Oct 5, 2010 Addendum – Now includes instructions for XBMC Dharma.
Basically the fonts used by both XBMC and Boxee are not Unicode fonts, and hence non-English text such as Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese etc show up as squares or garbage text on your AppleTV. It’s annoying. Fortunately, the fix is simple – just replace the font files with Unicode versions!
For Boxee, the lone font files named boxee.ttf is in:
For XBMC 9.11, there are four .ttf files for the Confluence theme and they are in the following folder:
For XBMC Dharma, the four .ttf files are in the following folder:
Where to get a copy of Unicode font file, you ask? Well, there’s one included in your AppleTV and it’s here:
To use it, I’d suggest you first download it to your computer. Then make a duplicate copy, and rename the duplicate, for instance, to “boxee.ttf”. You can then upload and replace the original copy in Boxee’s fonts folder I mentioned earlier. Make more duplicate copies and rename them for those in XBMC’s fonts folder.
If you get an error to the effect of “Read-only File System” after attempting to transfer a file, then launch the Terminal.app in your Mac OS X and issue the following terminal commands:
sudo mount -uw /
What the above does is mount the boot drive as read/write.
You can use symbolic links to save on disk storage space but I won’t go into it here.
Don’t forget to re-start your AppleTV after making the changes. (Software Menu -> Restart Finder)
One last word: If your non-English media file show up as garbage text in iTunes, the above fix does not fix it. You have to convert them to Unicode yourself first, a tedious process I won’t go into detail here.