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Rooting fun

Discussion in 'Amazon Fire TV' started by jonw747, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    The latest firmware reportedly blocks root, but when I received my $84 Fire TV, it was not on it, and didn't automatically load - so when I got a chance, I went ahead and rooted the device to see what she can do.

    And the results are that she can do quite a lot!

    For anyone who's ever rooted and sideloaded Apps on a phone or tablet, it's pretty easy. It pretty much requires a secondary mouse which is unfortunate and I've often had to use both my air mouse/keyboard plus the Fire remote in combination to get things done, but it really expands what the device can do.

    For instance, I've already run 3 browsers on the device (Firefox, Chrome, and Dolphin). I have full access to the Google Play Store, and have already brought over some Apps I've purchased from Google. I can use a number of video services that aren't offered currently by Amazon including HBO Go, NFL Rewind, Nick, Play Movies, SPMC/XBMC, MX Player, and SlingPlayer. I've also been able to run the phone/tablet version of Hulu which allows play back of free content. I've been able to expand the storage and load some games I owned that otherwise would have consumed way more than the entire 5GB of free space available. I've also installed a secondary launcher that lets me access all my sideloaded Apps easily but still get to the Fire TV interface.

    And most importantly for anyone who's ever dealt with a Chinese Android Dongle it's been very stable.

    Problems?

    I've been trying to pair a PS4 controller with it, and I've been able to get it to pair, but not connect. I can use it wired directly.

    Fire TV does not offer location services, and some Apps need them. I'm not aware of a work around.

    It's too bad that Fire TV can't just do all of this out of the box, but given what the device can already do, it wouldn't be out of the question to just ignore future updates if they can't be rooted or even just buying a secondary Fire TV if I wanted a pure Amazon-experience.
     
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  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting but probably not for me. I saw that an Apple TV 2nd Gen was worth a lot of money jailbroken. I purchased one here locally used, tried jailbreaking it using the Seas0nPass software, got an error message "Your Apple TV isn't eligible for this version". Alright surely there is a way around that silly error, sure enough I found something, I tried reading it twice, couldn't make any sense of it. The instructions include shsh blobs and iFaith, what nonsense, and I haven't tried again.

    I have never been able to hack my way out of a wet paper sack and won't likely try to root my Amazon Fire TV. In any event, both the Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV 2 are nice boxes, stock, neither does anything I want and can't already do but in case that changes and I have a need for the boxes, I am ready. I might try to pair a PS3 DualShock controller with the Amazon Fire TV, I understand that works although I don't know how well and exactly what is necessary for it to work. I do understand it is more than just Bluetooth pairing.
     
  3. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    It's getting easier and people have put together some nice instructions, tutorials/videos, but the problem always starts when the instructions don't work as expected. Then what you do (or don't) know about what's going on underneath becomes important.

    Probably the toughest thing about rooting the FireTV is figuring out how to sideload (which is extremely useful), and there's even software packages to make that easier if you've never felt the need to download the Android development tools.

    Take a look at these articles and see what you think:

    Sideload Method | AFTVnews
    How to Root the Amazon Fire TV | AFTVnews

    Pairing with the DS3 is possible, but I believe that requires side-loading the Sixaxis Pair Tool App which may need root access. You might try it out wired first as it's possible that will just work without any fiddling like the PS4 controller does.

    I bought the ATV3 and have been somewhat surprised that there was never an exploit to root it over the years. It would have been nice if Apple had added their market to the device, but it probably does not have enough storage or RAM to run much of anything.

    I got FLIRC working today so I can run my FireTV using IR. Very nice.
     
  4. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I was planning on jailbreaking my Apple TV 2 because it is selling for $250 on eBay. I have no idea why and know that is only a temporary situation, those prices won't hold up long. The fact the the third gen hasn't been hacked contributes to the second gen being so high, nobody would be messing with the old box if the newer model was hacker friendly.

    I might look at doing something with FireTV at some point but for now, I will see what Amazon is going to do with it.
     
  5. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Well, if your box hasn't updated to the latest firmware (which blocks root) you may want to try something sooner rather than later. The new firmware may eventually be cracked, but I figured the same about the ATV3 and was wrong. Once rooted, it's not hard to go back to the released build if Amazon introduces something more compelling than what you can do when rooted.

    I would think you could get a good price for your ATV2 in stock condition, and leave it up to the purchaser to figure out how to root it, but yeah - the crazy prices for those have been going on for a while.
     
  6. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I understand the concerns with not rooting now but I can live with regret if I never root and a rooted Amazon Fire TV becomes becomes the greatest thing since sliced bread.

    I wasn't aware the ATV2 prices had been crazy for sometime and I have seen even stock ATV2s bring a pretty good price. For now, I will wait for either a fix to Seas0nPass to overcome that error and jailbreak it or the motivation to figure out how to overcome it by following those cockamamie instructions I found.
     
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I did check and I am at ver. 5.1.1.0_user_511070220, still open to root but I couldn't find the setting anywhere to prevent automatic updates so I will be screwed soon if there is no such setting.
     
