Submitted by james on September 30, 2010 - 1:21pm

We're excited to announce that development for the new (black) AppleTV is underway! Things were able to get going a bit earlier than expected as the software for the new AppleTVs was released before the devices actually shipped.  

Most who pre-ordered, including us, received they're AppleTV shipments yesterday.  The long and short is the new AppleTVs have an A4 processor, 8GB of storage, 256MB of RAM, and built-in Bluetooth. There's even been some encouraging discoveries that may allow for full 1080p playback on the new models. iFixit has a very comprehensive teardown article that outlines many hardware features, and includes many hi-res photos - the article can be seen here.

Hardware aside, developing for the new AppleTV software is moving along quite well.  We're still exploring the possibilities of what the new devices can handle, but many of the early roadblocks are starting to be overcome.

Below are a few thoughts on what to expect in the coming weeks.

The Plan

As with any small company we have a limited amount of resources available, and as such need to ensure these resources are allocated in the most effective way.  With that said, the bulk of development resources have been allocated to developing for the new AppleTV model.  Ultimately we plan to develop for both the 1st gen (silver) and 2nd gen (black) models, however for the time being new features for the 1st gen AppleTV may take a bit longer than usual. 

Development on the upcoming MiRow application will be unaffected.

Transition

The idea of an updated AppleTV is exciting, and as such many people will be tempted to make the switch from the 1st gen (silver) AppleTV to the new model. We hope to make the transition as easy as possible.  During development of the new version, the existing aTV Flash software will remain available on our site.  Those who purchase this software can download and start using it on their 1st gen AppleTVs immediately.  

Once the new version is complete it will be released as a separate product - code name 'aTV Flash black'. Those with a valid aTV Flash license (purchased prior to the pre-order availability of aTV Flash black) will have access to this new version at no additional cost.

Beta Testing

While we're still a long way from having a complete release we'd love to have a small group of testers who are willing to play with and provide feedback on new features during development. If that sounds like you feel free to signup using the form below.  We promise not to spam you. Smile

Update: We've had an overwhelming response - thanks to those who signed up!

Final Thoughts

We're committed to developing for the AppleTV by creating the most feature rich and easy to use software possible. If you're interested in following our progress we'll post any and all news here on this blog - you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Additionally 'the door is always open' and we love to hear feedback, so if there's something you'd like to see in the new version feel free to post a comment below and let us know.  We'll do our very best to integrate any interesting ideas that may come along. 

If you're interested in working with us, or have an interesting business idea you can send an email here.

Comments

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 1:42pm

Of course I understand moving dev resources to the new AppleTV... however, one thing I'd LOVE to see on the 1st gen is the ability to use the AirPlay protocol for streaming from other AirPlay enabled devices (my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook Pro)... for me, this completely removes any reason to upgrade to the latest apple TV. You guys do great work, thanks!

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 2:13pm

Been using the Atv Flash product on my 1 gen ATV since the beginning. Just took delivery of the 2nd gen ATV. I purchased the 2nd gen mainly for the Neflix on demand feature. For future development, please keep this goal in mind- "I want to get rid of cable and get all my video content over broadband using ATV"
That means- Hulu support, Boxee Support. Also a feature I would like to see on Both generations of ATV Flash is the ability to throw a DVD into my mac and allow it to stream to my ATV. I hate taking the time to Rip all my DVD's that I already own.
Thanks and keep up the good work!

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 4:08pm

Any chance of configuring this new aTV as a wireless ethernet bridge? At least I think that's the name of the thing I'm after - my TV has a wired ethernet port which potentially allows me to skype from the TV. It would be sweet if I could hook it into my wifi network through the aTV - I believe this is possible on the newest airport express boxes.

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 5:10pm

Hi!
LOVE this product, so I thought I would suggest some stuff.
I would love it if the new ATVFlash would let you hook up a HDD to the black AppleTV and have all the content stored in there. I would also like it if you could have direct streaming from the TIme Capsule or Airport Extreme (without having to open iTunes) and being able to list it under "Computers". Finally, I guess you could easily enable purchases of TV Shows and Movies if you had a HDD hooked up.

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 6:14pm

Any chance of bringing PLEX Media Centre? I really like the user interface and it also runs on all the iOS device.

Keep up the good work.

