After two weeks it's time for another progress update - and sure enough there has been progress, progress, progress! We've been hard at work pushing aTV Flash (black) forward, moving closer and closer to release.

Read more below for a deeper look into details surrounding the current status of aTV Flash (black).

Jailbreak Update

Thanks to some excellent work from the iPhone Dev Team the new Pwnage Tool (version 4.1) is now capable of jailbreaking the 2nd gen AppleTV. This opens the doors for many exciting things including the ability to run aTV Flash (black). As of right now the jailbreak isn't much use to the average user until aTV Flash (black) is available, but a guide for using the Pwnage Tool to jailbreak the AppleTV can be seen here.

App Development

It's still early, but we've made some great progress getting apps up to snuff for the new model. Currently the basics for running Couch Surfer Pro and Last.fm on the new AppleTV are in place - though there are still quite a few issues that need to be addressed. We've also found some encouraging bits that may allow for streaming HTML5 (with an outside chance of Adobe Flash) video on the AppleTV. We'll have more details as Couch Surfer development moves along. A few screenshots showing current progress can be seen below.

Couch Surfer for ATV2
Couch Surfer Pro for 2nd gen AppleTV

Last.fm for ATV2
Last.fm for 2nd gen AppleTV

What about installation - there's no USB port?

Installing aTV Flash (black) will actually be much easier than before. No more searching for a USB drive or fumbling with cables - aTV Flash (black) can be installed on the AppleTV directly from your Mac (a Windows version will be coming later). Once installed, any new or updated plugins can be downloaded directly on the AppleTV (very similar to the current version). An early preview of the new installer can be seen below.

aTV Flash (black) Installer

So...when will it be ready?

We've still got a few semi-critical hurdles to overcome which will take some time, but we're hoping to release some beta level features over the next few weeks. If you'd like to receive progress updates via email you can signup using the form below.

(register for an account to receive email updates)

As always, feel free to share your comments below.

Comments

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 2:13pm

SWEET!!! CAN'T WAIT....

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 3:03pm

Great work guys!

Where the screen grabs taken from the aTV or from an iPhone running lowtide?

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 3:03pm

Will DVD playback be supported?

Submitted by james on October 29, 2010 - 3:25pm

Since the release of the jailbreak all development/debugging has been taking place on the AppleTV itself.

Submitted by james on October 29, 2010 - 4:11pm

Yes, that is one of the key features we're working on.

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 6:16pm

Will I be able to play videos that are currently on my Mac hard drive, outside iTunes? Also, will it connect to Airport Express so that my TV will play on my external speakers?

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 6:59pm

What about XBMC support on the black AppleTV?

Submitted by g4wings on October 29, 2010 - 8:36pm

how about netflix on generation 1 appletv
how far we are from brake for new apple tv

Submitted by Anon on October 29, 2010 - 9:29pm

Like everyone, eagerly waiting for the release.

Submitted by jurgenverset on October 30, 2010 - 2:04am

Fantastic work guys!
Can't wait for a release and make my ATV (black) complete.

Submitted by Anon on October 30, 2010 - 2:25am

What about 1080p output? Will that be possible?

Submitted by elricodelparis on October 30, 2010 - 3:07am

Great job thx, waiting for it ,as everyone in the place ! ATV will be free or not ? THX

Submitted by Anon on October 30, 2010 - 11:31am

Sign me up. I am ready for this release...and will volunteer as a byes tester.

Submitted by Tyson Edwards on October 30, 2010 - 12:52pm

I would love to get my name added to the list of beta testers for you.

Current aTVFlash (Lifetime) Subscriber and a SysAdmin, so I am very familiar with the whole thorough testing and submitting valuable bug reports that can easily show how to duplicate issues.

Submitted by Anon on October 30, 2010 - 5:44pm

Great job and thanks for the tease. Keep them coming it will help us be patient. Is external hd still in the plans?

Submitted by Anon on October 31, 2010 - 5:54am

Really looking forward to the release, the first to get a nice media centre out for the AppleTV 2G should hopefully be able to sort themselves out with early retirement Wink

I never owned an original ATV but looking at the original aTV flash can I assume that the multiple codecs / NAS support is taking priority over the likes of last.fm support? Please don't take that query the wrong way, but I assume most people want media over a browser/last.fm etc?

Thanks

Submitted by Anon on October 31, 2010 - 9:28am

will plex or something similar be available on new apple tv?

Submitted by peters.9729 on October 31, 2010 - 10:02am

ooops - I've just bought this product and now I realise it won't work on my new black AppleTV. Doooh.
Please put a WARNING on your TVFlash page to tell potential users it doesn't work on Apple TV black yet...!

Submitted by Anon on October 31, 2010 - 11:20am

Will current lifetime subscribers be eligible for a reduced upgrade price?

Submitted by hrougas on November 1, 2010 - 1:24am

I wonder if I will be able to connect the black ATV to an external 2.5" HDD as I do with the white one, since the port on the new version is micro-USB? Will external storage be possible, or will the new version be streaming-only?

Submitted by desmondmorris on November 1, 2010 - 9:35am

 I did the same thing Frown

Submitted by Anon on November 1, 2010 - 12:58pm

Looks more like nito is working on it for his plugin ...

Submitted by Anon on November 1, 2010 - 2:33pm

Time will tell on that one...because from my understanding the HDMI and Micro USB inputs are too close together to allow them both to have cables plugged into them at the same time. Just not enough room. So might need to wait for manufacturers to make some small profile Micro USBs that can fit in under the HDMI cable....

Submitted by alexandrb on November 1, 2010 - 3:04pm

You are doing a great work! Apple owes you a lot of money for promoting their products. Without you, it's just a metal scrap.
I have already bought a new aTV and waiting for your update.