  8. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Blocking updates is easy, once rooted. Basically you disable a bunch of packages involved with the firmware updating, and then it will still update the Apps. I think I've read that the "Xposed" module named "rbox" also blocks updates, but I'd used the other method first before loading up rbox (which lets you boot to an alternate launcher that can display your sideloaded Apps or go straight to XBMC/SPMC for those who like that App).

    Without rooting you'd have to block updates by another means ... typically by going in to your router and trying to block all the sites that Amazon uses, or setting up a DNS server that would redirect the accesses. I didn't go that route, so, I'm not sure how well it's been working (the box isn't necessarily going to be happy when it can't access the update server).

    If you decide to head down the path to rooting, I can always toss you some more specifics, but between the guides at AFTVNews and various threads at the XDA Fire TV forum, the most confusing thing is probably just that there's more than one way to get things done.
     
  9. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    Received my AFTV purchased for $57 from Staples and now I have to make sure it doesn't update but the problem is, it requires an update on initial set up :(
     
  10. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't care and let it start up and as it turned out, I apparently wasn't part of the limited release of the new firmware so I was able to root.

    You'll have to decide if you want to take that same chance, or explore what others are trying in terms of getting past that point.
     
  11. mrspock

    mrspock Active Member

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    I might just let it update and hope for the best. But after it does update, is the next step to root or to prevent further updates?
     
  12. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    There are two easy ways to block updates, and they're done after rooting.

    I was using the rooting guide at XDA:

    How to root the Amazon FireTV | Amazon Fire TV | XDA Forum

    This disables the FireTV Updater completely:

    su
    pm disable com.amazon.dcp

    I believe, this just disables the over-the-air firmware updates and it's what I did, because I'm fine if other Amazon things update:

    su
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAUpdateMessageHandler"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAService"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.CheckForOTAUpdatesService"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAStatusActivity"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.ResetOTAMessageHandler"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAService$OTAWakeupReceiver"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAService$OTADedupeReceiver"
    pm disable "com.amazon.dcp/.ota.OTAService$OTAInstallNowReceiver"

    You issue these commands remotely on your PC via the ADB shell command.
     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    The Apple TV 2 Seas0nPass updater was fixed and I was able to jailbreak my Apple TV 2. Now to see if I can sell it, it is pretty cool jailbroken but I am going to try Amazon Fire TV rooted.
     
  14. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the dark side. I suppose if you don't like it, you may have the opportunity to sell it at a premium as well. lol
     
  15. ponghclub

    ponghclub Member

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    I have question to ask I bought second FireTV from stable but I can't log in to my account. I have to use my daughter account to finish set up. Is it true one Amazon account for one FireTV device?

    Sent from my BN NookHD+ using Tapatalk 2
     
  16. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    A rooted Amazon Fire TV is not worth a lot right now on eBay, there are a lot of them for sale. If I decide to sell my rooted Amazon Fire TV, I might try Craigslist.

    The jailbroken Apple TV sold a few hours after I listed it on eBay. A rare case for me where I made a profit on an eBay sale. I sell about $150 a month on eBay, not exactly a power seller, but I have a house full of stuff I have been ordered to move out and I haven't found another way to get the stuff out of here.

    At the rate I am going, it is going to take me 30 years to sell everything. Fortunately she doesn't notice little things like Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV sitting on the den TV stand, things coming in rather than going out can get me into big trouble. She uses the TV, TiVo, Google TV, and PlayOn and doesn't even know what the rest of the stuff is. The Amazon Fire TV sits on the black plasma TV stand, blends right in unnoticed and I hope it stays that way.
     
  17. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I can't directly answer because I own only one FireTV, but I thought Amazon's policy was to allow you to share an account with something like 5 to 8 different devices. Is it possible you've reached the limit? You may want to login to Amazon via the web and see which devices are currently registered to your account. This includes things like the Kindle App running on a phone.
     
  18. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Most of my stuff is hidden away in a Salamander Synergy A/V cabinet that my TV sits on - expensive, but it sure hides a lot of device/cabling sins, and has a high "WAF" factor.

    She'd be real happy if I started eBaying away my old stuff...
     
  19. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think there is any limit to the number of devices on your Amazon account. I just checked mine and it shows this:

    P.'s 4th Android Device
    P.'s Android Device
    P.'s 6th Android Device
    P.'s 2nd Android Device
    P.'s 3rd Android Device
    P.'s Fire TV
    Sony Internet TV Box 10
    VIZIO VAP430 8
    Sony Internet TV Box 12
    Sony Internet TV Box 7
    Sony Internet TV Box 4
    HP TouchPad Chris 2010
    logitech Revue 5
    Sony Internet TV Box 3
    Sony Internet TV Box 6
    Sony Internet TV Box 9
    logitech Revue 2
    P.'s 8th Android Device
    P.'s 7th Android Device
    P.'s 5th Android Device
     
  20. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    AFTVNews reported yesterday that people who've bought their Fire TV's from Amazon have had better luck rooting the device because they come pre-configured from Amazon - and hence they may be more willing to start-up without insisting on upgrading first.
     

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