Fix HDCP on HDMI controller AppleTV

After I build my AppleTV hard drive from Scratch, I did some hacking so my AppleTV now can play any file formats and use external USB hard drive to store media (500GB). The big problem occurred when I rented “I am a legen HD” from iTunes and tried to play on my AppleTV (connected to Acer LCD). There is an error said

“This content requires HDCP for playback.

HDCP isn’t supported by your HDMI connection.
Use the component video connection to watch this content.”

So I desperately cannot watch my rented movie unless I change my expensive HDMI to cheap Component cable. I don’t want to mess up with my cables which are quite difficult to reach, so I did a little google and found out that they are many similar cases over the net. I tried many thing but finally this is the step that works for me.

We need to update HDMI controller in AppleTV. Here are the steps.

  • Go to with Firefox (does not work on my Safari)
  • Use Firefox to download 2 files (These file might change upon AppleTV firmware version)


  • Copy those two files to AppleTV
  • Use Terminal to run this command

$ chmod +x hdmiutil
$ chmod +x FW29050_20080205_dse_hex.sihex
$ ./hdmiutil FW29050_20080205_dse_hex.sihex

  • Terminal should respond with this message

hdmiutil - HDMI Flash Utility Version 1.1000 (Mac)
For Programming Silicon Image's SiI1930 (DVI-HDMI) microcontroller.
Copyright (C) 2006-2008, NVIDIA Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Using default I2C configuration on Mac platform.
Temporarily disabling hotplug interrupt processing...
Firmware Filename: FW29050_20080205_dse_hex.sihex
!!! Do not interrupt power or hotplug displays during flashing process. !!!
!!! This might take a while to complete (approx 5 min for each file) !!!
Sector Erase 0%........10%.......20%........30%.......40%........
Programming 0%..........10%..........20%..........30%..........
40%..........50%..........60%..... (goes till 100%)
OK - file FW29050_20080205_dse_hex.sihex firmware flashed successfully!
Re-enabling hotplug interrupt processing...

  • After unplug and re-plug, your AppleTV should be able to play rented HD movie.

Enjoy ^_^

Build AppleTV Take2 harddrive

For someone who accidentally formatted or bricked TV hard drive (like I did), here are steps that work for me on Leopard (10.5.4)

  • Either you got new hard drive or bricked hard drive, you got to connect hard drive to you mac
  • Use diskutil list to see your disk partition (we need to know where an TV hard drive is)
  • Here is what proper partitions should look like when you finish (please note /dev/disk1 as you TV hard drive)

  • Then delete and re-create partition table using command below in Terminal

gpt destroy /dev/disk1

gpt create /dev/disk1

  • Now we need to partition harddrive, first create EFI partition

gpt add -b 40 -i 1 -s 409600 -t efi /dev/disk1

  • Then create Apple_Recovery partition

gpt add -b 409640 -i 2 -s 819200 -t 5265636F-7665-11AA-AA11-00306543ECAC /dev/disk1

  • Next is OSBoot which is where the OSX fit in

gpt add -b 819240 -i 3 -s 1843200 -t hfs /dev/disk1

  • The last partition is Media which is all the movies and songs are located. This partition you need to fill in the *size* part your self by looking at the end size using command

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1sudo gpt show /dev/disk1
gpt add -b 1843240 -i 4 -s *size* -t hfs /dev/disk1

  • After partitioning, we need to format OSBoot and Media partition in HFS+ Format

diskutil eraseVolume "Journaled HFS+" OSBoot /dev/disk1s3

diskutil eraseVolume "Journaled HFS+" Media /dev/disk1s4

diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk1

  • Now you ready to restore OSBoot partition to working state. Download the latest AppleTV Take 2 software by checking link here
  • Then you can use Disk Utility to easily restore OSBoot partition
  • Set the source to the newly AppleTV image that you just downloaded (2Z694-5428-3.dmg), and drag the OSBoot partition to Destination. After that press “Restore” button.

Picture 1.jpg

  • This process took about 3 minutes, after this step you’re done.
  • Connect TV hard drive back to TV
  • Once you startup the TV, it will create EFI image in TV automatically
  • I did the Factory restore to make sure that everything is working fine.
  • Now your TV is ready to use (and to be hacked ^_^)

Thanks for and for a very useful information.

How to restore AppleTV or upgrade?

I think there are many people accidentally delete or format theirTV hard drive (like I did). Obviously we need to buy a new hard drive or restore damaged hard drive to the functional state. There are many thread regarding this subject on over internet, but I think my method is simplest and easiest. Here is what I did.

1. Get the latest TV image from link below

AppleTV take 2.0.2 firmware

2. Connect your hard drive to your Mac.

3. Open the Disk Utility application. You should see new firmware that you just downloaded and TV and see your new connected hard drive.
4. Click on your new hard drive and go to restore tab.
5. Drag firmware to the ‘source’ field and new hard drive to the ‘destination’ field, as in picture below.

Picture 2.jpg

6. Click on restore and you’re done.

PS. This method is working on my machine which I spent less than 10 minutes for the whole process. However, there is no ‘recovery’ partition created on this method (which is not important since everything on my AppleTV take 2.0.2 is working fine)