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

Comments

Submitted by iBabi on December 2, 2010 - 10:08am

....you just need a US IP! VPN!!!!!

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 10:18am

To all the children complaining about the new ATV black beta, please give these guys a break. I bought the beta right away to lock in the lower price, even though as of today I cannot install because I already upgraded to 4.1. So I have to wait a week or so, big deal. For $20, this is a deal just for the current functionality. Once they get the whole package together with all the identified features it will be great! And, btw, it clearly states here that the beta currently only supports atv 4.0.

Great job guys, and am anxiously waiting for support for ATV 4.1.

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 11:08am

is the new (black) version offering usb-support?

Submitted by james on December 2, 2010 - 11:54am

Unfortunately not - the versioning is a bit confusing. More info here.

Submitted by fineinbase4 on December 2, 2010 - 12:17pm

Thanks for clearing that up.  It is pretty confusing!

Submitted by catj.36136 on December 2, 2010 - 12:32pm

n who's talkin about vpn?

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 1:38pm

Can't wait to try it. Thank you all at Fire Core!

Nevertheless, I'll have to wait for the Windows atv flash and of course to jailbreak my 4.1 apple tv.

Hope i.e. the NAS-support will also be available soon. Will wait patiently.

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 1:49pm

would be awsome if it supported .MKV files! If it could go to a network share and play them from there.

for now ill be using WD TV

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 2:19pm

i have my shsh blobs, but could easily downgrade without them; by entering dfu mode then restoring in itunes to 4.0 (4.1ipsw)

indeed there's a jailbreak for the atv2g on ios 4.2, but it's tethered - you need to get into dfu mode then type in commands through terminal every time you reboot the tv.. so i guess that's why it hasn't been released yet

also lowtide.app has been renamed to appletv.app on the latest release

Wink

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 2:22pm

Just put your device in DFU and install a fresh jailbroken iOS 4.0

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 3:32pm

Any chance of Spotify support?

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 8:21pm

I'm in the same boat Frank.......will be waiting also.........

Submitted by Anon on December 2, 2010 - 8:27pm

It there a windows based tool to do this on atv2 ios4.1. Thanks

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 12:18am

The iTunes custom restore fails at last step while verifying with Apple. Any ideas?

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 2:33am

When can we expect the version for IOS 4.1? anybody knows if we can jailbreak our Apple TV updated?

Submitted by catj.36136 on December 3, 2010 - 4:52am

try to cook up another custom firmware, delet n reinstall itunes and then try it again,but u have to be in DFU mode not restore mode,good luck

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 5:33am

Support for an external hard disk would be a killer feature...

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 5:41am

This software will eventually be good for those "without" a Mac. (As long as XBMC finds its way to the feature list, or the Plex Media Server gets a Windows version.) Not everyone has ever Apple device in order to use Airplay.

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 5:49am

People ....slow down with the flaming. This is "BETA" software. There will be kinks in the beginning. They could have waited until all the bugs had been worked out, but then you would be complaining about waiting so long. Give them time and I am sure they will provide us with a kick ass addon for our ATV2. They are the only ones that are even trying to supply this, so cut them a little slack. You guys need to be patient. They have already said that a Windows version will be coming out shortly, and as for the Jailbreak we just need to wait until the official one comes out.

@FireCore: If at all possible can you discuss if XBMC is on the roadmap. I do not own a Mac which makes things a little hard right now. Plex would be cool if they would ever release their windows version of their media manager, but until then XBMC is the only other option.

Submitted by jonasgr on December 3, 2010 - 6:27am

@Keith: XBMC is not the only option. I would prefer Boxee over XBMC any day of the week, but for someone like me — that does not have a standalone media server, none of these works well since none of them can run in the background. Instead my hopes rests on:
"Go Beyond iTunesEnable your AppleTV to play more video formats such as AVI, MP4, WMV & many more"
If FireCore provides the ability to read more video formats, then you can store your files pretty much where you want. I could have mine on my work station while you could have them on your media server. I have no idea how/if they can pull it off, but the ability to view MKV files (including subtitles and different audio tracks) is the only essential thing for me; and I would believe this feature would be beneficial for everyone, Mac or PC is irrelevant.

