MrMC on the AppleTV 4

December 7, 2015 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

For more than a year, I’ve been using XBMC/Kodi on a FireTV as the front-end to MythTV, the linux PVR software.  It’s been a pretty good year.  I’ve occasionally toyed with other apps, and streamed a little Prime content, but mostly I’ve used it for the PVR link to MythTV.

At long last, Apple has released their latest edition of the AppleTV, this time including an app store.  However, we’re never likely to see an AppleTV version of Kodi in the App store.  Kodi just breaks too many rules, and the lead developers aren’t in a hurry to re-make Kodi within Apple’s limits.

Enter Scott Davilla, the XBMC developer who originally ported it to Android and IOS.  Scott has decided to make the tough decisions and remove all the parts of Kodi that Apple has problems with.  Primarily, this means that anything based on python is out the window.  The only add-ons currently available are the PVR binary add-ons (that ship with MrMC).

Davilla has been working on MrMC since soon after tvOS was announced.  The effort to make it safe for the Apple app store has not been trivial, but there’s a release candidate that’s currently going through Apple’s review process.

Positives:
– It plays files via SMB off of my NAS without issue.
– It integrates with my MythTV installation.
– It has played everything I’ve thrown at it.

Negatives:
– Apple’s remote takes a bit of getting used to with MrMC (though you can also use other remotes).

It has completely replaced Kodi for me.

MrMC will be available on tvOS for $5.99 as a launch special, with the price moving to $9.99 soon after.  The source code will be released after Apple has approved the app for the App store.  Effectively, this means you are paying for the convenience of installing via the App store, and getting updates installed easily.

Some may feel that charging for MrMC is controversial, but since the source will be released, you will be free to compile it and side-load it yourself if you wish.  (You’ll need a USB A to USB C cable to do so.)

Personally, I plan to buy it at launch to encourage further development.

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Entry filed under: AppleTV.

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