Set up an Apple TV render farm - Macenstein

Set up an Apple TV render farm

Posted by Lab Rat

Apple TV Xgrid

OK, if you do this latest Apple TV hack it means three things…

1) You have too much free time
2) You have done all other Apple TV hacks
3) You are a true Mac Geek, and we applaud you

professafresh over at AwkwardTV has posted instructions on how to set up your Apple TV as an Xgrid node on your network. The list of reasons you may want to DO such a thing is short, and consists mainly of “Why not?”.

For those who are not familiar with Xgrid, it’s Apple’s technology (built in to OS X) which allows for distributing various CPU intensive tasks across multiple machines on a network, (usually) cutting down the time it takes to perform those tasks. For the average Mac user, setting up an extra Xgrid node won’t gain you much benefit. Pro users of Final Cut Studio currently have the most to gain from Xgrid, but other apps are gradually making themselves “Xgrid aware”.

One such app that may be of particular interest to Apple TV customers is VisualHub, which many Apple TV fans use for encoding their various video into the Apple TV-friendly file type. So it is possible that using professafresh’s hack to harness the raw processing power that only the Apple TV can provide will save you a good 50 seconds on encode times.

Just be aware, the usual “don’t blame me if you ruin your Apple TV” disclaimers apply.

2 Responses to “Set up an Apple TV render farm”
  1. rowlings says:

    what kind of processor is in the Apple TV anyway?
    Is Xgrid not processor specific, just anything running a version of OS X?

  2. Paul says:

    It runs on a Pentium M 1.4ghz or something like that. Yes, Xgrid works on intel macs as well. Of course, the apple TV running OSX counts as a “Hack” rather than a real mac. It’s running osx86 with the semthex kernel

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