We are pleased to announce the release aTV Flash (black) Beta6 for the 2nd generation AppleTV.

Beta6 includes huge improvements in playback performance that come by way of a brand brand-new, lightweight player that has been built from the ground up specifically for iOS. This new player empowers your AppleTV to play a wide variety of media formats without having to sacrifice the simplicity of the native AppleTV interface.

Keep reading to find out all the details.

What's new in Beta6?

General

  • Added show/hide options for standard AppleTV menus
  • Added option to manually install if no AppleTVs are detected
  • Improved auto-update disabling
  • Improved installation error handling
  • Minor UI adjustments

Media Player

  • Added new lightweight player
  • Added recently played items to 'Top Shelf' in main menu
  • Added Favorites to main menu
  • Added option to manually mark files as watched/unwatched
  • Added 'Test Connection' option for AFP/SMB shares
  • Added support for DVD subtitles
  • Added support for multiple DVD audio tracks
  • Added basic support for M2TS files
  • Improved overall video playback (especially HD video files)
  • Improved thumbnail generation when cover art is not available
  • Improved FF/RW controls
  • Improved DVD menu and video playback
  • Improved DVD playback progress reporting
  • Improved memory management
  • Improved AFP/SMB streaming
  • Improved error handling for invalid files
  • Resolved most video stuttering issues
  • Resolved energy saver mode issue
  • Resolved issue that resulted in some DVDs being displayed in (squished) 4x3 mode
  • Resolved numerous DVD playback issues
  • Resolved flickering when navigating through certain menus
  • Resolved additional conflicts with XBMC
  • Reduced number of network connections used
  • Minor UI and other miscellaneous fixes

Screenshots

So how much better is this new player?

In short, it's way, way, way better!

To more effectively illustrate real-world improvement we tested video playback in both Beta6 as well as the previous Beta5 version. The results show dramatic improvement in playback performance and system efficiency. More details can be seen in the graphs below.

Note: The source file used was an H.264 (AVC) video (24 FPS) with AAC audio, and was re-encoded into various resolutions for testing.

FPS comparison

Free memory comparison

CPU usage comparison

Awesome! Where can I get it?

If you're already running a version of aTV Flash (black) the new Beta6 version can be installed through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu. If for some reason you need to re-install aTV Flash (black) onto your AppleTV links for the new version can be found in your account under the Downloads tab.

New users can pre-order aTV Flash (black) here.

Enjoy! :-) 

Comments

Submitted by davige on July 2, 2011 - 7:18am

No metadata fetching!

Submitted by peterc.8529 on July 2, 2011 - 7:44am

Will the new video player be coming to ATV AppleTV 1 aka Silver?

Submitted by peterc.8529 on July 2, 2011 - 7:52am

What did you use to save your entire DVD library as image, just wondering what you mean as images, I have mine saved as video_ts/audio+_ts folders?

Submitted by peterc.8529 on July 2, 2011 - 7:56am

This is a netflix issue with the video file they are using, you have to report the issue to netflix. IE The Movie : Patton did not have captions for language translations on my imac when I played it nor did it have captions on my AppleTV, but now it does after I complained and a few weeks of waiting.

Submitted by mrstoo on July 2, 2011 - 8:04am

I had a similar issue: AVI and MKV files would stop and go back to the previous menu after a few minutes.  It appears I resolved this behaviour by removing Media Player (via the Maintenance menu) and rebooted, then (re) installed Media Player and rebooted.  Unsure if the reboots are necessary but they are the steps I followed.

Cheers.

Submitted by Cyberb0b on July 2, 2011 - 8:47am

XBMC can handle ISO files without any problem!

Submitted by ginom.5101037 on July 2, 2011 - 9:01am

Honestly, this version just like the previous versions are not stable at all. As soon as I click on a movie and Apple TV starts buffering it suddenly reboots. I haven't been able to watch a single movie and still use Plex. Metdata fetching is still not working and I'm honestly wondering if anyone have got this up running correctly?

Yes FireCore I have sent my crash logs to you, withing the Apple TV.

