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 james on July 5, 2011 - 9:14am

No sorting options yet - hopefully soon!

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:14am

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 - 9:16am

Support for subtitles will be available soon.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:17am

Currently Media Player will convert all audio to 2ch stereo.

Support for multiple audio tracks and full AC3/DTS sound will be available soon.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:18am

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 - 9:22am

Which part are you missing?

The 'Top Shelf' section will display recently played items that have been played after updating to Beta6.

The Favorites (Movies, My NAS, TV Shows) shown in the main menu can be setup by creating one or more Favorites of your own. To setup a Favorite highlight the folder you wish to set as a Favorite, hold the center (select) button and choose the 'Add to Favorites' option.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:23am

AC3 passthrough is not yet supported, but you should be hearing normal 2ch stereo.

If you're not, please submit a bug report and we can look into it.

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

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:25am

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

Alternatively if you have aTV Flash (black) currently installed, you can update on the AppleTV through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:26am

Is this issue occurring with all your DVD files, or just a few?

If you can send it a bug report we can look into it.

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

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:27am

If you can send in a diagnostic report we can try and track down what may be going on.

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

The non-Apple menus can be removed through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu. Highlight the item to be removed, and press the right arrow (>>) button to remove it.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:29am

The Media Player version in the Manage Extras menu should reflect 0.5-194640. If this is the version that is shown, and Media Player has a status of 'Installed' you are running the latest version.

Submitted by james on July 5, 2011 - 9:30am

If you can send in a bug report we can look into what may be causing the issue.

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

Submitted by propod on July 5, 2011 - 11:30am

does any one know if g2 black apple tv support adobe flash player?

Submitted by lugee on July 5, 2011 - 12:43pm

Looking forward to this! Thanks in advance.

Let me know if I can help here… old Yamaha 5.1 system needs more surround sound be played from action movies  ;-)

Submitted by Anon on July 5, 2011 - 3:39pm

Will there be support for .srt files??

Submitted by Anon on July 5, 2011 - 4:59pm

Video is a lot more smooth. But I've noticed a lot more crashes with the interface, especially when staying on the main menu for a while. Also, my netflix no longer works, so I might have to re-install ios Frown

Submitted by Anon on July 5, 2011 - 7:33pm

Nice! I really need that

Submitted by Anon on July 5, 2011 - 7:50pm

Media Player works like a champ. Was a little disappointed when I first purchased it... I know it was a beta but I mainly got it for the media player. Now it seems like everything I want it to do is being accomplished. Apple TV+Netflix Account (1 year)+HDMI Cable+Firecore=$210... When my contract with cable runs out I am cancelling it.... tired of paying a bunch of money for a bunch of channels I will never watch.

Submitted by Anon on July 6, 2011 - 12:55am

!Hola!

One again, great software. Only thing thats bother me, is at playing my movies, mkv, dvdr, or some what - it restarts in about 30 min true the movie. Pretty annoying. Restored my aTV Black yesterday, so it's all fresh.

Anyone had the same problem or maybe a solution?

Submitted by Anon on July 6, 2011 - 5:03am

In Beta5, the «Memory Low» warning popped up only 2 or 3 seconds after starting a standard .AVI ou .MP4 movie.

With Beta6, this issue seems solved.

Thanks Firecore, great job on this one!

Looking forward to Flash support in Couch Surfer though... Is this something you're thinking about?

Submitted by peterj.3872 on July 6, 2011 - 7:18am

An addition to the wishlist, a way to skip between chapters

Submitted by peterj.3872 on July 6, 2011 - 7:20am

Even MKV-files?

 

I'm still having troubles with the MKV-files. In Beta5 they didn't play at all so it's an impovement because they'll actually play now, but it's not watchable with all the glitches

Submitted by donaldresseguie on July 6, 2011 - 9:12am

DO NOT BUY ATV FLASH IT DOES NOT WORK WITH APPLE TV 2. The aTVFlash for Apple TV 2 sounds really great on paper.  However, Season pass and none of the other jailbreaking software will get my apple tvs to enter DUI mode.  Without jailbreaking the devices you cannot use ATV Flash.  So in my opnion I got ripped off buying a piece of software that does not work.  I sent in two support tickets and have had no response.  It sounds like Fire Core knows they are running a scam or they would have responsed.

Submitted by gerdk.9409 on July 6, 2011 - 9:54am

But they tell you on their website that you have to jailbreak your device. Please, read the description first if you're not sure about what exactly you are going to buy.

Submitted by Anon on July 6, 2011 - 10:07am

do you get netflix for free?

Submitted by freistil-tom on July 6, 2011 - 12:06pm

I fear donaldresseguie is perfectly right!!

bought the software in december 2010 and it was said it will just be maximum weeks to have jailbreak working and then working atv.

