12/10 Progress Update & Beta2

Happy Friday! Today we have a lot of exciting news to share. First off, Beta2 of aTV Flash (black) is now available. Beta2 includes full support for the 4.1 AppleTV software, a handful of new features and many all-around improvements. Additionally, we have an early preview of a new feature you're sure to love.

Read on for more details on what's in Beta2 as well as a new teaser video.

ATV 4.1 jailbreak - is there one?

The iPhone Dev Team has announced a jailbreak for the new 4.1 (iOS 4.2.1) AppleTV software is nearly complete. Up to this point the only available option for jailbreaking the 4.1 software has been a 'tethered' jailbreak which can be difficult to use and is not recommended for most users. We're hoping to integrate a jailbreak into a future version of aTV Flash (black), but for now Beta2 is ready and waiting once the new jailbreak is released.

What's new in Beta2?

In addition to adding full support for the 4.1 (iOS 4.2.1) software we've been able to add some great extra features. More details below.

Installer & Maintenance

  • Added Windows compatible installer (requires Windows XP or later)
  • Improved error handling during installation (no more mysterious password prompts)
  • Improved version checking for app downloads
  • Minor bug fixes

Couch Surfer

  • Added optimized navigation when using the standard Apple remote
  • Added search and url suggestion engine
  • Added user-agent toggle setting
  • Many additional improvements

Last.fm

  • Added streaming support for Australia, Canada, Germany, and New Zealand
  • Added 'Growl' style notifications
  • Improved Last.fm scrobbling
  • Many additional improvements

How do I get Beta2?

aTV Flash (black) Beta2 is available as a free download in your account (the download links in your account will always point to the latest version). If you're already running the first beta, you can update directly on the AppleTV through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.

Early preview of additional codec support

Last but certainly not least we have made some exciting progress as we work towards enabling support for additional media formats. We still have a quite a few challenges to overcome and this feature is not yet ready for beta testing. Check out the teaser below for more details.

Comments are welcome below.

Read more

Now Available - aTV Flash (black) Beta

At long last we're proud to announce the release of the first beta version of aTV Flash (black) for the new AppleTV. This version features a number of exciting features, with many more to come. It took a bit longer to complete than anticipated, but it's a great start to what we hope will be a powerful software suite for the new black AppleTV.

During the beta phase we will be working to improve current features and add new ones, so we would appreciate any feedback you may have. More info on how to submit feedback can be seen near the end of the post.

Read on for more details on what's included and how to get the beta.

Compatibility

The first version of aTV Flash (black) is compatible with the 4.0 AppleTV software only. The new 4.1 software requires a few adjustments but we plan to have compatible version available soon.

Update: Currently aTV Flash (black) is for Mac only. We plan to have a Windows compatible version within the next few days.

Update #2: The Windows version of aTV Flash (black) is now available.

Pricing

aTV Flash (black) will be available at the discounted discounted price of $19.95 during the beta (pre-order) phase. Once the final version is ready for release the price will return to the normal level of $29.95. The original aTV Flash is also being reduced to $39.95.

What's in the beta?

  • Surf the Web - Experience the web in all its glory and stream HTML5 video from many popular sites (note: not all HTML5 sites supported yet).
  • Discover New Music - Find new artists you'll love by accessing Last.fm radio stations, artist bios and slideshows.
  • Plex Client - Stream media from Plex Server running on your Mac. (big thanks to quiqueck for putting this together)
  • Info on Demand - Keep track of current weather and news feeds on your AppleTV.
  • One-click Updates - Install, remove or update plugins in a snap through the native AppleTV interface.

What's coming soon?

  • Go Beyond iTunes - Enable playback of additional media formats.
  • Access Media Anywhere - Stream media from most NAS devices.
  • Much, much more...

How do I get it?