 

/Gino

 

 

Submitted by Thunderbird712 on July 2, 2011 - 9:39am

I've just installed Beta6 through the extras menu. The install was a snap, but the performance is now worse. I own a host of .VOB files that I stream through my NAS. IN Beta5 the .VOBs stuttered every 5 seconds or so, now they stutter every second. What's worse is that I can't go back to the previous version and this is the only way I can show my son his "Mighty Machines" videos. I'll try the topic 4291.

Submitted by Frank_HH on July 2, 2011 - 10:22am

I want to stream 1080p video and the message Memory warning. Your device is running low on memory appears. The File is 

an mkv file 10.404 GB. Nothing has changed since last version !!

 

by Frank

Submitted by christians.6163 on July 2, 2011 - 10:26am

Can anyone tell me how to change the audio-track of my Handbrake-converted DVD's?
MediaPlayer only plays Stereo. But there is definetely another AC3-DD track! Holding down OK-Button does not work!

Accept of this it plays the file smoother now in Version 6! Thanx!!

Submitted by alessandrom.6394 on July 2, 2011 - 1:34pm

Please, when embedded MKV subtitles and SUB/SRT files will be supported?

About the video playback... it is amazing!

Thanks,

Submitted by dewayne m.3820 on July 2, 2011 - 1:54pm

I already bough it for bata5 but i do not see where to download the new version....

Submitted by derharry on July 2, 2011 - 1:55pm

Cool thing - Impressing!

Super new Media Player and improvments! 

Only following suggestions:

-) faster Fast-Forward - Fast-Backward would be good at DVD/MKV/MP4

-) for MKV/MP4/AVI movies with multiple language audio streams a possibility to change audio stream

-) with DVD's possibility to get back to Home Menu

Smile

Submitted by derharry on July 2, 2011 - 2:01pm

I watch movies with 1080p und around 16 GB - Memory warning happens only when I've watched ISO, AVI or 720p videos before.

After restart, 1080p videos work fine. In last beta I wasn't even able to watch 1080p - screen just stayed black Frown

Lets look what the next beta or final can do! Its still beta, so improvements will sureley come Smile

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 2, 2011 - 2:23pm

Hi guys,

great work, the update has given us many improvements compared to the previous version. I had some video files (flv and dvd rips) that only played with heavy stuttering. This is better now, some hiccups in the audio from time to time, but that is acceptable for a beta version.

Interestingly, I now have some video ts folders which I could start and access the menu of the dvd itself with scene selection and so on in the previous version of media player, but now I can't. Instead, now the screen goes blank after buffering. However, when I push fast forward I can access the movie, starting at let's say 1:30, and THEN I can rewind again to the beginning of the movie and start from there. Strangely, there are some DVD files that I can still access the regular way as before. All of them were transcoded with DVD shrink using identical settings. This is a bit odd.

And, this is the same as before, my atv does not show pictures from my computer. The file names are shown plus a small generic icon, but when I select a picture atv loads and loads ad infinitum. Itunes shows the pictures without any problems.

Anyways, I'm very happy with your product. Keep up the good work. I'm very excited about a final version.

Greetings from Germany

Gerd

Submitted by robi666 on July 2, 2011 - 5:17pm

I installed the Beta6.

Still having problems with some HD movies. Also, it is still not stable.

I will stick with Plex for now. Frown

Submitted by jeffreyr.9347 on July 2, 2011 - 7:55pm

Works great ! A huge improvement over previous beta release. Not sure if I"m missing something, but is there a way to sort the list of media files in the new media player. It looks like it's sorted by name and don't see an option for sorting. If not there, will it be in an upcoming release ? Thanks !!

Submitted by bkonline on July 2, 2011 - 10:29pm

How do I down load this? The only download link to my account points to the Beta5 May release--- which I just installed a month ago when I first signed up. I suppose to get a free updates for at least 1yr.

Please help ASAP I will like to install this.

