Apple's Killed the 1st Gen Apple TV for Good

Apple TV May 7, 2018

So after I spent all that time last year fucking around upgrading the hard disk in my first generation Apple TV and despite several setbacks after succeeding due to newer versions of iTunes not recognising it, it seems now Apple's decided to implement 'security changes' to the way the iTunes Store is accessed, which will prevent old versions of iTunes and of course the first generation Apple TV from being able to connect to it. They quietly announced this change back in February and it is supposed to be coming into force on the 25th of this month.

How I ended up finding out about this was because my own ATV is suffering from an odd issue currently; it is slow and unresponsive in the menus, jerks and stutters when playing videos, images flicker constantly and no content from the iTunes Store loads. When I went looking for possible solutions I came across this announcement so I initially assumed Apple implemented the changes early and as such the ATV can 'see' the iTunes Store but is being refused access to it due to not conforming to the new security requirements. And rather than giving up after a few attempts it keeps on trying to connect, creating overheads on the system that make the whole damn thing act the way it does.

However I'm not so sure it is because of the changes, not least of all due to the fact they aren't even supposed to have been made yet but also because a cursory search on the issue I'm having brought up results from years ago suggesting it has happened several times before to many other people. The only way to fix it seems to be to unplug the Ethernet cable (and presumably disconnecting it from the WiFi would work too if that's how it connects) which is less than ideal. Despite that even if this particular lag problem I'm experiencing is just a coincidence and is eventually corrected, the ATV is still pretty much dead in Apple's (and my) eyes as of the 25th. With no access to the iTunes store you won't be able to verify purchases so any films or TV shows you have on your account will become inaccessible.

Coupled with the fact the latest versions of iTunes do indeed seem to have had support for the unit quietly removed from them and you're pretty much left with a brick — because previous versions of iTunes that do still work with the 1st generation ATV will also lack the security enhancements Apple has implemented and thus will also be locked out of the iTunes store. This will of course only affect purchases you've made on the iTunes store, so if you have your own library of videos then you'll still be able to sync them to the ATV provided you use iTunes 12.6.5.3 or before.

My attempts at installing OSMC on the ATV didn't yield desirable results either as it doesn't make it particularly easy to transfer files to the device. It's by no means impossible but the easiest method seemed to be to install Samba via the OSMC app store, except I couldn't access that app store because the button in the GUI was apparently broken. OSMC no longer receives updates to the Apple TV version either so that's pretty much dead in the water. I could go on but I won't, there comes a point when you have to admit defeat and Apple's pretty much got this bastard sewn up. So fuck it.

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