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 7:27pm

Ordered my 1st Apple TV - Black 2nd Gen . Intend to buy your package when it comes out ....Good Luck and let us know how soon you expect this software to be available !!! Give or take a month or so !!!!

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 8:36pm

One think i would like to see with the new ATV2 is ipcontrol , the old one work great, but can not get the new one to work with IP control. 1080p play back Plex would be cool 5.1 sound althought 7.1 would be good if the hardware can cope

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 9:12pm

Wish to see:

- playback from a NAS device (mp4, avis, etc.)

- adding hulu playback (along with other site: daily show, NBC, etc.)

 

 

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 9:40pm

Hulu Hulu Hulu!!!!!! As well as ability to stream video from video hosting websites like megvideo!!

Submitted by Anon on September 30, 2010 - 11:07pm

I'm with the NAS crowd, but please add .mkv and .iso playback if possible. Of course, PLEX on this device would be cool, but I'm sure it would be a massive undertaking...

Submitted by edwardr.60450 on September 30, 2010 - 11:09pm

 

normal

Submitted by Anon on October 1, 2010 - 8:36am

Wish list for initial new ATV hack:

  • Enable the USB port to recognize external media and allow playback from that local source
  • Allow NAS as a media source
  • Hulu+
  • Somehow enable 1080p (if possible)
  • Ability to sync prefs to all ATVs (Just bought 3 of these and had to configure each one separately)
  • That should be easy enough for starters.

John--NJ (would love to be a beta tester)

Submitted by Anon on October 1, 2010 - 8:58am

I'd like to be able to map my NAS device (Buffalo)
I'd also like to have the full Apple browser available for surfing the net.

Submitted by Anon on October 1, 2010 - 1:06pm

Great to hear this is in the works. I received my new Apple TV yesterday and, much to my display, it doesn't work with my HDTV. I have an older Panasonic CRT model that supports 1080p, but doesn't support 720p. I was disappointed to discover that the new Apple TV only supports 720p - my previous unit worked fine on my TV and had an option to output at 1080p. It worked flawlessly except for a bit of clipping on the edges due to overscan. It sounds likely that you'll be able to support 1080p...so there may be hope after all! Do you have a rough estimate for a ship date? Are you open to beta testers? I'm trying to decide whether to return my Apple TV. If there's likely to be a work-around soon (even in beta form) I'll likely hang on to it.

Submitted by Anon on October 1, 2010 - 2:07pm

Any way to utilize dropbox would be cool.

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 6:33am

Defo need playback from a NAS drive (time capsule)
The only other request is support for MKV and DTS passthrough

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 6:34am

Defo need playback from a NAS drive (time capsule)
The only other request is support for MKV and DTS passthrough

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 10:26am

PLEX

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 10:48am

Defo going to be using this once you get it working.
Mkv support is a must along with direct time capsule (nas) access. Only other thing I can think of is DTS passthrough

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 4:01pm

PLEX, PLEX, PLEX! Its screaming for a device like this, for everyone not wanting to buy yet another HDTV or DVD player. Pull this one off and your ATV Flash pol will be in huge demand for a long time to come. Plex is the future of TV.

Submitted by Anon on October 2, 2010 - 5:04pm

A browser with Flash 10.1 support, yes I've got an iPad and iPhone but sometimes I want to show the family a website and the best place for that is the living room

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 7:01am

Ability to stream from WIndows XP and Windows 7 Files Shares Ability to play sounds through both HDMI as well as Optical Out. Optical Media Connection or Streaming (IE DVD)

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 7:58am

Of course support for all video formats
- a good browser and keyboard / mouse support
- extrenal HD
- NAS
- cleaned yp and simplified interface and install. (have a dummy install mode
- password protected access to certain files on NAS or external drive (for the movies you dont want your kids to see)
- support for multiple languages choose to turn on off subtitles easily (no menu hunting)

make it come out real quick ... we are all impatient.
cheers

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 1:17pm

AirVideo support on 1gen(and 2nd) would be awesome.

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 2:45pm

Hulu and Pandora with logins right under the "Internet" tab in the Apple TV, no need to go through Boxee or some other media center software, just an app or program that launches right in the main menu. Put it under the Youtube and Netflix apps.

