Happy Friday! Fridays are always a good time for progress updates so read on to see what we've been up to over the past few weeks.

Seas0nPass

We're working fervently to complete a Windows version of Seas0nPass. Assuming no unexpected issues come up this version will be available within the next 1-2 weeks in early February. Like its Mac based counterpart this will also be a freely available, open-source application.

XBMC

Thanks to some exceptional work from Scott Davilla and the XBMC Team a full version of XBMC is now available for the 2nd gen AppleTV. XBMC acts as a replacement for the AppleTV menus, though you can easily switch back and forth between XBMC and AppleTV whenever you please. With aTV Flash (black) installed, XBMC can be easily downloaded through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.

Streaming internet video

Over the past few weeks we've spent a bit of time working towards enabling Adobe Flash and determining how usable it would be. Ultimately we did get it working (big thanks to Comex) however the end result was far less than ideal. Videos would load ok, but playback was limited to 1-3 frames per-second which by any standard is pretty awful.

Instead of pursuing Adobe Flash any further we've decided to work towards optimizing HTML5 streaming video, which many popular sites are already using. HTML5 streaming via Couch Surfer has been improved greatly in recent weeks, and we're working towards making it even better.

Additional codecs and NAS streaming

We're getting closer and closer to making native NAS streaming and video playback a reality. As of today the plan is to make the initial beta version of this feature available within the next 1-2 weeks in early February. Additional features such as cover art, metadata fetching, and full hardware video decoding will be available shortly thereafter.

A few new screenshots are below.

Comments, thoughts and suggestions are welcome below.

Comments

Submitted by rapskip on January 21, 2011 - 3:47pm

This is all well and good but I still can not install any of it on my Apple TV (blk) there is still no resolution for those of us who have version 4.2 the delay is almost comical... I have no doubt that folks are working hard... it is just frustrating to see these new and exciting improvements but no apparent progress on the install issues... 

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 3:50pm

I agree, lots of cool, new features - but the install issues are holding a lot of people back. Why not work on those and then move forward with the exciting new features?

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 3:53pm

Also, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the software version vs. the iOS version. On aTV the current software version is 4.1 - which is actually iOS 4.2.1 - and there IS a jailbreak for this latest version. However, its tethered only and OSX only.

Submitted by silverislet on January 21, 2011 - 3:59pm

4.2 works fine, its just a tethered jailbreak.  The install issues are user error, not Seas0n Pass or ATV Flash.  If anything, perhaps a YouTube to help those with install issues may be warranted. NAS streaming will be much appreciated - the old Apple TV will be off to eBay!

Submitted by AndreasHeiberg on January 21, 2011 - 4:04pm

I'm still waiting for VPN Smile

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 4:19pm

when you try to install a theme for xmbc sometimes it will just lag then you have to re-do your box ;(

Submitted by james on January 21, 2011 - 4:47pm

Using Seas0nPass you can jailbreak your AppleTV running the latest 4.1.1 (iOS 4.2.1). Seas0nPass Mac-only at the moment, but the Windows version will be available soon.

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 5:17pm

Yep, I have no desire to go down this(tethered jb) road: $19.99 seeming like less of a bargain as time goes on.

Submitted by rapskip on January 21, 2011 - 6:08pm

James... I have launched Seas0nPass following the instructions to "Create IPSW" the install seems to hang at "Patching ramdisk" 20 min and counting... any thoughts?

Submitted by james on January 21, 2011 - 6:10pm

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 6:30pm

Do you guys have any plans to support media off USB-attached drives? Is this remotely doable with ATV4 microUSB port?

Submitted by rapskip on January 21, 2011 - 6:57pm

 I removed the Plugin as noted... looks like it came in with MS Office for Mac PowerPoint... restarted... no change... still eternally "Patching ramdisk"... i found another diskimage... NUMPlugin.bundle... same location... any thoughts?Thanks in advanceOk I deleted the NUMPlugin.bundle... a remnant of Norton Utilities... everything looks good... so there you goThanks for the help 

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 7:27pm

Hi!

Whats about Last.fm in other countries. I life in Austria, and although Last.fm works great on the mac it doesn't working with aTV Frown

Please find a solution as soon as possible

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 9:44pm

I agree an unteethered jailbreak would be ideal but you guys are forgetting that firecore don't DO the jailbreaking, they create applications you can use after the event. Seasonpass is an exceptional addition to their services but your concerns should be with the jailbreaking community, not firecore who are just working as hard as they can to give you a product to use

Submitted by jhernandez86 on January 21, 2011 - 9:44pm

True, but keep trying.  It will work, just be patient.  This BOX has a lot of potential and it only cost $99.  However, as we all jailbrake applications, there is a risk that that everything will work properly.1 follow the instructions to a teeth.2 if Itunes can not verify your ipsw update, DO IT AGAIN AT LEAST THREE TIMES.3. If all fails, reboot your computer and start from scratch.4. Once you get your ipsw install, you need to tethered your box.  The trick here is the light in from of your itv.  Plug the usb, wait untill the lights blink fast, and now plug the power cord,  press the menu and ff/pause buttons and count 7 seconds......you will see the light blink really fast after 7 seconds.That is how I got my ITV2g to work. 

