Today we are pleased to announce the release aTV Flash (black) Beta5 for the 2nd generation AppleTV.

Beta5 features improvements to virtually every aspect of aTV Flash (black) but our main focus has been on building and improving the Media Player feature. Media Player has received a big boost in Beta5, but is still under heavy development with many more exciting features and improvements still to come.

Keep reading to find out what's new in Beta5.

AppleTV 4.2.2 update

Yesterday (5/11) Apple released a 4.2.2 update for the 2nd gen AppleTV and Seas0nPass has been updated to provide an untetheted jailbreak for this new version. As usual, the latest version of Seas0nPass can be found at seas0npass.com.

Note: Updating to 4.2.2 is not required to install Beta5.

What's new in Beta5?

General

  • Added AppleTV 4.2.2 compatibility
  • Improved installer routine
  • Improved handling of failed installations
  • Improved error handling
  • Minor UI adjustments

Media Player

  • Added SMB streaming
  • Added photo slideshows
  • Added basic video playlists
  • Added 'Favorites' section
  • Added individual photo browsing and viewing
  • Added support for 'xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx/folder' shares
  • Added support for guest/anonymous NAS logins
  • Added volumes list sorting
  • Added option to disable metadata fetching
  • Added option to hide file extensions
  • Improved handling of HD video files
  • Improved memory management
  • Improved DVD file detection
  • Improved remote share folder browsing (root folder issue)
  • Improved Remote.app support
  • Resolved artifact issues (green line near bottom of screen)
  • Resolved rare crashes related to AFP streaming
  • Resolved issues in share navigation resulting in incorrect 'menu' button handling
  • Resolved issues resulting in incorrect video playback after rewinding on 'fastest' speed
  • Resolved issues related to removing saved shares
  • Resolved duplicate AFP share entries
  • Resolved conflicts with XBMC
  • Minor UI fixes
  • Other miscellaneous fixes

Couch Surfer Pro

  • Added HTML5 audio support (for sites like http://tv.tunein.com/)
  • Added EyeTV streaming
  • Improved web pages scrolling and layout handling
  • Improved iOS-optimized JavaScript support
  • Improved highlighting of large web elements
  • Auto-complete history is now cleared when clearing history
  • New SSL indicator
  • Other minor bug fixes

Weather

  • Added 5-day forecasts
  • Added location search option
  • Added automatic location detection (if no saved locations exist)
  • Added day/night weather forecasts
  • Added 'Feels Like' temperature info
  • Minor UI fixes

Last.fm

  • Added lightweight audio streaming player
  • Improved memory management

What we're still working on

  • New lightweight audio/video player
  • Additional codecs
  • DVD chapter controls
  • AC3/DTS (5.1 surround) sound
  • Subtitle support
  • Multiple audio track support
  • Improved UI and file browsing
  • Better memory management

(If you missed it last time, a brief demo of Media Player in action can be seen here).

Great! Where can I get it?

Beta5 is available through the Downloads tab in your account. If you're already running aTV Flash (black) on your AppleTV all the new features can be installed through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.

Enjoy! :-) 

Comments

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 4:33pm

Fantastic, going to try it now!

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 4:47pm

Let me know when you get Boxee on there. Then it'll be worth paying for.

Submitted by curt on May 12, 2011 - 5:02pm

Awesome!  I love the new changes (especially being able to specify a folder for file shares)

Is there any way to update appleTV to 4.2.2 without having to re-configure everything?

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 5:05pm

I would love to see a good update like that for the fist gen ATV... Have some more stebillety / have subtitles for DVD's / Facebook integration (even just to show feed's that you want to see in the menu or schreen saver). We still pay good money for the software, the first gen ATV is not dead yet...

Submitted by cjaerw.103340 on May 12, 2011 - 5:16pm

You know, i'm not sure which I'm happier about: The new features (which are the ones I've been desiring most) or the relief from hearing people whine about the beta progress again and again and again and again. 

 

Of course as soon as I was thinking that someone complains about a lack of Boxee (which, last time I checked, was an independent for profit company, correct?) support. 

