Today we are pleased to announce the release of aTV Flash (black) Beta4. In terms of features, this is the most substantial release since Beta1 first became available in early December 2010.

The marquee addition found in Beta4 is an 'alpha preview' version of our brand new Media Player that has been under development for the past few months. This player enables the playback of non-iTunes media (streamed from a network source) on the AppleTV with no special software or transcoding required!

More details on what's new and improved in Beta4 are below.

What's new in Beta4?

General

  • Added 'alpha preview' version of new Media Player
  • Added native Weather and RSS apps (will appear under Internet menu when installed)
  • Added support for Remote HD iPhone/iPad app
  • Added option to restart 'Lowtide' via Maintenance menu
  • Added support for AppleTV 4.2.1 (iOS 4.3)

Couch Surfer Pro

  • Added Google search suggestions to Search menu (iOS 4.3+ only)
  • Added ability to delete bookmarks
  • Improved animations, HTML5 and CSS3 support
  • Improve iPhone/iPad Remote app navigation
  • Improved text box handling
  • Resolved issues related to Facebook and similar sites
  • Many other performance improvements

What can I do with the new Media Player?

What's included in this version

  • Support for many non-iTunes media file types (MKV, AVI, MP4, etc...)
  • Native VIDEO_TS (VOB) file playback (with menus)
  • AFP network streaming (Mac, TimeCapsule, AirPort Extreme, etc...)
  • Automated cover art/metadata fetching
  • Basic subtitle support for VOB files
  • 5.1 AAC audio
  • Watched, unwatched and partially watched markers (includes resume support)
  • Volume control (up/down arrows during playback)

What we're still working on

  • Better support for HD video files
  • SMB network streaming
  • 5.1 sound
  • Chapter controls
  • Video playlists
  • Subtitles (.srt)
  • Alternative file browsing options
  • Photo slideshows
  • Improved memory management
  • Countless other bug fixes and performance improvements

A brief demo of the Media Player in action can be seen here.

Great! Where can I get it?

Beta4 is now available through the Downloads tab in your account. If you already have aTV Flash (black) installed all the new features and updates can be downloaded on your AppleTV through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.

Comments are welcome below.

Enjoy! Smile

Comments

Submitted by kev_26 on March 25, 2011 - 10:48am

Wow ! Finally I will be able to see my MKV Files ! Nice work guys !

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 10:50am

so yet again this is only for mac? I use windows and a netgear router. any eta on smb? or upnp? what a bummer. I miss xbmc.

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 10:53am

They have xbmc for atv2

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 10:56am

Keep up the good work! Quick question, are you planning to have Plex support?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 10:59am

When's the untethered seasonpass coming?! how far off? any eta? What about full version of the software as opposed to beta?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 10:59am

what about the visualizer???

Submitted by ctyrider on March 25, 2011 - 11:04am

So this version would let me stream AVI files from a USB drive attached to Airport Extreme?    If someone can confirm this has been tested - I am sold Smile

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:05am

I'll wait till srt support is done to migrate to the black ATV. It's a must haver for me. Great work either way, the new player looks fantastic.

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:07am

Yes. You are sold now.

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 11:07am

Yes, the video in the demo is doing just that (VOB file instead of AVI though). Smile

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:09am

Is this version supports playing video content from USB port?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:10am

just to add .. xmbc works awesome on atv ...

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 11:10am

Directly connected USB drives are not currently supported on ATV2. Sorry.

Submitted by coryd.9075 on March 25, 2011 - 11:10am

Where is the download? Is it simply the same as the 9/20/2010 dmg?

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 11:11am

Yes, the links in your account will always point to the latest version.

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:14am

Anyone know if it will let me watch BBC iPlayer?

Submitted by johnnybravo on March 25, 2011 - 11:17am

Is there a way to change the User & Pass to Remote HD?

Submitted by coryd.9075 on March 25, 2011 - 11:24am

Thanks! Great!

One last question:

I have a 50" Pioneer Elite Plasma, new Pioneer VSX-33 (5 HDMI in, 1 HMDI out to Pioneer plasma), ATV2, Samsung HD DVR, Sony Blu-Ray and a second 1 TB "Time Capsule" (HDMI is used for video and audio, not fiber optic audio used). The "Time Capsule" extends my WiFi LAN and is connected to my AVR for Internet Radio. I have a 2010 3.33GHz 6-Core Mac Pro with a 120GB SSD and 4 1TB SATA HDD's I don't want all my media on my system. I know you cannot use the mini-USB for an external HDD, but is it possible to connect the ATV2 to the "Time Capsule" via an ethernet connection to utilize the "Time Capsule" HDD for media storage? Very doubtful but thought I'd ask. Thanks again!Oh and I have all my SHSH blobs for my ATV2 stored, is the latest iOS tethered? Thanks! :) 

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:32am

Add VPN support and I'm sold. Netflix FTW.

Submitted by kev_26 on March 25, 2011 - 11:42am

I already installed ! never mind ! 

Submitted by reneruiz on March 25, 2011 - 11:43am

Two questions: is it still tethered? I haven't been able to boot tethered with the on-screen instructions for some reason, so I end up giving up and restoring through iTunes. how does it get metadata (from file or db scrapers)?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:45am

Please don't forget about us 1st Generation Apple TV users. We're the ones who really need the third party support since Apple has pretty much turned their back on us. Still looking forward to the ability to AirPlay our iPod music to the Apple TV.

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:47am

yep u can plus into your airport extreme and stream your media from there. i used the user name root and the the password for my airport extreme.

Submitted by cidrock on March 25, 2011 - 11:50am

Is it tethered? Because I presume that is based in seas0npass, which is still tethered.