  • Current Users - aTV Flash (black) is available as a free upgrade. After logging into your account you will have an extra download link for aTV Flash (black). Your normal aTV Flash license and download links will remain unchanged. Additionally any available renewal specials can also be found in your account.
  • New Users - aTV Flash (black) is available for pre-order at a discounted price of $19.95. All pre-orders get instant access to the beta.
  • Beta Signups - Those that signed up for the beta will be receiving information on how to download and install the beta via email. We're working hard to get this done ASAP so please be patient.

Help us improve

Please keep in mind this is beta software, and some features may will not be 100% complete. We're committed to providing the best software possible and your feedback helps us greatly in achieving this goal. If you have an idea on how we can improve or have found something that's not quite right please tell us.

Comments are welcome below. Enjoy. Smile

Read more

New AppleTV - Thanksgiving Update

Happy Thanksgiving to those in the US and happy Wednesday to everyone else. Smile We've got some exciting progress to share so instead of writing a long-winded intro I'll just get right to the good stuff.

New AppleTV 4.1 Software (iOS 4.2.1)

AirPlay has finally made it to the new AppleTV via AppleTV software version 4.1. For the most part this is exciting news, though it has set us back a bit as there are some adjustments we'll have to make for the new version. It looks like we may also need an updated jailbreak tool - the tools have already been updated for the iPhone, so hopefully this shouldn't be too long in the making. If you have time go thank the guys from the iPhone Dev Team and Chronic Dev Team for their awesome work. 

Couch Surfer - 80% complete

There's been lots of exciting progress with Couch Surfer over the past week, most notably being fluid playback of HTML5 video. Couch Surfer is still a bit rough around the edges, but as you can see in the video below we're getting close. (Note: the pause in the video is just to showcase the control bar that is available during playback).

Installer - Ready for beta

The installer is done, allowing aTV Flash (black) to be installed onto any jailbroken AppleTV directly from your Mac. Installation takes less than 2 minutes. We plan to have a Windows version available soon.

Last.fm - Ready for beta

This will need a few tweaks for the new 4.1 AppleTV software, but other than that it's ready to go.

Codecs/NAS Streaming - 35% complete

We've successfully been able to play non-iTunes media files (we've tried AVI, MKV and WMV) on the AppleTV. There are still a number of critical issues that need to be addressed, but progress so far has been extremely encouraging.

Comments? - share them below.

Read more

New AppleTV - 11/12 Progress Update

They say time flies when you're having fun, and it's been nothing but as we watch the first version of aTV Flash (black) take shape. The first beta version of isn't far off, but we still have a handful of issues to resolve before it's safe for public consumption.

Read on for more details regarding our current progress as well as a few demo videos showing some of the apps in action.

Installer - 95% Complete

The new installer communicates directly with the AppleTV (no wires or USB drives required) and allows aTV Flash (black) to be installed onto the AppleTV in just minutes. Once installed additional apps (and updates) can be installed from the newly added 'Maintenance' item (as shown in the Couch Surfer video demo below).

Couch Surfer - 65% Complete

Couch Surfer is coming along exceptionally well. Most of the major hurdles have been overcome, basic browsing is working and we're striving to enable support for more advanced web plugins. A video demo of Couch Surfer running on the 2nd gen AppleTV can be seen below.

Last.fm - 85% Complete

Streaming Last.fm radio isn't far away - we've updated most of the critical components for the new AppleTV and also added a new slideshow layout. A video demo of Last.fm in action can be seen below.

Additional Video Codecs & NAS Streaming - 15% Complete

Not surprisingly this has turned out to be no trivial task - because of this we've teamed up with a few outside developers to move things along a bit more quickly. We'll have more info as things progress but unfortunately this probably won't make it into the initial beta version. The end goal however remains the same - robust support for non-itunes media (including DVD files).

So, when is the beta coming?

We're planning to have the first beta version available within the next 1-2 weeks - possibly even next week.

Can I signup for email updates?

Of course - we have an aTV Flash (black) specific signup form here.

As always, feel free to share your comments below.

Read more

Subscribe to Blog