 

Still, great job. I know it's hard to work on these products that require reverse engineering, especially when Apple is giving you a moving target. Of course, I haven't spent any time with it. If it does what Firecore says then it makes the Apple TV a versatile solution for very little money. 

If it doesn't I'm sure you will hear about it, mixed in with all the unreasonable expectation complaints. Speaking of:

You should engineer the ability to plug in a web cam to the USB port and add skype or another video chat service to the Apple TV. Of course I expect that not only would you do that by next week, but that it should be compatible with all the video cameras made on the market within the last 10 years. Did I say Skype or something else? I meant it should be compatible with all major and minor video conferencing standards.

Make it happen.

I'm waiting.

I paid $20 for this thing! Chop-chop!

 

Submitted by marios.51477 on May 12, 2011 - 5:29pm

Negativ:

Still stuttering and hanging by most video files and dvd menus, at least now in greater intervals.

No playback of HD .m4v files...

No playback of .m4v files purchased via iTunes Store (Timer ist counting, but no picture and no audio)

One memory warning so far.

(me running newest media player on 4.2.1 FW)

 

Positiv:

No crashing of the Media Player and restart Lowtide so far ^^

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 5:35pm

Great work !

Just 2 points however.

1. The atv2 does not allow the user to change the output frequency and resolution. This is a real problem in PAL 50hz countries as most content is designed for 60hz which causes a distinct stutter in playback. When the atv2 is starting up the signal is 720p60 but this changes to 720p50. An option to set resolution and frequency, just like atv1, would be great.

2. A dialogue enhancer option would be most welcome. If you watch atv2 content on a 2 channel tv the dialogue is drowned out but the background, especially when there is lots of action.

Thanks.

Submitted by liquidgrooves on May 12, 2011 - 5:41pm

- Happy with resolving conflicts with XBMC
- Slightly better Media Player playback 
- Kewl Favorites function
:D 
Add a subtitles function and then we don't need XBMC! 

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 5:51pm

Please add Boxxe Support.

Submitted by cevatkerim on May 12, 2011 - 6:35pm

Great media player stopped working after the upgrade...

Submitted by hughmcmillan on May 12, 2011 - 6:46pm

I successfully updated to Beta 5 and I then tried to upgrade to 4.2.2 several time and had it fail every time.

Is there some trick to upgrading the AppleTV2 software that I don't know about?

I would sure appreciate any tips and please don't hesitate to be specific.

Many thanks, in advance,

Hugh

Submitted by nicholass.0356 on May 12, 2011 - 7:25pm

Some of us actually liked having things like MLB.tv on our Apple TVs. You should really advertise what aTV Flash Black removes as well as what it adds.

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:36pm

Hmmm, it shouldn't remove anything.

Open a support ticket and we can troublehsoot.

http://firecore.com/contact

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:37pm

If you re-jailbreak with the latest version of Seas0nPass it will automatically upgrade you to 4.2.2, then you can re-run the aTV Flash (black) installer.

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:37pm

Did you update to 4.2.2?

Was Seas0nPass used for the jailbreak?

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:40pm

Unfortunately updating the AppleTV software means you will lose all your settings. Frown

Updating isn't required, but if you re-jailbreak with the latest version of Seas0nPass it will automatically upgrade you to the latest version.

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:41pm

We'll get right on it. ;)

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:41pm

There are actually some things in the pipe for the original AppleTV, and with time, many of the new features being designed for ATV2 will make their way there as well.

Submitted by james on May 12, 2011 - 7:43pm

Thanks for the suggestions. We'll see what we can do.

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 7:45pm

Just buy a Boxee Box if you want it that much...?

Submitted by GoPronto on May 12, 2011 - 7:47pm

hi James

 

Befor the up date i had access to the nass drive, but since the update the access has gone.

 

Submitted by hayswj on May 12, 2011 - 8:02pm

Love the update..  I can now watch all my media from the native menu..  No problems.. Thank you for finally getting it working with SMB...  You guys rock...  Keep up the good work

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 8:08pm

Can you read the files from the ATV version 1 in the ATV version 2 now?