Submitted by Vostod on July 2, 2011 - 11:00pm

I'm really impressed with the media player update in this version of the beta.  Videos (some pretty large 720p rips) play without any problems.  Great job!

Some feedback:

1) Mp3s dont seem to play through it - navigating to a directory with mp3s gives a message "no playable files"

2) As a wish list item - please please make the media player able to output passthrough sound, both DTS or AC3 Dolby Digital.  2nd would be the ability to read epubs or PDFs through the media player

3) more of a warning to other users  - the newest version of XBMC (version 9) is not a true stable version - upgrade with care.  I encountered a good amount of buffering after the upgrade.  Downgrading to the last stable release (version 7) via terminal didnt fix the issue.  I ended up reflashing the ATV & foolishly upgrading to iOS 4.3 because I wasn't paying attention.  

The new media player and XBMC ver 9 seem to run well on the new iOS, but I no longer can get DTS/DD (AC3) 5.1 channel sound from the ATV (only 2 channels) since the Audio engine in XBMC still has some kinks to be worked out and isnt working fully with iOS 4.3 (iOS 4.2.1 is the only version you can get HD sound from) - once you upgrade the iOS there is no going back unless you prepared for that - so BE CAREFUL

thanks again to the firecore team - you are doing great work!!

Submitted by christians.6163 on July 3, 2011 - 3:19am

Hi Gerd,

das mit den Bildern ist mir auch aufgefallen. Bis ich mal nen Ordner genommen hab wo nur 2-3 Bilder drin waren. Es scheint, als würde der PictureViewer erst alle (oder zumindest sehr viele) Bilder des Ordners in dene Speicher laden bevor er mit der Wiedergabe beginnt. Und bei 100 Bildern a 5 MB dauert das echt lange! Probier es mal aus.

Hast du vielleicht eine Antwort auf meine Frage, wie ich die Tonspuren wählen kann? Ich konvertiere immer mit Handbrake in mp4 Files, weil ich dachte die laufen besser auf dem ATV und dem iPad?! Da gibt es 2 Tonspuren. Eine AC3 und eine Stereo. Und der MediaPlayer gibt mir keine Auswahlmöglichkeit sondern spielt immer nur Stereo.

Beste Grüße aus der Berliner Ecke,
Christian

Submitted by iffihyd on July 3, 2011 - 6:02am

i got issue with sound on media player since I updated to beta6

Submitted by tomiy1 on July 3, 2011 - 9:28am

Another recommendation i would make for the media player would be to add the option to use keyword search for those of us who have large collections and have to swipe forever to get to the letter "L" (as an example...perhaps this can be a feature for the next beta? (unless it is already a planned feature) Smile thanks again for the great work!

Submitted by bargibney on July 3, 2011 - 4:26pm

Hello,

I updated to beta 6 today. It looks like great, good work. I really like the option to hide throught the manage menu. The fetching metadata still doesn't really work for me but I will keep an eye on this. I have a couple of suggestions though.

First can you set it so you can hide the nitro tv in the manage => hide option.

Second everything is all contained under the one umbrella of media. Is there anyway it can be broken up. Like a channel for movies, one for television, one for music and one for photos. That way when you set favorites, the media list does not seem endless.

And finally can there be an option to change the way you view the file lists into a grid. Showing cover art similar to Apple and Plex media. Also so it shows the movie posters across the top of the homepage.

Regards,

Bargibney

Ps again great work.

Submitted by stuarta.835105 on July 3, 2011 - 4:49pm

If you release a beta6 to already registed beta5 users, please provide a link to the download page. I've searched for about 30 minutes now with a glass of Chardonnay in my hand, and all I've found is other folks asking "where do I download it"?

Submitted by GoPronto on July 3, 2011 - 11:09pm

if you have beata 5 installed just go to the manage page in the ATV Black and update it from there ezy Smile

Submitted by marcp.3312 on July 4, 2011 - 3:33am

Hallo Gerd oder Christian

 

ich habe auch aTV flash black, bin aber noch nicht so fit damit. Kann mir einer von Euch beiden sagen, wie ich an meine files (filme, bilder, usw) von meinem PC auf mein ATV bekomme, also wie ich eine Verbindung zwischen ATV und PC herstelle.