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 1, 2010 - 10:59pm

I'm sure that recent purchasers of ATV flash will get an free upgrade to atv black.  This company is fantastic for stuff like that.

 

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 1, 2010 - 11:00pm

I've already made a HDMI/micro usb cable that fits.  Easy enough to do with a utility knife and a bit of epoxy.

 

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 1, 2010 - 11:04pm

in addition to external storage, it would be really sweet if you could use the connected drive (connected the atv2g) as a NAS so that other ATV2g's could share the files over the network.  Then I could put one in every room with centralized storage on the master ATV.  This would remove the need to have a NAS drive or a computer running all the time.  

Submitted by Anon on November 2, 2010 - 12:55pm

You should really youtube that shiz!! Smile

Submitted by Anon on November 2, 2010 - 2:50pm

Looking good...just signed up for the beta. Wink

Submitted by Anon on November 2, 2010 - 9:33pm

It would be cool to be able somehow to use a anonimizer or proxy for users outside USA as per netfix and other block foreign ip's

Submitted by Anon on November 2, 2010 - 10:45pm

Can you give any idea if you can impliment pairing again...

and have you found the IP control codes so the ATVB can be cantrolled over ethernet?

Submitted by Anon on November 3, 2010 - 2:38am

Nice,

I'm sitting here watching the itunes visualizer on my imac... and I am wondering why it will not display on my apple tv... how cool would that be! Tongue

So.. errrr... is there a plan to incorporate a visualiser? I mean, you guys have got everything else under control.. just one more feature... please!

Cheers
Gazza

Submitted by olkalin on November 3, 2010 - 6:48am

Would you make  Apple TV 2 to work via proxy ( for uses outside of US, who wanna see Netflix, Pandora, etc)

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:24am

Not initially - but possibly down the road.

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:26am

Yep - aTV Flash (black) will be a free upgrade available to those with a current license.

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:27am

If you have a lifetime license you'll be eligible to receive aTV Flash (black) at no cost.

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:28am

We'll see what we can do. Smile

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:29am

That's entirely up to Plex. :|

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:33am

We're planning to provide many of the same features that were included in the original aTV Flash - while not a trivial task, codec support and NAS streaming are definitely going to be a part of that.

Submitted by james on November 3, 2010 - 9:34am

aTV Flash (black) will be a free upgrade for those with a current aTV Flash license.

Submitted by solongjoe on November 3, 2010 - 10:52am

I just sent an email to Cables To Go asking them to create a cable solution. Although many could knife and glue, this would be a great solution for others. I promised I would post it here if they would build one!

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 10:58am

Once its been confirmed that external storage can be connected via the micro usb while the HDMI is in use.  I will post it. Otherwise, I'm going to wait to see if I have to install a dock port on the mainboard and connect external storage that way.  Its really up to the firecore guys.

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 10:59am

I think a FAQ needs to be made to address the more common questions regarding upgrade and pricing.
 

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 11:07am

The ATV black's hardware does support 1080p playback, meaning it has the horsepower to do it.  It's up to the developers to find a workaround for the downsampling that occurs when I stream 1080p content.  I'm sure it will eventually get worked out. I just got a new samsung 55" LED tv and the 720p and 1080p difference is noticible but one can quickly forget that they are looking at 720p.  I'm not saying we live with 720p, but it looks pretty good, even on a TV that size.
 

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 11:07am

The ATV black's hardware does support 1080p playback, meaning it has the horsepower to do it.  It's up to the developers to find a workaround for the downsampling that occurs when I stream 1080p content.  I'm sure it will eventually get worked out. I just got a new samsung 55" LED tv and the 720p and 1080p difference is noticible but one can quickly forget that they are looking at 720p.  I'm not saying we live with 720p, but it looks pretty good, even on a TV that size.
 

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 11:12am

As a developer myself, I know how challenging it can be and how long it takes to produce relatively bug free and feature complete software.  If we want something sooner than later, I think we should be prepared to accept software with a few semi-major bugs with a reduced feature set.  Otherwise, I'm willing to wait for a more complete and tested solution.

Submitted by atvblack2g on November 3, 2010 - 11:12am

As a developer myself, I know how challenging it can be and how long it takes to produce relatively bug free and feature complete software.  If we want something sooner than later, I think we should be prepared to accept software with a few semi-major bugs with a reduced feature set.  Otherwise, I'm willing to wait for a more complete and tested solution.

Submitted by Anon on November 3, 2010 - 12:07pm

Ive sold my PS3 and getting the Apple TV - without out this software i wouldnt have done it - some of the features are great ! and the thought of having to convert all my movies to copy into itunes is just plain stupid?
I think apple owe you as im sure a lot of other people wont buy there product without your software being available.
The proxy for netflix sounds like a great add on as we have restrictions in the UK which is just crazy !!

Submitted by Anon on November 3, 2010 - 12:14pm

seems great! will you be able to add support for streaming Avi / MKV videos? or even connect an external HDD with those file formats to be watched through ATV (Black)?

Submitted by Tyson Edwards on November 3, 2010 - 3:43pm

Additional File Formats will require an additional playback engine (eg. VLC, mplayer, gstreamer) to read the codecs. External drive support is doable even now via the "mount" command, however you will need to make a custom MicroUSB Cable that supports the "Host Mode" pin configuration.

NitoTV is working on an AFP, NFS and SMB packages to include client-mode support for those protocols, to enable support for networked filesystems, however there is not yet an ETA for that functionality. At that time, it should be possible for someone to play back media that is already supported on the AppleTV via an alternate UI.