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 2:47pm

 Forgot to say: also NAS streaming. Lots of people have NAS drives that would be perfect for the Apple TV, but no way to get the Apple TV to stream from it

Submitted by Anon on October 3, 2010 - 3:59pm

Ability to stream to 2nd gen ATV from 1st gen ATV storage would be ideal. No need to power up a PC all the time. That master/slave relationship is the pits. Thanks for all your hard work fireCore Team!

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 12:08am

Stream from a nas no need for a PC
Run Plex
Control Via Ethernet
Play MKV and Flac files

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 2:54am

PLEX !!!

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 6:50am

My wish list:

-External Hard drive access

-HotSpotShield

-Netflix enabled (for us out of USA)

If this alone was done I would be sooooooo happy!

 

You guys are awesome!!

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 12:20pm

NAS streaming!

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 5:31pm

Would it be too much to ask if you would list the features that you expect to release - this would give an idea if it's worth buying the new apple TV.

Thx.

Submitted by Anon on October 4, 2010 - 8:51pm

All I want is the ability to stream 1080P MKV's from my computer! I'll buy you a hundred George Michael's if you do this for me!

Submitted by Anon on October 5, 2010 - 12:03am

Volume Control! Please, please add a way to control volume using the Apple remote.

Suggestion:
'Clicking and Holding' Up or Down key to control volume.
Clicking Up or Down buttons to navigate menus.

Also, please add Pandora!

Submitted by Anon on October 5, 2010 - 1:02am

Live TV playback or recording by supporting external USB stick tuners (e.g. EyeTV).

Submitted by Anon on October 5, 2010 - 1:59am

the 2nd gen apple tv cost 99 but the 1st gen cost 150 (brand new from apple) and does all of what most people are requesting, ie stream from NAS and play almost any video file you throw at it (ive not found a file it doesnt play yet) the only down side is the 1st gen doesnt support 1080 it only handles 720 but thats not a major issue. 2nd gen apple tv officially only handles 720 too, 1080 is very likely via hacks, but not assured (yet).

Submitted by Anon on October 5, 2010 - 10:49am

I would like to see the ability to control output resolution as it was native in the 1st gen AppleTV. i.e. 1080i, 1080p, etc.

Submitted by Anon on October 5, 2010 - 8:30pm

google tv functions....

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 1:16am

NAS Streaming!

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 6:07am

The option guli guli would be awesome!

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 9:01am

- Apple BlueTooth Keyboard support

- Apple Magic TrackPad support

- of course AFP/SMB-NAS-support

- attaching local hard drives through micro USB-Port

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 12:04pm

Restore the ability present on the 1st gen AppleTV to rip cd's (in uncompressed formats) from computer and store wirelessly on a hard disc(s) for playback without computer being on.

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 12:28pm

Plex, XBMC, firefox, 1080p (if possible), NAS support, ability to attach external HDs, and the ability to play a diverse media types (flv (if even possible), mkv, etc..). I ordered my new appleTV only because of this. I loved the app for my 1st gen atv and I can't wait to see it on the new! Can't wait to play with it!

Submitted by Anon on October 6, 2010 - 2:13pm

playing any (mkv, divx, avi, whatever) format from a drive within the network or which is atached to the apple tvs mini usb slot.

that is the only feature i seriously want.

Smile

Submitted by atvblack2g on October 6, 2010 - 4:40pm

I too would like to see plex or XBMC ported to this platform. I think the most important thing would be to have external usb storage and ability to play all the media formats currently supported with ATV ver 1.
Waiting for the beta so I can test drive.

Submitted by Anon on October 7, 2010 - 4:06am

Internet (couch) surfing

Submitted by sonofmof on October 7, 2010 - 4:28am

NAS playback

DNLA Playback would suit me better to be honest. (for some reason I cannot get on with Boxee)

Facebook App

Skype

Submitted by Anon on October 7, 2010 - 5:12am

How av=bout USB external DVD drive? This could play movies and maybe even rip directly to the hard disc

Submitted by Anon on October 7, 2010 - 2:40pm

That would be ideal!!

Submitted by atvblack2g on October 7, 2010 - 4:48pm

Got my ATV today.. now waiting on the new atv flash.
have to find a hdmi cable that has a thin interconnect as well as a micro usb that will fit. Apple has crowded the two ports together making it a tight squeeze.