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 9:59am

O mesmo comigo Gonçalo. Não consigo instalar mas acredito que é porque já tenho a versão 4.1. Mal tive a ATV 2ng gen liguei-a e como me pediu actualização de software fi-lo...conclusão...deu merda e agora não dá!

Submitted by Anon on December 3, 2010 - 10:26am

and why the F should I have to filter through blog posts.
State it on the PRODUCT PAGE before people shell out money...

Shame on fininbase4 for being a douche

Submitted by SirBryan on December 3, 2010 - 12:35pm

It appears Apple may no longer be signing the older version.  I just bought two more to do and now I can't load the custom ipsw…  Not really into the tethered boot idea.

Submitted by stuarta.835105 on December 3, 2010 - 1:08pm

I like the idea of this, and don't want to be playing with ssh or restoring my ATV o/s. I do that all day at work. I just want to install it, and have access to the web content, weather and local news. If I can get that, I can shut my DirectTV service completelty. I already bought an elgato, so I'm gonna rip all my medai off my DVR to iTunes soon anyway. I also have a RokuXDS player. Between that and the ATV, and hacked with this, I have pretty much everything, for $100/mo less than I previously was paying DirectTV (i.e $125/mo). I've alread shut down my movie channels.. How about you get Hulu, and LLC movies, and the top chennel stores from Roku, on this puppy? Then the Roku wouldn't be needed.

Submitted by tonyelbatal on December 3, 2010 - 5:31pm

Apple TV 2G (Black) Tethered jailbreak on 4.2.1:

Method 1:http://www.shoutpedia.com/jailbreak-apple-tv2-on-ios-4.2-with-pwnagetool-howto-7095/

Method 2:http://ipados.blogspot.com/2010/11/redsn0w-ios-421-tethered-jailbreak.html

Watch out, this is a TETHERED jailbreak only, which means you will need to connect your laptop EVERY time you want to boot the Apple TV and run a Tethered boot (if you don't know what that means, do not do it!)

Pls report your tests and if you managed aTV Flash installation.

Anyway, for any reason, you can restart the Apple TV 2G to factory settings by running in DFU mode and restoring to original firmware in iTunes.

Enjoy Smile

Submitted by dougs.63069 on December 3, 2010 - 11:51pm

I have been trying for a full 5-6 hours to jailbreak my 4.0 ATV, no luck. I can't get past the itunes step. Can someone please tell me in full detail (1) is it possible and (2) how I can do it.

 

Thanks,

 

D...

Submitted by catj.36136 on December 4, 2010 - 5:42am

Yes its possible,try to cook up another custom firmware, delet n reinstall itunes and then try it again,but u have to be in DFU mode not restore mode,good luck

Submitted by sun-_-dragon on December 4, 2010 - 9:04am

Windows version working perfectly on 4.0 amazing progress windows users should know there is no support for any type of media playback through plex or nito tv yet hopeing for xbmc or some type of media playback in next beta Smile

thx all that make this possable 

Submitted by applesinafton on December 4, 2010 - 10:38am

I was going to jailbreak my atv2 but have updated to 4.1. I got the 4.1 firmware and the snow breeze jailbreak that works with the new iOS 4.1. I'm i wrong........you say 4.1 is actully 4.0. I can't install the ATV flash till the 4.1 version is available but wanted to jailbreak so im ready when it's available..........can someone help us on which jailbreak we should use if our atv2 firmware says 4.1 .......thanks.......

I'm on a pc.........thought I should offer that info.........thanks again

Submitted by ShankedGolfer on December 4, 2010 - 1:59pm

Boxee over XBMC........i think i just threw up in my mouth. Boxee isn't even in the same league as XBMC! Its the only reason the first gen atv was worth buying.

Submitted by g0sbv on December 5, 2010 - 2:05am

Installed via windows in seconds works great keep up the good work..

Submitted by Anon on December 5, 2010 - 2:56am

Sorry,
but how can I restore an updated to 4.2 Apple TV 2G restore to 4.0 (4.1)? I tried via DFU mode several times but only got the answer from apple that I can't downgrade ("not eligible..."). Some comments mention that I can downgrade without SHSH blobs - is that true and: HOW?

