How to install SlingPlayer on AppleTV

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Welcome to Greg's guide to getting SlingPlayer to work on Apple TV.

I would read all of the instructions first to make sure you understand what’s involved. Step 9 may be a stumbling block for some people as it involves obtaining a file (recovery.dmg from the original Apple TV software version) that is not readily available. Read step 9 (and the linked guides) before you proceed. But I will say, you may not even need this file, it’s just that I used it and I don’t know whether it works without it.

Also make sure Slingplayer (version 1.0.7) is up and running on your Mac before attempting this.

I have made this as simple as possible because many of the users have commented on how difficult it is to understand the current guides out there as they assume a fairly advanced knowledge of the terminal.

This guide assumes you are starting fresh with a wiped Apple TV (as you can see in step one), but feel free to try this if you have already hacked yours and installed nitoTV, just start at step 10.

It has now been confirmed by one user on the Sling Community forums that the app runs fine without resetting Apple TV first.

Reset your Apple TV

Before proceeding with the installation I would do a factory reset of your Apple TV then do an update to the latest version. If you can’t afford to reset your machine, at least update to the latest version.

Download atvusb-creator

Download the atvusb-creator software from This will crack the Apple TV so you can access its files from your computer. You will need a USB thumb drive with at least 512Mb minimum storage. Follow the instructions on the website, a few tips though: I chose “ATV-Patchstick” as the install and “XBMC/Boxee” as the install option. The software will format your thumb drive and you will lose any data on it. Also make sure the USB Target Device is correct, because it offers no description of what drive is what, the best idea is to unplug all other USB drives, including external hard drives. That way there will only be one target device to chose from meaning you will not accidently erase the wrong drive. I understand the coders are going to put a better description than just /dev/disk2 on a future update but for now just make sure you have the correct disk selected.

Run the atvusb-creator

One the patchstick has been made (can take a while) turn your Apple TV off and insert the thumb drive into the Apple TV USB port. Turn it back on and you should see a boot screen which will take about a minute to complete. If there are no errors, unplug the box again, remove the thumb drive and plug it back in again.

Download & Run Fugu

Download a program called Fugu, this will allow us to browse the folders of the Apple TV without having to do too much entry in the terminal. Open Fugu and on the right hand side where it says Connect to type in: AppleTV.local and for the username type in frontrow the password, when it asks for one is also frontrow. Leave Port and Directory blank. If you get a connection error, try and tick the Force SSH1 connection to server in the advanced options below the text entry fields. If you continue to get an error, the patch stick may not have worked.

Download nitoTV

Now download the latest version of Nito TV from and extract the zip file into a folder (should do this automatically) so you have a folder called nitoTV Take Two.

Copy nitoTV to Apple TV

On the left panel will be your local computer’s files and on the right are the Apple TV’s files. On the right you should see folders like Applications Documents Library etc. Now we need to drag the nitoTV Take Two folder from the left hand side (your computer) to the right (Apple TV), so find wherever you saved it and drag it over being careful to drag it into the root directory on the right and not into one of the folders already there. When copied, you should see it there in between Music Playlists and Pictures.

Install nito TV

Open Terminal (applications/utilities) and type:

ssh -1 frontrow@appletv.local

If you have any problems leave the -1 out. It will ask you for a password which is also frontrow. Now if you type:


you will get a list of folders and just like in Fugu and you should see the nitoTV Take Two folder you transferred over. Type:

cd "nitoTV Take Two" 

(Make sure there are quotes around nitoTV Take Two or it will not work). Type:


again and you should see four files including installme. Now type:

chmod 755 installme


sudo ./installme

and when promted for a password type frontrow. This should install nitoTV for you. Go to your Apple TV and you should see it there with all the other default Apple TV menu items. If not unplug the Apple TV and plug it back in again.

Install Perian, mplayer, Turbo's kextloader & Smart Install

Within nitoTV go to Settings then the Install Software option at the top of the menu. You will now need to install Perian, mplayer, Turbo’s kextloader and Smart Install. Now the first three should be fine but this is where it may get tricky: before you run the Smart Install you will need to download the 10.4.9 combo update from Apple: and using Fugu transfer the .dmg (do not extract it, just move it) to the Documents folder of the Apple TV (you may need to create this folder if it doesn't exist, create it in the home directory where Music Playlists, Pictures, nitoTV Take Two etc. are).