 

Ausserdem würde ich gerne noch wissen, wie ich das Beta update runterladen.

 

Vielen Dank schonmal und Grüße aus dem sonnigen Frankfurt.

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 4, 2011 - 4:56am

Hi guys,

I don't want to sound like some old wisecrack, but maybe it is a good idea and a matter of politeness to continue the thread in English... Then everyone might be able to benefit from this.

Marc: The only thing you have to do is to enable filesharing for the relevant folders. Then you can navigate to them in the media player open files dialogue. The update can be downloaded via the maintenance menu on the right.

Christian: I have put the DVDs on my harddrive as video_ts and audio_ts folders. I do not feel the need to change the audio track selection since by some kind of magic the English track is always played - this is fine for me, but I have played around a little and it seems as if the selection works fine from the menu of the dvd - but this might not be helpful for you since you use a different file type.

Greetings and enjoy this great product

Gerd

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 4, 2011 - 4:58am

Actually, you do not need any link. Once installed you can download the updates via the maintenance menu on the right.

Greetings

Submitted by Anon on July 4, 2011 - 5:09am

Very disappointing:

SD avi and mp4 files running nicely. But that's all.

- HD m4v (1080p) -> displays "Playback Error"
- DVD Menues and Films stuttering heavily
- Still no support to DRM series (bought via itunes store)

After over 6 months I still can't use this Software to watch DVD and BD files or films bought via iTunes Store. What after another 6 months, when the update support is expiring? I paid 20 bucks to be BETA Tester and had no real feature for everyday life usage?

i'm looking forward to srt support, but please get a grip on the DVD and HD Files support expressly.

Submitted by maiks.9963 on July 4, 2011 - 5:11am

Just tried the new beta6 media player on a straight rip of "The Matrix" from DVD, no conversion. It sits in a .dvdmedia folder  and I share it via AFP over my wireless.

Observations:

  • The meta data is not recognized anymore. It was recognized in beta4 and beta5.
  • In the beginning, the video in the DVD menu plays without stuttering, after some time it starts to stutter worse than beta5
  • The movie itself stutters worse than beta5, I get about half a second of playback alternating with a one second pause
  • The aspect ratio is fixed now, it was wrong in beta5.

Let me know how I can provide more detailed information if you need it.

Submitted by Anon on July 4, 2011 - 6:16am

Hello,

I have now the Apple TV2. What must I do to use it like the old Apple TV ? I don't like to streem the music. What are the options ?mesibl Vd

Submitted by davige on July 4, 2011 - 6:26am

How do I get Beta 5 back? Beta 6 is terrible. Menus extremely sluggish. Push remote button and wait 5-8 seconds for menu to move. All videos stutter (.avi, .m4v, mkv). Constant Low Tide restarts. No metadata on either movies or TV. Unfortunately, I'm back to using Plex. It's more reliable but I don't like to run my MBPro as a server. Beta 5 wasn't perfect but it ran fine with my AirDisk AFP share. Beta 6 is a definite step backwards.

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 4, 2011 - 6:27am

Hi,

the atv was designed to stream media to your tv/hifi. you cannot use it like the old apple tv since it does not have a harddisk and it has no usb controller. So, either the computer where you store your files is running while you are listening to music/watching videos or you can use a harddisk in your network that you use as a source for your media files. But this is streaming again...

Submitted by marcp.3312 on July 4, 2011 - 6:39am

Hi Gerd

 

thanks for the quick reply and you´re right let´s continue in english.

 

I already opened the folder via filesharing but I don´t see it on my media player on my ATV. Maybe I set up the ATV flash wrong.When I´m in the media player and want to add another share, it asks me the name, server,... So what do I enter there, the IP adress?

 

Where can I see if I have the Beta 6 version? Maybe I already updated it and don´t know it.

 

Sorry to be asking such stupid questions but I´m new with this.

 

Thanks again.