M.

Submitted by Anon on December 5, 2010 - 3:01pm

Have you been saving your shsh blobs? If not you can't downgrade. In future use tinyumberella to save the blobs and you can downgrade at any time

Submitted by Anon on December 5, 2010 - 8:48pm

try using snowbreeze it worked for me

Submitted by Pytek on December 5, 2010 - 9:45pm

Hi James,

Congrats on the release! Seems a few people (me included) wont be able to install atv black beta because our devices are either new or have been updated to the current ios 4.2.1 release.

 

I hurriedly bought my atv from the apple store in anticipation of downloading and installing the beta. Well the good thing is that my device shipped with 4.1 but unfortunately cant jailbreak cause tinyumbrella cant save my SHSH as apple has stopped signing 4.1. So I've got no option than to upgrade to 4.2.1. I do hope atv black is upgraded soon to be compatible with 4.2.1 as I cant wait to test run it.

 

My question is this though...how much of a pain is it or would it be to keep up with the continuous firmware releases by apple since many people might want some few extra features unlocked by apple in the future (an example is Airplay in the last firmware) and also want the atv features?

 

Thanks.

Submitted by jonasgr on December 6, 2010 - 5:31am

Well, thowing up is not very nice Wink
Disregard the comment regarding Boxee vs XMBC if you want. My point is that none of them are required if more file formats were supported, and both XBMC and Boxee require an dedicated server since the PC running it will not function as a workstation while you use it.

Submitted by Anon on December 6, 2010 - 6:17am

Anyone knows how to jailbreak the apple tv 4.1?
Thanks

Submitted by Anon on December 6, 2010 - 7:19am

Why is Apple afraid of people who want to jailbreak their Apple TV?

Can you give us an estimation of the releasedate of aTV Flash to jailbreak the Apple TV 2G (Black) Tethered on 4.2.1?

Wille it be days, weeks or months?

Submitted by techker on December 6, 2010 - 10:57am

there is issues with installing it..4.0 version

 

the install program works great it says completed..rebooted and nothing?no maintnence menu nothing at all..

i tryed it all with no success..

Submitted by Anon on December 6, 2010 - 11:44am

Hello,
Just curious for those who have installed it. What type of streaming content can you see with Plex Online. I noticed it in the menu, but have not found a video of what can be seen there. Can you watch espn3, or other apps? Please let me know, thanks.

Submitted by Anon on December 6, 2010 - 11:58am

I signed up for beta and received an email asking me to provide contact information. However it did not give me a download link. Please tell me where i can download the beta software.

Thanks,

Submitted by partha.37400 on December 6, 2010 - 12:34pm

How did you jailbreak the apple tv 2nd generation using windows?

Submitted by techker on December 6, 2010 - 12:39pm

loggin in to account then you will see downloads

Submitted by james on December 6, 2010 - 1:38pm

There are a few issues to address, but we hope to have a 4.1 compatible version soon.

Submitted by james on December 6, 2010 - 1:43pm

Right now we're not doing any work with XBMC, but I know there has been an ongoing project that hopes to port XBMC to the ARM platform. So it's possible to see it on the ATV someday.

Submitted by dougs.63069 on December 7, 2010 - 1:22am

Thanks but I need a mac solution

Submitted by Anon on December 7, 2010 - 4:52am

No news? I'm waiting for the 4.1 jailbreak and atv flash version!!!

Submitted by Anon on December 7, 2010 - 7:07am

You should have warned us that the initial beta would not work with 4.2. I upgraded immediately (because that's what most of us do) only to find that your beta only works with 4.0.

Please release the beta that works with 4.2 ASAP as I am itching for this new functionality.

Submitted by Anon on December 7, 2010 - 7:45am

Any hope of displaying lyrics in an UNSYNCEDLYRICS tag during playback? Thanks for considering this.

Submitted by jean-francois g... on December 7, 2010 - 7:41pm

With a PC use snowbreeze2.1 for the jailbreak but use expext mode and then reinstall it using shift in Itune!It finaly works for me!