It was an unexpected announcement last week, but if you have an AppleTV – one of the most recent models – and you jailbreak it, you can now install XBMC, or XBox Media Center, on your device and turn it into a $99 streaming media powerhouse.
XBMC is incredibly popular these days, and for good reason. All of the sites going out of their way to block services like Boxee and Google TV don’t pay attention to XBMC since it looks like any other browser in most cases. It runs on just about anything, streams from any open file share on your home network, outputs in 1080p (which Apple’s own default AppleTV software won’t do,) and more.
Seriously, even if you’re not an Apple fan or have been thinking about buying a cheaper streaming media center for your home theater or building one yourself, the combination of XBMC and the Apple TV may be more attractive now than ever.
Lifehacker has a tutorial (literally it’s three steps) on how to get the job done with as little fuss and muss as possible. I know a number of people who have actually pondered buying an Apple TV now that this is available, and I doubt they’ll regret the purchase.