In late June, the signin on my old Apple TV 2 for MLB stopped working. This was not entirely unexpected because I run it jailbroken to allow the use of non-Apple software on the device, and the jailbreak software service (Firecore’s ATV Flash (black)) I use requires that the Apple-provided operating system not be updated beyond an old version, 5.3. Therefore as application providers change aspects of their services, including Apple, bits and pieces of the software on the device will fail as well.
I previously had set up XBMC on the device with an add-on installed called MLBMC that allows XBMC to access MLB.TV streams, but similar issues are affecting both XBMC and MLBMC – XBMC is now called Kodi and has a different suite of supported devices, and the volunteer developer for the MLBMC add-on has left the XBMC development community for reasons unknown.
I sighed and grouchily set about researching my options, eventually concluding that the best way to re-establish login to the MLB app was by un-jailbreaking the device and letting Apple update it. The plan was then to use AirPlay re-streamers to get local content on to the Apple TV, which is Apple’s preferred way of letting consumers use non-Apple content on the ATV family of products. It’s exactly what the Amazon Instant Video app does, and the developers of Firecore even have an app that does exactly that, Infuse. It’s been some time since Apple’s ATV version of iOS has been jailbroken, and it seems likely that there won’t be future jailbreaks, so these restreamers are the best we can do with the devices.
After playing with that setup, I found that none of the re-streamers I had in hand did a good job transcoding 1080p local content to the ATV2’s max rez of 720p and decided to give jailbreaking another go, this time with the idea of a fresh install of Kodi and some hacking around in the underbrush of MLBMC in the hopes that a new maintainer or version had appeared. In the end, this approach succeeded, though with some caveats. MLBMC was no longer, and may still not be, an officially-approved add-on for Kodi and consequently has been removed from the default ‘repository’ that is the most easily accessed source of software add-ons for Kodi. Therefore I had to hand-install it in the ATV2 implementation of Kodi.
I took the time to document this in a couple of posts at Firecore’s generally-moribund forums and wanted to take the time to grab that and publish it here too.
First, I responded to a fellow-user looking to get MLB working again.
Chris, I see this too. I have gone ahead and rerun all the steps (restore to factory, re-jailbreak) and can add a couple of observations. First, after a full factory restore to Apple’s current iOS, MLB.tv did work, as far as logging in was concerned. I did not try it with a geospoofed IP, but my understanding is that with a geospoofing DNS proxy service you can get around blackouts in the app on a non-JB ATV.
My prior setup had an old version of XBMC installed with divingmule’s abandoned MLBMC XBMC add-on and the add-on was able to connect and stream MLB content even with the MLB.tv app no longer functioning. However, the livestreams were stuttering and failing badly enough that I decided to tear it all down and start over.
Once I was on Apple’s official release I tried using several AirPlay-based restreamers to send my local content to the ATV and found that lo-rez content (480SD and up to 720p) played well, but HD 1080p content did not. I therefore determined to try an install of Kodi.
I just finished re-jailbreaking with seas0npass. I can confirm that seas0npass successfully rolls the base system on the ATV2 to 5.3 and that reinstalling Firecore and in 5.3 MLB.tv is no longer functional. I do not yet know if I can re-add MLBMC to Kodi even though it is no longer maintained.
Then, a couple of days later, with everything running smoothly, I dropped by with an update.
I was able to reinstall MLBMC in Kodi, and it seems to work OK. It’s somewhat convoluted to do. divingmule has stopped maintaining the add-on and another volunteer, Youioup, has been working on it. Since the add-on is not in the official repository any longer, you must install it another way.
The MLBMC thread at kodi.tv:
Youioup’s github for the add-on:
When you download the release (the ‘download’ button on the right of the Github page), you’ll need to locate a zip file inside the zip file you download called ‘plugin.video.mlbmc.2.0.75.zip’. the numeric string may differ; it’s the release number. That’s the install-ready zip that Kodi needs to see to install the add-on.
I followed these instructions to upload the zip file to Kodi / XMBC’s ‘Home’ directory on the Seas0npass/Firecore JB 5.3 ATV2:
The article was posted in 2012 and uses screenshots taken with a much older version of XBMC. The basic procedure: Copy the zip file to Kodi’s Home Folder as described using SFTP. Navigate to “Settings > Add-Ons > Install from zip file”. When the file source dialog displays open the ‘Home Folder’. I am not sure if it’s labeled ‘Home Folder’ or ‘Home’. Once you’ve selected it, you should see the filename of the zip file you uploaded earlier along with some other info and folders. Select it and Kodi will install the add-on.
You’ll need to configure it with your MLB.tv account info. My install went without a hitch and I have not had problems with playback or logging in or anything. Your experience may vary; posting to the MLBMC thread at kodi.tv for help and with questions is your best bet if you run into problems.
A note to consider: I found that I had to restore and jailbreak the ATV a couple of times. The first time the restore-to-current went fine but then performing the JB failed as the device became stuck in DFU mode. I was able to restore it again and the second time everything went smoothly. However, other users here have sometimes reported that getting stuck in DFU mode can make the device unrestorable. I also had to pay for the Firecore software again, which was aggravating, but does provide access to what must be considered the final release of the software, including an implementation of Infuse which provides excellent downconversion of 1080p content to the ATV2’s 720p.
Finally, in January, the development lead for the Apple TV 2 implementation of Kodi announced that the current release is the final release for the platform:
As absurd as it seems to relegate these less-than-ten-year-old devices to history, that is the reality we are facing. Given that MLB.tv is the subject of active and well-executed technical development and that MLBMC is both not an official MLB licensee nor officially supported under Kodi, one must anticipate the eventual loss of MLB.tv playback functionality on these jailbroken devices at any time.
Hope this helps.
An addendum: on July 19th, a user noted that MLB has started working for them again without their having changed the setup. I look forward to trying that.