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 9:54pm

You dont need to do step 4.
The easy way to tether boot using Seas0nPass :
BEFORE YOU PLUG USB & POWER CORD, PUT YOUR ATV2 INTO DFU MODE (PRESSING MENU N PLAY) FOR 7 SECONDS.
THEN OPEN SEAS0NPASS APP... CLICK TETHER BOOT.
PLUG IN USB & POWER CORD...
AFTER DONE, DONT FORGET TO UNPLUG MICRO USB AND PLUG IN HDMI

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 9:56pm

From a couple of posts jb unthethered should finally be' on it's gay 4 all devices. Both from devteam and geohot. Hope so . Have a frozen beta license from release of sw

Submitted by Anon on January 21, 2011 - 9:56pm

From a couple of posts jb unthethered should finally be' on it's gay 4 all devices. Both from devteam and geohot. Hope so . Have a frozen beta license from release of sw

Submitted by Anon on January 22, 2011 - 12:43am

I wijle appreciate NAS streaming very much, but please please don't forget us last.fm fans in other countries. I Saw an Austria up above and i'm desperately waiting for The Netherlands myself. Please help us out, so I can finally say goodbye to my squeezebox.

My thanx for the work so far!

Submitted by Anon on January 22, 2011 - 2:43am

All these people are complaining about jailbreaks and all that other stuff unreleted to the release of this software. if u aren't going to take the 5 minutes to read how to do a tethered jb then stop commenting about there nit being a jailbreak. there is seldom a need to even boot tethered nice use got it going. And Now ATV Flash black + XBMC + PlayOn = Pure Bliss!

So far I'm please with what my $19.99 has yielded. Keep up the great work James and friends

Submitted by jennings.pat on January 22, 2011 - 3:53am

I'd strongly request that you reconsider work on Internet Streaming with Flash. This is the sole reason I constantly stay in touch with Firecore in the hope that Flash will soon be a feature on the ATV. The facts of the matter is that whilst HTML5 may be the future, Flash is used in the overwhelming amount of streaming websites and this leaves alot of users out. Please reconsider and thanks for your continued development

Submitted by Wassit on January 22, 2011 - 4:01am

Great work guys. Enjoying the progress.

I never had a atv1 so not sure how your metadata/scanning/library worked. If you have multiple copies of the same movie in different formats ( DVD , high res rip, low res rip) do you see it once in the menu and pick which format you want to watch when you select it? Or does each version show up on the list?

If not is this a feature you would look to add?

Submitted by Ian_Greenhalgh on January 22, 2011 - 4:51am

Is it possible now to play BBC iplayer through xbmc on the apple tv 2g? If it is could you leave a post with directions. Many thanks.

Submitted by davige on January 22, 2011 - 8:28am

Does afp support mean that I will have to reformat my FAT32 drive to see it or will smb also be supported?

Submitted by Wassit on January 22, 2011 - 9:40am

Smb is supported in xbmc. Streaming from a shared drive using smb as I type

Submitted by v.2377 on January 22, 2011 - 10:53am

trying to install XBMC but after step 3 it shows me these message : E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem. how can i resolve this?many thanks:/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/ :/

Submitted by james on January 22, 2011 - 12:48pm

Yes, SMB will be supported as well.

Submitted by Anon on January 22, 2011 - 2:27pm

I think alot of people coming to the firecore site have a misunderstanding as to what a TV flash is.
Just look at the description for the product:

aTV Flash (black) is a user-friendly software package that supercharges your new black AppleTV, unleashing a plethora of new functionality. Don’t worry about the technical details – aTV Flash (black) is simple to use and safe for your AppleTV. Installation is a snap and doesn’t require any physical changes to the AppleTV.

As a new visitor to the site it looks like all I need to do is pay $19.95, download the mac or windows program, run the program and wham, I have all these new features.

It's not till you do a little digging to you learn that you need to jailbreak your ATV2.

This is not a knock against what firecore is doing, it's just new users coming across the site may not understand what aTV flash does vs Seas0nPass.

Submitted by jeff7267 on January 22, 2011 - 4:12pm

Any chance you could give step by step instructions to get a network drive to work on XBMC?  I have a drive connected to an Airport Extreme, but can't figure it out.  Please and thanks

Submitted by Anon on January 22, 2011 - 5:01pm

Here is a TUTORIAL, Sime as i can get it

This method will only work on second generation Apple TV, and requires a jailbreak, which could be easily done using Seas0nPass on iOS 4.2.1 or by using PwnageTool on iOS 4.1.