Submitted by ramatsu on July 4, 2011 - 9:59am

According to the About item under Maintenance, I've got beta 6 installed. But my Media menu only includes My Files and Settings - not the Movies, My NAS, or TV Shows items seen in your screenshot above.

Also, though I can navigate through My Files to my ripped DVD folders and see the cover art and other associated info, all I get is "Playback Error - An error occurred loading this content."

The DVD folders are on the external USB drive attached to my Time Capsule (most recent version).

Little help? Thanks!

Submitted by why on July 4, 2011 - 4:56pm

Got to agree,guess they promised a release for the end of the month.

Not even worth my effort to test it anymore.

YES WE ALL KNOW IT'S BETA, pushing 6 months now and no I can't do better myself but not charging peeps 20 bucks for beta either.

Even MS will let you test beta for free.

Submitted by satguru on July 4, 2011 - 5:24pm

There are no downloads found in my account section. I have refreshed the download tabs page a few times with no luck. Its only been 12 weeks since I got my subscription for both appletv 1st and 2nd gen. I need the atv flash as i have restored my appletv. Any help would be appreciated. Thx.

Submitted by superdifficult on July 4, 2011 - 8:42pm

For those having trouble with Beta 6, I had 0 success until I did a hard reboot of the device.

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3180

Now everything I have plays perfectly over NAS on an Airport Extreme. LOVE IT! I finally have a working media centre.

 

Submitted by Anon on July 4, 2011 - 11:14pm

great job guys.. EXCELLENT improvement. media player works 100% better. video quality is 10x better, no more Dolby Digital switch issue, and no more "hiccups" or "skips" in video playback via Media Player. Great update, keep up the great work. Thanks!

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:05am

The extra items that appear in the screenshots above are 'Favorites'. Favorites are simply a quick way to access folders that are buried somewhere on the share you are streaming from.

To add a Favorite simply highlight the desired folder, hold down the center (select) button and choose the 'Add to Favorites' option. A link to that particular folder will now appear in the main menu.

You can edit Favorites at any time by selecting the My Files option, highlighting the Favorite, and press/hold the center select button.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:06am

The behavior you are describing is definitely not typical for Beta6.

Please submit a bug report so we can get to the bottom of it.

http://forum.firecore.com/topic/4291

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:07am

If you can submit a bug report it will help us to track down what may be going on.

http://forum.firecore.com/topic/4291

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:07am

Hmm, what kind of network are you using?

If you can submit a bug report it will help us to track down what may be going on.

http://forum.firecore.com/topic/4291

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:10am

You can hide/remove any of the added menus (Browser, Last.fm, Media Player, etc...) through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu. Just highlight the item you want to remove and press the right arrow (>>) to remove it.

I'll pass along your other suggestions and see what we can do.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:11am

We're hoping to add a search feature soon. :)

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:12am

If you can submit a bug report it will help us to track down what may be going on.

http://forum.firecore.com/topic/4291

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:13am

Thanks for your feedback. We're planning to have support for music files and full AC3/DTS passthrough available soon.

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 5, 2011 - 9:13am

Hi,
since I do not know which os you use (I still use xp), this answer might help you or not:
First you have to setup a network on your computer (Netzwerkinstallationsassistent). You will end up with a network called MSheimnetz if you use all the default values. Only then can you enable filesharing (right click on the folder/Eigenschaften).
I really haven't found where to check the version but if you have the icons for previously watched files under "my files" you have beta 6.
greetings
Gerd

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 5, 2011 - 9:13am

Hi,
since I do not know which os you use (I still use xp), this answer might help you or not:
First you have to setup a network on your computer (Netzwerkinstallationsassistent). You will end up with a network called MSheimnetz if you use all the default values. Only then can you enable filesharing (right click on the folder/Eigenschaften).
I really haven't found where to check the version but if you have the icons for previously watched files under "my files" you have beta 6.
greetings
Gerd

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:13am

The links in your account will actually always point to the latest version.

If you already have aTV Flash (black) installed you can update through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.