Submitted by jimmydiv on May 12, 2011 - 8:17pm

With the video playlist can it be set up to loop? I'd love to use the apple tv to loop at my friends restaurant. Also being able to mix a photo slide show with videos, get it to continuously repeat, maybe a random mix too?

Also I'd love to be able to have two versions of plex installed. One that I could set up for kids and one for adults. My 9 yo nephew almost put on a racey r rated movie the other day when he was visiting. I know you guys don't develop plex, but it might be something you could do at the main user level. Everything is just to open right now, I can't walk away and have a child using the product.

Submitted by josephc.8061 on May 12, 2011 - 9:05pm

SMB SWEET!!!

MKV 720p still crashes within seconds

Low Memory...

Submitted by coryd.9075 on May 12, 2011 - 9:15pm

Great changes! I was excited that this would replace XBMC as I connect my ATV 2 via ethernet through SMB to a second "Time Capsule" on my WLAN for direct storage of my m4v's.

Sadly, I have my first audio track AAC Stereo as iDevices defaults to the first track and AC3 Passthrough as my second and DTS for some. Unfortunately I can't change audio tracks and no DTS support yet means I'm stuck with XBMC. However, this is a great step in a perfect direction. Looking forward to the audio upgrades! Smile

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 10:32pm

What about VPN?

It is a key feature for using Netflix outside US.
And As it is on your ATV1 version, please bring
It to ATV2 as well.

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 10:52pm

The BIGGEST thing I want is a Couch Surfer update that enables ClicktoFlash or ClicktoPlugin functionality in that certain blocked plug-in objects are replaced by HTML5 media elements like YouTube Flash videos, such as the ones embedded here (other iOS devices can find the media replacements -- Couch Surfer should too!):
http://usaguns.net/patriot/pg/videos/all

Please add this to the to do list!

See:
http://hoyois.github.com/safariextensions/clicktoplugin/

Oh, and call your members of Congress and Senate and demand a COMPLETE AUDIT OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE! Our wealth is being stolen from us through inflation of the US Dollar.

Submitted by Anon on May 12, 2011 - 11:08pm

We NEED VPN

Submitted by willys.9215 on May 12, 2011 - 11:11pm

Hello and thank you for all of your hard work on this fireCore team!!!

I am getting itunes error 1602 when using latest Seas0nPass to jailbreak ATV2.  Itunes is also latest version.  I have tried with ATV plugged in and only plugged into Macbook Pro.  Any suggestions?

 

 

Submitted by mistwolf on May 12, 2011 - 11:21pm

I admit to not being a Boxee expert, or even overly knowledgable, but wouldn't that be the Boxee people's problem? aren't they, technically speaking, Firecore's 'competition'? All the jailbreaks do is let you install other software, but it's the end software programmers jobs to make them work. Firecore doesn't make XBMC or whatnot work, XMBC does that. Firecore does their own media player in parallel to people like Boxee and XMBC?

 

I would love to know if there's something I am missing about Boxee, though! I just am not sure it's FC's job to make that work. Smile

Submitted by mistwolf on May 12, 2011 - 11:22pm

I admit to not being a Boxee expert, or even overly knowledgeable, but wouldn't that be the Boxee people's problem? aren't they, technically speaking, Firecore's 'competition'? All the jailbreaks do is let you install other software, but it's the end software programmers jobs to make them work. Firecore doesn't make XBMC or whatnot work, XMBC does that. Firecore does their own media player in parallel to people like Boxee and XMBC?

 

I would love to know if there's something I am missing about Boxee, though! I just am not sure it's FC's job to make that work. Smile

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 12:13am

Why no Vpn ?

Submitted by stavax on May 13, 2011 - 12:25am

Hello from Spain, and thank you for all of your hard work on this FireCore team!!!

What about the SMB streaming for windows? Are you working on that issue?

Thanks!