Step 1: You will need to log in as root. To do this, open Terminal, and enter

ssh root@apple-tv.local

If apple-tv.local doesn’t work for you, enter your Apple TV’s local IP address.

Step 2: If asked for password, enter alpine.

Step 3: Now, enter the following code in Mac OS X’s Terminal. Enter one command at a time.

echo "deb http://mirrors.xbmc.org/apt/atv2 ./" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/xbmc.list
apt-get update
apt-get install org.xbmc.xbmc-atv2

Step 4: Sit back and enjoy as XBMC is being installed on your Apple TV.

Step 5: After XBMC is successfully installed, Apple TV will restart automatically. There you will see XBMC installed.

Submitted by mariol.76913 on January 22, 2011 - 5:27pm

I agree since I purchased ATV Flash for the same reason. No flash really limits the amount of website than can be viewed.

Please reconsider or give us at least knowledge to have it.

Thanks

Submitted by jeff7267 on January 22, 2011 - 5:39pm

Thanks very much for the tutorial, but I guess i didn't pose the question right.  I have everything installed (all on first try), but I am not able to to get XBMC to access the harddrive (smb://) attached to my AEBS on the same network.  My ATV1 has no problems except again through XBMC.  I don't think I have the correct settings to allow XBMC to access the internet nor do I know how.  I have scored google and can come up with nothing.Any help? 

Submitted by Anon on January 22, 2011 - 6:24pm

ssh into your apple tv and run the command "'dpkg --configure -a'
then update and upgrade all and restart lowtide

Submitted by Wassit on January 23, 2011 - 3:14am

The smb share I am using is a HD drive attached to a mac mini shared via smb. There was no problem navigating to from xbmc.When I get home I will try adding a drive to my TC and see if it can get xbmc to see it I will post what i did if it works.have you tried manually typing the ip address?

Submitted by stacker02 on January 23, 2011 - 9:10am

I put a tutorial up in the forum showing what I did. Give it a try.... http://www.mediafire.com/?ataqsy7bhfcau8h

Submitted by hozomeen on January 23, 2011 - 9:59am

Hi guys,just bought aTV only because I knew I could install aTVFlash. I've installed and I'm copletely satirsfied. Plex really rocks on aTV! Now I'm only waiting from NAS streaming.Good job guys!Hozo

Submitted by roddamn on January 23, 2011 - 12:17pm

Are there plans to implement VPN any time soon? I'm from Brazil and I really want to access my Netflix account directly from my aTV2, just like I do from my Mac and iPhone...Also, I'm pretty sure this would solve the Last.fm problem for people outside the US. 

Submitted by Anon on January 23, 2011 - 12:18pm

Ok well how do I jailbreak my 2nd gen apple tv using windows pc? Then I can add this right?

Submitted by Anon on January 23, 2011 - 2:44pm

Currently the only way to jailbreak ATV2 with windows pc is the OSX VM method.
It's pretty complicated and time consuming so alot of people are just waiting it out till James has the windows port of Seas0nPass completed in the next week or two.

Submitted by benh on January 23, 2011 - 7:50pm

I would also be interested in this because I use Mubi.

Submitted by Anon on January 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Dies NAS Streaming mean, the you can have all your Music on an NAS and stream it to atv2? Because at the moment NAS drives have no Home Shring option so that you have to run your mac in the background to stream music. Will your update crush this barrier?

Submitted by Anon on January 24, 2011 - 3:36am

Is there any instruction somwhere how to JB with windows using OSX in VM mode?

Submitted by james on January 24, 2011 - 7:04am

Yes, that is the plan. However, this probably won't support files purchased from the iTunes store with embedded DRM.

Submitted by james on January 24, 2011 - 7:06am

Yes, we're planning to have add-in some resolution tagging/filtering as well. Unfortunately this probably won't make it into the initial version.

Submitted by james on January 24, 2011 - 7:10am

Adobe Flash is something we may come back to to see if it can be improved. Even if it can be improved, optimizing it for the AppleTV will most likely be quite a lengthy task.

Submitted by Anon on January 24, 2011 - 10:42am

Yes please reconsider Flash support, almost 90% of web video's are flash based.

Submitted by 4matic on January 24, 2011 - 1:40pm

I´m still waiting for the network fix.WiFi doesn´t work after JB Apple Tv. Too bad:( Keep up the good work.....Br

Submitted by Anon on January 24, 2011 - 2:16pm

Reinstall all package whit the last season version reinstall too atv2black firecore dmg
next all working fine.
(I had the same problem and solve it by reinstalling everything)

Submitted by Anon on January 24, 2011 - 2:47pm

There is a thread on the xbmc forums that explains it.
Not sure if direct linking is allowed so I'm sorry if this violates firecore's commenting policy.
http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=91490&page=9
Look for posts by brownbear1984

Submitted by jeff7267 on January 24, 2011 - 3:39pm

Thank you that was perfect. Very will done. There was a step I was missing in my AEBS and this help. Merci!!!