The other file that you (may) need to have is the recovery.dmg file from an orignal Apple TV version 1.0. I cannot help you with this, if you have an original Apple TV (I have been told the easiest way to tell is that when you do a factory restore, you do not have YouTube as a menu option) there are instructions on how to extract this from your machine: but if you do not have an original version of the software this guide may help . I don’t know whether you need the recovery.dmg but I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t. If you can get the recovery.dmgfile then move it into the Documents folder just like the .dmg above. Then run the installer.

Move SlingPlayer to Apple TV

Once Perian, mplayer, the kextloader and the smart install are loaded, the next step is to transfer the SlingPlayer application over. So find it in Fugu and drag it over to the Applications folder (you may need to create this folder if it doesn't exist, create it in the home directory where Music Playlists, Pictures, nitoTV Take Two etc. are). You will also need to copy over three preference files and one folder for SlingPlayer to work, these are located in "Username"/Library/Preferences (or if they are not there then in /Library/Preferences) to the Library/Preferences folder of Apple TV. The three files you are looking for are: com.slingmedia.plist, com.slingmedia.slingplayer.plist & com.slingmedia.setupassistant.plist. You may not need the last one but it wont hurt to copy it over. Then in the same directory you found those three files, copy over the SlingMedia folder to the same directory.

Enabling Mouse Cursor

You will need to get the mouse going before running the Slingplayer app. The kextloader should have enabled USB for you so the keyboard should be working but the mouse won’t be working. In actual fact when you plug it in it will work but you won’t be able to see the cursor so here is a list of instructions to get that going:'Enable'_Mouse_Cursor/Pointer_on_the_AppleTV

A few tips: Firstly, when the guide says copy the MouseLocator.png to /Users/frontrow/Pictures it means copy it to the Picturesfolder that you see when you first login to Apple TV with Fugu. When it refers to /Library/PreferencePanes this is "italic"not"italic" the same as the Library/PreferencePanes folder that you can open when you first login to Fugu. To find Library/PreferencePanes in fugu, once you have logged in, there is a little round blue up arrow near the top right of the software, keep pressing this until the box to its left says / , you are now in the root directory and should see the Library folder you are looking for. What I did was copy the MouseLocator.prefPane file to both System/Library/PreferencePanes (even though the guide says copy it to /Library/PreferencePanes I actually copied to System/ Library/PreferencePanes and it worked fine) & Users/frontrow/Library/PreferencePanes just to be sure it will work.

Secondly, if you cannot copy the MouseLocator.prefPane file to Library/PreferencePanes because Fugu says something about not having permission then you will need to use the terminal. To use terminal first you need to copy the MouseLocator.prefPane file to the opening screen of Fugu when you first login (like what you did with the nitoTV Take Two folder in step 7). Then open terminal again and login (just like the start of step 8). When logged in type:


and you should see the MouseLocator.prefPane file, then type:

sudo mv MouseLocator.prefPane System/Library/PreferencePanes

Another tip would be before copying all these preference files over, install the MouseLocator software on your Mac. Open up System Preferences then find Mouse Locator, tick Activate Mouse Locator then tick Always On and close System Preferences. Then you probably won’t have to install the System Preferences pane like it says in the guide because the settings should be correct. All you should need to do is turn off the AppleTV, plug an apple keyboard into the USB slot and then use one of the keyboard’s USB slots to plug a mouse in. I didn't do this step when I installed the MouseLocater but after rebooting the Apple TV the cursor appeared, I later installed the preference pane for something else and it was already checked by default so while this extra step may be redundant, I would do it anyway just to be sure.

Finally, you will only start to see the mouse cursor after running SlingPlayer in the step below.

Run SlingPlayer

Finally open nitoTV and then go to Applications in its menu then find the and run it. By now you should be able to see the mouse cursor. With any luck you should get some video and sound, you can’t really move the window around because whenever you do the program crashes and you need to press the menu button on the remote to get back to nitoTV. If you need to change any settings, the menu bar is actually above out of sight, just move the mouse to the top and out of screen (where the menu bar would be in OS X) and click, the dropdown menus should appear. To go to full screen press command+F.

This was written by me in response to the thread started at if you have any problems you might want to ask there.