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 12:58am

are *.wtv files supported (coming from wondows media player)??

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 1:10am

Hi Firecore-team,

Thanks for this nice piece of software!

Quick question, if you already have install ATV2, then what should i do to go to the next version?
I saw in the press release that you can update the features through Maintenance. But what about the core ?

Keep up the good work Smile

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 1:10am

Wie viel beats wollt ihr eigentlich noch rausbringen? Kommt denn auch mal eine Final version.

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 1:12am

How much you actually want beta bring out yet? Comes because sometimes a final version.

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 1:33am

Great to see SMB.

Some feedback, because it's not working. I checked access to my SMB NAS via Windows + Ipad, both working. What did I do?

setup the server (setting are correct, really)
The server is not recognized by server name which is strange (error 61)
I then changed to IP
Now I can access the server (with multiple shares)
but when I want to access a subfolder/share like MOVIES I have another problem that I didnt expect (Error 13, perm denied)

I'l send in diagnostics

Submitted by stefank.1757 on May 13, 2011 - 1:57am

Sorry but a very stupid comment. Until now the missing SMB support made the software 100% useless for how many people? 50%? 70%?

So no wonder that a lot of people where pushing for the basic feature coming in. I don't saw a lot of people asking for ATV2 ability to make fresh

brewed coffee with cream. But every 2nd comment was "add SMB support please" wich i 100% understand ... Confused

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 1:59am

yay, glad you fixed the XBMC conflict Smile great work!

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 2:34am

I absolutely agree. This is, in my opinion, a must have.
Just see how well the Popcorn Hour handles different framerates - all automatically.

Submitted by procom on May 13, 2011 - 2:40am

Hello,

Tickets 16080 (http://support.firecore.com/requests/16080) is implemented in Beta 5 ?

Couch Surfer Pro Video HTML Autostart, Loop and no Fullscreen.

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 2:53am

buy a computer !!!

Submitted by Anon on May 13, 2011 - 3:15am

Error 13 was my bad (didnt save settings)

Still not able to access via server network name and getting error 61

And haha. Now when I finally can access a movie all the AVI's make my ATV reboot

Submitted by andrews.8560 on May 13, 2011 - 4:21am

Hi all, as a newbie I mus be doing something wrong.
I jail broke my ATV about two weeks ago and was well. The email landed from fire core re the beta 5.
Forgive what may be a silly question but how do I update to beta 5 or have a I already done it successfully as under maintenance , about it shows beta 5?
I did not connect to any computer when I did this it just showed an update on various items under maintenance.

The second query is that then when I try to update to 4.2.2 it downloads the software and then fails on the first of the two stages.........any help would be really appreciated.
Regards
Andrew

Submitted by petshop_voigt on May 13, 2011 - 4:49am

Thank you for the good work !!!!!
eye-tv streaming means: that I can stream the original recordet films from my mac to apple tv without new encoding ?

It will stream the original recording ? is this right ?
asking from HH, Germany

Submitted by iawa2k on May 13, 2011 - 6:22am

Do you know how to sign up to US Netflix without a US postal address or credit/debit card then?

If so please share as I can create a fixed VPN for my network and can route the ATV traffic there, I have a US iTunes account so it does appear when setup as US account but can't seem to sign up to Netflix.

Assume you must know how as you are requesting VPN to use it for that.

Thanks in advance!

Submitted by scottb.6111 on May 13, 2011 - 6:38am

Resolved many of the stability issues with media player streaming over afp. Nice work. Thank you!

Submitted by gwpurnell on May 13, 2011 - 6:38am

The new beta 5 is superb. Media Player is all I'd hoped it would be, at least in this beta stage. SMB share access is supremely easy and as soon as you have the subtitle functionality working, I'll never use XBMC for accessing video from a share again. XBMC struggles if I ever have to pause or FF/REW a video; Media Player's FF/REW function is fantastic and a real show stopper.

I'm also loving the new weather app. I never bothered to find my city code to access this before but the automatic location facility works brilliantly and the 5 day forecast is an added bonus.