc does not fit my screen correctly. How do you make adjustments to the picture size? 2: How do you leave xbmc and return to the main menu? Thanks!

  • Fletch

    Love it daddy’o! I noticed an article in MacLife on aTV Flash (black), googled it, found your videos, and I’m on my way home in a few armed with all the downloads I need to see if I can’t make it happen tonight. Thanks for the absolutely amazingly put together tutorials. All three were very well produced and contained just the information needed to get the job done. I’ve been waiting to really take advantage of my AppleTV for some time. I’ll be running playon on my windows home server, can’t wait to see how well that works…

  • carl

    question do you have to have your pc connected so it can share all he channels and stuff to the apple tv or you just download the software and it gets in to the apple tv by it self ? I’m kind of confuse there?

    • Christopher

      No you don’t have to have pc connected. the software is separate after you jailbreak it of course. You don have to hook up the Apple TV to your PC to jailbreak it though. After that, no PC required.

  • Christopher

    I just bought an Apple TV yesteday and I would have to say it is the best purchase I have ever made!! You have to jailbreak it though for the complete affect. Getting XBMC on your Apple TV is just awesome. The list of movies and shows, WOW! I have pondered getting aTV flash but some of it’s features I already have without it. The one thing it offers that I don’t have is the couch surfer app which you can browse the web. Jailbreaking the Apple TV was easier than my iPhone, but remember to save you shsh blobs first with Tiny Umbrella!! I looked into all the other options and am very happy with my decision!! To the person who commented about TV sizing in XMBC, there is a setting to adjust it. My sizing was off at first but then I adjusted and all is well. Apple TV is the way to go for sure. If you don’t Jailbreak it though you will not be happy.

    “If you don’t have an iPhone, you don’t have sh#$!

  • Ryan

    Great videos – I’ve completed the 3 steps but now face a “Watch ESPN ERROR” screen after selecting any of the “LIVE” ESPN 3 events available. Has anyone else seen this? Any ideas on how to overcome?

    Also, ESPN 3 was my big motivation for completing the process. I want to be sure that I am enjoying the full capability of my new “Maintenance Option”, XBMC and PlayOn. What are the best features? Any advice on how to maximize enjoyment?

    Thanks again

  • Andres

    When I tried to download couch surfer something comes up an it say dPkg e and it does not let me download it CAN SOME ONE PLEAS HELP ME!!

  • Marcus

    I appreciate the blog and the tips, but I’m a bit disappointed to find out you need parallells on mac to do all of this.

    Parallels costs 80 bucks.

    You can get a Roku to do the things your AppleTV doesnt’ do for about the same price and much less hassle.

    Debating what to do, so again, thanks for the food for thought.

  • bob

    What the hell is Play OHN?

    I believe it’s called Play ON.

  • scottiedubya

    switched to bridged now i have no connection on my windows via parallels. Any advice?

  • Anonymous

    is there a way to load boxee on the appletv

  • This is really sweet, but I was wondering do you need espn and fox sports creds to use those plugins?

  • Unsure if you said it or not Jeff but you can download and install XBMC without aTV Flash (Black)

  • Anonymous

    I live in Brazil and have been using apple tv. However, I have not been able to use some us based content like netflix and hulu. Will that still be an issue with XBMC:

  • what if i dont have parallels??? please help

    • you can use virtualbox. its free and so is ubuntu.

      Virtualbox here –

      Ubuntu here –

      I have parallels and just wanted to try vb. Works great, but you do see the difference in a paid product (parallels) and a free Virtual box.

      With that being said 99 bucks can be a lot of money if you don’t necessarily need to be running virtual machines a lot.

      P.S. dont forget to change your network settings in your virtual machine to bridged so it will get its own ip address.

      Hope that helps!



  • Do you need to pay to get aTV to get these apps to work?
    Where is Cydia when you need it.

  • kelley van boxmeer

    I’m having trouble, I did everything right I thought except after I typed in the upnp:// and click the two okays then went to my videos and files and i clicked on the Upnp media server folder there was nothing in it no play on or anything. (i made sure that my internet was bridged and not wifi)

  • Anonymous

    I did everything he said in the tutorial. But I do not see “Library” under Videos. I only see “Files” and “Add-ons.” I am running PlayOn in parallels with Windows 7 on my Mac. The internet connection is set to “Bridged.” NOT Ethernet. It says “Default Adaptor” connection, but still bridged. Ethernet does not work. When I click on Ethernet, it gives me this ERROR message:

    “The real network adapter Ethernet used by the virtual adapter 1 is not connected to the network.

    Make sure the real adapter is connected to a wireless or wired network.”

    Is THIS the reason why I cannot see the “Library” option under Videos? Please help! Thank you.

    PS: I should mention that I downloaded PlayOn to my iPhone and I AM able to see Amazon VOD movies on my device. It works as it should. So what is the problem with Apple TV?

  • Joanne

    Does the apple box need to be plugged into your pc to download the espn and other stuff via micro cable?

  • david

    Apple is a very good company and strongly discourages Apple TV unlock and jailbreaks. I will tell you how I solved this problem, I used a media player app by the name PlayerXtreme. This is a free application, I use it for listening to music, I can look at the images in any format and I also watch movies with it. You can use the chrome cast and air play to play and 3times your Apple TV in 1080p, you can cast a video with better audio quality. In addition, by creating a local network, it will help you to access data from other devices in your home.