The Advantages of a Jailbroken Apple TV

By Michael Batton Kaput

If you purchase and watch media primarily using your computer and an Internet connection, the Apple TV media unit might be right up your alley. Apple TV connects your computer to your television, integrating your online media purchasing and consumption with a traditional TV viewing experience. Intrepid users can even jailbreak their Apple TV unit to enhance its functionality even further.


Apple TV is a device that allows users to receive digital content accessed via computer on their high-definition or widescreen television. When Apple TV is linked with a computer running Apple's iTunes digital media program, the television can access a variety of media offerings, including Netflix movie services, any media downloaded through iTunes and video website YouTube. The process of "jailbreaking" your device refers to downloading software that hacks the device, allowing for increased functionality but violating the product's warranty in the process.

More Media

One of the primary reasons to jailbreak your Apple TV is that Apple TV connectivity requires you to use Apple's iTunes software to access media on your TV. This means you are beholden to the apps and types of media chosen by Apple to feature in the iTunes Store. When you jailbreak, however, you can download any application or stream any type of media on your computer or the Internet.

Connectivity with Other Apple Devices

When you jailbreak your Apple TV, you can also turn your iPhone, iPad or iPod into a remote for the system. The remote that comes with Apple TV is limited in its functionality, featuring only a few basic buttons that control the TV's functions. However, after jailbreaking, you can use another Apple device as an alternate remote with more features, including the ability to type into Apple TV with a full service keyboard.

Other Considerations

While jailbreaking is a fairly straightforward process using some of the more popular jailbreaking clients out there, jailbreaking your Apple TV unit violates the device's warranty, if you have one. Also, even if jailbreaking is successful, the apps you can download for a jailbroken Apple TV carry no guarantees: they may work fine or cause problems. Keep in mind that the jailbreaking community is not idle. New jailbreaking apps and opportunities will appear the longer Apple TV remains on the market.