One worry I had about upgrading to [iTunes 11]() was whether or not it would be compatible with my First Generation AppleTV[^fn1]. I posted the question on the [Apple Support Communites](https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4553474) and [The Apple Stackexchange Site](http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/73193/is-the-original-appletv-first-gen-compatible-with-itunes-11) but did not receive any answers that made me particularly comfortable. A recent posting by [John Gruber at Daring Fireball](http://daringfireball.net/2012/11/itunes_11), however, mentioned that “[c]learly, in its heart, under the hood, this is still the same iTunes.” Though I assume that Mr. Gruber meant this figuratively, it gave me enough hope to try testing it on my own.
I first used a computer that was not my primary AppleTV sync computer[^fn2]. I upgraded that computer to iTunes 11 and then changed my AppleTV to sync to that computer[^fn3]. I did some basic tests, including syncing over a recently purchased copy of [Brave](http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat?id=r*bqlTuiXSo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=https%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fmovie%252Fbrave%252Fid544101708%253Fuo%253D4%2526partnerId%253D30)[^fn6], verifying that copy plays, and then experimenting with streaming various other movies and music from my computer to the AppleTV. I ran into no issues. With this testing under my belt, I decided to try and upgrade my primary syncing computer. I performed the iTunes 11 upgrade and then re-configured my AppleTV to talk to my primary syncing computer. Things seemed to work.
I have not had enough time to compare the syncing and/or the streaming performance of iTunes 11 with previous versions of iTunes, but early indications are that performance is a little bit better under this latest iTunes version[^fn4].
A couple of caveats with my setup: (1) my AppleTV is not jailbroken, hacked, unlocked, modified, etc…, and (2) I did do a complete factory restore of my AppleTV about 2 months. I am not sure how much either of these factors contributes to iTunes 11 working with my system.
Though I cannot promise that iTunes 11 will work with your first generation AppleTV, I can at least give you this single piece of anecdotal evidence that it is possible that a first generation AppleTV *will* work with iTunes 11. Now, I just have to cross my fingers that it continues to work with future updates[^fn5]
[^fn1]: I know, I know…but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?
[^fn2]: For those of you who cannot remember, the first generation AppleTV had a hard drive that allowed you to sync a subset of your iTunes content to it. The newer AppleTV devices are 100% streaming.
[^fn3]: ASIDE: iTunes 11 **does** work with OS X Lion. It does not require Mountain Lion. I am not sure, however, if it works with Snow Leopard.
[^fn4]: I am not alone [in that opinion](http://d.kivus.net/24gx)
[^fn5]: Or that I get a newer AppleTV for Christmas.
[^fn6]: Affiliate Link