OpenELEC (community) v6.0.1 (Kodi Isengard v15.2)
OpenELEC 6.0.1 is released - apologies for the delay in uploading. There are no major changes over the 6.0.0 release for AppleTV users (fixes solve issues with other hardware) so if you're happy with 6.0.0 there's no "must have" reason to update. I have added some patches to the Broadcom wireless driver but I made no progress in understanding root cause so I don't expect to see a change in the wireless issues seen by a small number of users. I have a suspicion problems are related to radio configuration and may be influenced by wireless regulatory domain but I don't have access-point hardware that allows that theory to be tested.
There have been requests to roll back to an earlier driver but that's easier than it sounds. It's simple to derive a working patch-set for "old kernel + old driver" (Ubuntu is an easy source) and "latest kernel + latest driver" (Arch is an easy source) but "recent kernel + old driver" is hard/impossible to find. Another option is swapping Broadcom "wl" for the in-kernel "b43" driver but this doesn't support 5GHz networks so would create as many problems as it solves. Catch 22. For now we stick with the latest Broadcom driver as it's the only one that also works with the 4.4 Kernel in OpenELEC 7.0 builds.
NB: OpenELEC 7.0 will be along soon with Kodi 16.0 (Jarvis) and I have working test builds. The VideoPlayer changes that break our ability to patch CrystalHD support back into Kodi will appear in Kodi 17.0 so unless someone with proper coding skills volunteers, the OpenELEC 7.0 release is the end of the line for CrystalHD.
This build requires a different partition layout to all OpenELEC AppleTV installations before v5.95.4. To update from an earlier release keeping your current library, addons and configuration you will need to follow a simple backup > install > restore procedure. The same process can be used to migrate from Crystalbuntu. If you store media on an external USB drive or NAS the procedure should take no more than ~10 minutes. If you store media on the internal drive (and want to keep it) the files must be moved off-box first which will take longer. I apologise for the inconvenience, but users with a CrystalHD card will like these builds :)
In the past OpenELEC "had a few challenges" with CrystalHD but these are 95%+ resolved. It will never be 100% with a 1GHz single-core CPU and 256MB RAM in the box, but following one of life's "in hindsight it's obvious" moments some important packaging changes have been made, and combined with other performance tweaks I can now play a 43GB Blu-Ray ISO in my collection smoothly (scenes up to 38-40Mb/sec and previously impossible) while more sensibly sized media starts in seconds.
If you understand creating installer USB's and want to rush straight to a clean install:
Install to HDD: OpenELEC-ATV.i386-6.0.1-hdd.img.gz
Install to USB: OpenELEC-ATV.i386-6.0.1-usb.img.gz
To manually update from v5.95.4, v5.95.5 or v6.0.0 use the file below:
Update file: OpenELEC-ATV.i386-6.0.1.tar.gz
If creating installers means nothing or you want to preserve media and configuration; please follow the links below to instructions on backup, creating the OpenELEC USB installer, and restoring the backup after installation.
Make a Backup - Make the Installer USB on MacOS, Windows, Linux - Restore a Backup
Usage & Configuration Notes
Using a BCM970012 card I've experienced a black screen or light stuttering at playback start with some media. If I hit rewind on the remote (small skip back) I will 9/10 times see video and smooth playback. I do not see these issues with a newer BCM970015 card. Both cards benefit from accurate Xorg modelines and "Adjust Refresh" enabled to avoid the CPU load from telecine conversion to 60Hz. Most media I have plays fine at 60Hz and the "instant" start to playback is nice, but at larger media file sizes you need "Adjust Refresh" enabled; it's the difference between smooth consistent playback and unresolvable stuttering when the CPU simply cannot keep up. I find a 0.4-0.5 second pause prevents audio/video from getting too far out of sync during the refresh rate change and resync is resolved quicker.
Core services (samba, avahi and cron) are disabled by default in this build. You can enable them again if needed, but they all consume RAM the box doesn't have so it's better to leave them off. The first rendering of subtitles also causes a CPU spike that results in frame drops so I backported a Jarvis feature that defaults them to off.
The build has buffermode=1 (buffering to disk) with readbufferfactor=4 and a cachemembuffersize value of 10MB pre-set in the embedded advancedsettings.xml file. In testing a larger cache size makes no visible difference to how things work. This is a different from older OpenELEC and Crystalbuntu installations where a large cache often helped. You can override the defaults via /storage/.kodi/userdata/advancedsettings.xml but the default settings work well.
Support and Future Updates
This is released as a "community" build. I am no longer associated with the OpenELEC project but if you create a forum topic to ask questions I will do my best to help (post questions directly in the forum, not via PM please). As this is a community build automatic updates will not work and future releases will require a manual update. I will post release announcements with update file links via a thread in the OpenELEC forums.
AppleTV forum area: http://openelec.tv/forum/123-apple-atv-mk1
For those interested in self-building OpenELEC images with custom changes the sources are now in GitHub. If you would like to submit improvements, pull-requests (PR's) with changes are welcome!
OpenELEC 6.0 branch:
git clone -b appletv-6.0 https://github.com/chewitt/OpenELEC.tv.git
OpenELEC 7.0 branch:
git clone -b appletv-7.0 https://github.com/chewitt/OpenELEC.tv.git
If you've any specific questions on creating AppleTV images please use the AppleTV section in the forums.
The resurrection of OpenELEC on AppleTV is my own labour of love and incompetence, but I owe thanks to vpeter for helping me hack CrystalHD to run on 4.1.x kernels, and Soli for the 'eureka!' packaging suggestion and help with testing. Sam from OSMC also deserves a mention as we have been exchanging patches behind the scenes for the benefit of both distro's.