Submitted by cidrock on March 25, 2011 - 11:51am

Is it tethered?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:52am

not on ios 4.3

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 11:55am

so will this work with a non afp nas? or I have to wait for smb or upnp?

Submitted by mjvolante on March 25, 2011 - 12:05pm

Media Player Fetching Meta Data - This could kill your relationship!

Independence Day.mpg came up as 1 Night in Paris, with description !!!....Of course I then had to search the web to confirm...OH !! (Independence Day played fine)

My family holiday/skiing videos captured on camera come up with various commercial film titles..none I have heard of and some of a Adult genre.

Glad the Mrs. is out...

Submitted by IsoMetric on March 25, 2011 - 12:10pm

I love it!!! It automatically detected my time capsule and MacBook. Streaming dvd rips from my time capsule is very jittery and not watchable but thats why they call it an "alpha" build. Thanks guys for the great work.

Submitted by grbillion on March 25, 2011 - 12:17pm

Beta4 is an update to aTV Flash (black) as an addon to a jailbroken IOS on your aTV 2. It will work on any jailbroken IOS you have loaded on your aTV 2. Tethering deals with which jailbroken IOS you have loaded on your aTV 2. All of the jailbroken IOS 4.3 versions that are available right now are tether only. Beta4 will work on IOS 4.2 and doesn't require you to upgrade to IOS 4.3 yet.  

Submitted by amaga on March 25, 2011 - 12:18pm

Media Player has problem with MKV files. it's says "LOW MEMORY" and can't play.. also sometime freezing on AVI files for 1-2 secs and then continue playblack.. I know it's alpha version, but just want to let you know..

I am using external USB drive conneted to my Airport via eithernet 100mbps

Submitted by rdcaruana on March 25, 2011 - 12:25pm

Can aTV Flash be installed on a jailbroken atv2? Can both XBMC and aTV Flash run on the same aTV2?

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 12:26pm

Hi,
How do i add a share... have tried on Windows. Sharing my Iomega drive but it does not come up on the Apple TV under Media?

Help
L

Submitted by IsoMetric on March 25, 2011 - 12:26pm

If you updated to 4.3 it will be tethered. If you stay on 4.2.1 it will be untethered. When greenpois0n, Pwngetool, or redsn0w says it has an untethered 4.3.1 then untether will come for appletv 2. 

Submitted by kelvins.6877 on March 25, 2011 - 12:31pm

HI were is the new media player in the menu ???

Submitted by MrAndersonMD on March 25, 2011 - 12:31pm

+1 I need VPN suppot too Wink

Submitted by rdcaruana on March 25, 2011 - 12:32pm

Don't mean to sound ignorant, but where do you get a flash drive that has a micro usb connection?

Submitted by geckodrop on March 25, 2011 - 12:38pm

Well,you'll find it on any mobileshop (phone shop) they usually use it to connect some kind of phone to computer.Otherwise order it on internet

Submitted by kev_26 on March 25, 2011 - 12:44pm

I have a question with the new "Media Player". Can I see movies that are over 10GB of size ? Because I been trying to do it and the Apple TV reboot every time.

Submitted by ctyrider on March 25, 2011 - 12:44pm

Another question - can the Beta 4 run on an Apple TV running jailbroken 4.1.1?    It doesn't REQUIRE the latest 4.2.1, does it?  I refuse to run tethered jailbreak on any of my devices Smile

Submitted by apinaud on March 25, 2011 - 12:46pm

Will this version see the files on the original ATV (Gen One, Silver)

That will be simply incredible

Submitted by camtab on March 25, 2011 - 12:50pm

I have the question as I tried to install on ATV running 4.1.1 and it failed with error 8.100 . Does this mean it can't be installed on anything below 4.2.1 (4.3)?

Submitted by roddamn on March 25, 2011 - 12:56pm

Please, please, PLEASE... VPN Smile

Submitted by andrewb.0074 on March 25, 2011 - 1:13pm

Great work. Some brief feedback to help move from alpha to beta:

1) when played through the new media player all my .avi files have a thin green line at the bottom that is not there in other players.

2) DVD menus load, but trip up every 10 seconds or so

3) sometimes when playing mp4 files with the new player, there is an overlay of visual information from frame to frame and then it will clear up before doing it again 20 seconds later.

4) The browser improvements definitely helped the iPad user input, however I use Google docs for study groups and it does not update in real time. Is there any reason that is? The CPU user input will crash often when I load google docs so I try not to use it.

Keep up the good work!

Submitted by Anon on March 25, 2011 - 1:23pm

Is it tethered?

Submitted by rdcaruana on March 25, 2011 - 2:01pm

Can you use a USB-A to USB-B adapter? Any idea what these drives run? I can't seem to find them on the internet.

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 2:09pm

Not in its current form, but something like this may make it into a future version.

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 2:10pm

Beta4 can be installed on AppleTV 4.0 (iOS 4.1) through the latest 4.2.1 (iOS 4.3) software.

However, the Media Player requires AppleTV 4.1 (iOS 4.2.1) or later (only compatible features will appear in the Manage Extras menu).

If you're having trouble installing it's best to submit a support ticket here.

Submitted by andreasg.8645 on March 25, 2011 - 2:11pm

Hello!

After installing your MediaCenter, XBMC isn't playing any AC3-Sound anymore.

When I've uninstalled MediaCenter, XBMC is playing AC3 again!

Submitted by james on March 25, 2011 - 2:13pm

You'll actually need a USB to Micro-USB cable in order to jailbreak the AppleTV. Once jailbroken, aTV Flash (black) can be installed wirelessly.

Here's a link to a cable that should work well.

http://goo.gl/noOU2