Is Apple TV self-healing and just how many TVs/display types can it work with?

The most interesting buzz of the Apple TV seems to be about an ability to detect damage (or hacks) and restore itself to prime condition. It also seems that with the right adapters, it will work with a much wider range of devices that Apple officially supports. Many users who spent hours over the weekend and earlier in the week hacking their Apple TVs to do things beyond what Apple shipped the device to do have begun reporting that overnight their Apple TV units are being reset somehow and that their hacks are ceasing to function. Initial discussion among many of these users assumed that Apple was somehow resetting their devices remotely. However, it is far more likely that Apple has built a security measure into the Apple TV that is resetting the devices. Since the Apple TV is a Mac OS X based network device, Apple likely included a series of automatically run tools to counteract network attacks, malware, or other damage - these tools are probably treating the hacks as damage to the operating system and repairing them. On the one hand this is bad news for people wanting to modify their Apple TV devices. On the other, it illustrates that Apple is taking security and reliability of the Apple TV seriously and developed a mechanism for the device to automatically detect and resolve problems without user intervention. This is a good thing when you consider that the vast majority of the Apple TV target audience are non-tech types who simply want the Apple TV to work as it is supposed and don't want to have to worry about security issues. In other news, Apple TV will apparently work with many more TVs and displays than those listed as being officially supported. Although I haven't tested the Apple TV with an unsupported device, I can confirm that 480i and 480p resolutions are listed as TV resolution settings. Others have reported being able to connect the Apple TV to standard definition sets with component inputs. A component to S-Video adapter is also being marketed as a solution for users with older TVs that lack component input. Roughly Drafted is also reporting that using an Apple with an HDMI to DVI adapter allows it to work with a DVI monitor. It might even be possible to extend the Apple TV further by using additional adapters, though these two offer a much wider range of use. As always with anything officially unsupported, your milage may vary.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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