Easter there was still no untethered jailbreak and the one that existed was as horrible as the atv. It took hours and hours just to try to make it work. The only effect in the end was, that my AppleTV´s WiFi is working no more and there is still no real jailbreak. Wished I had my money back. 20 bucks for less than nothing is really too much! 

My advice, too: don´t buy!

Submitted by jhuckle@simoret... on July 6, 2011 - 12:18pm

Works perfectly fine for me!  Every part of it, as a Beta, works as described.

Submitted by Anon on July 6, 2011 - 1:58pm

Apple TV+Netflix Account (1 year)+HDMI Cable+Firecore=$210

Apple TV - $100
Netflix Instant Streaming for 1 Year - $96
Firecore - $20
HDMI cable - $4

okay so it's actually $220 ... I added wrong

Submitted by james on July 6, 2011 - 3:49pm

Sorry to hear you are having trouble.

Most issues can be resolved by reading the stickies found in the jailbreaking section of the forum here: http://forum.firecore.com/137

Submitted by james on July 6, 2011 - 3:51pm

If you can send in a bug report it will help us in tracking down what may be causing the issue.

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

Submitted by james on July 6, 2011 - 3:52pm

Support for .srt subtitles will be available soon.

Submitted by james on July 6, 2011 - 3:53pm

Unfortunately Adobe Flash is not supported. Sorry. :(

Submitted by james on July 6, 2011 - 3:54pm

Great to hear! :)

Submitted by Anon on July 6, 2011 - 7:39pm

As usual, those who can't figure it out always feel the need to SCREAM the loudest and consistently find anywhere but perhaps their own lack of skill when it comes to assigning blame.

The ATV Flash works great. Plex hasn't been updated in a while, but it looks like the Media Player is where it's at thanks to its lightweight design.

I "refreshed" my Apple TV 2 with Beta 6 today and did the rest via the menu "Manage Extras". I've been running Mac OS X 10.7 Lion exclusively for one month to the day today and all software related to FireCore and the ATV2 works great if you are worried about upgrading to Lion. (it's almost time...;-) )

Submitted by andrewb.0074 on July 6, 2011 - 8:51pm

The true test of this beta is whether I can sit down and comfortably watch an entire movie without problems and unfortunately that has not been the case. Everything loads faster and most improvements are very evident but i cannot watch a 720p movie all the way through without buffering issues, freezing, or audio playback going out of sync. This typically has been happening at the end of the movies. I hope this will be improved.

Submitted by propod on July 7, 2011 - 1:30am

every things worked fine for me, i dont think they are running any scams, the only issue i have is adobe flash there is lots of content out there that uses this plugin and at this moment i dont think this is supported, i also sent 3 support tickets, but had no replies yet?

Submitted by Anon on July 7, 2011 - 1:41am

It's unfortunate that various people make blanket statements, implying that because of their issues with the software, it will not work for everyone. aTV Flash has been a solid piece of software in my experience. Then again, I am *not* a newbie. Because of it, I bought two more Apple TV's, ditched their Verizon boxes, and now I have also set up one for my mother (yes, I feel solid enough with it that I would deal with the potential calls from Mom). Plex has replaced the PVR I had. Much thanks!

As to comments:

First, it is beta. Beta means broken, if you are not sure. If it was not broken, it would not be beta. It would be shipping software. So, there will be issues. If you are not comfortable with beta software and such issues, don't get it.

Now, if you cannot find a jailbreak for the iOS you have on your Apple TV, it's not their fault. Then again, you choose to upgrade your Apple TV to a version that is not supported by jail breaking. That's generally not the wisest thing to do. I have had no issues when I merely waited for an untethered break to come out.

If you're using WIFI to stream high def, well then, I know why you'd have other issues. That approach is not optimal for high def viewing.

If you install Nito or other tools like that, then realize they may not be configured to use the same package repository. As a result, you can get conflicts between versions in different repositories. Just use the package management under Flash, and you should avoid those issues. Otherwise, you will spend a bit of time reviewing install logs for failures, tracing dependency violations and other version conflicts. You have been warned. (That is to be expected in any apt system where you use different repositories, BTW.)

So, if you have some experience with jail breaks--particularly the possible issues with them--you should not be disappointed. This software's installation is not Mom-safe. Once installed though, it runs well.

Again, thanks for the hard work!

Submitted by krzywy on July 7, 2011 - 4:34am

when will support for subtitles?!

Submitted by bargibney on July 7, 2011 - 6:25am

Hello,

How does the 'Added recently played items to 'Top Shelf' in main menu' work? Is this automatic or an option to be switched on? Will it only showed played files or can you set it to show all files or recently added files?

Suppose this needs a working metadata to work? as I still have not got my metadata working on the Beta 6. Is there a specific naming format needed for firecore to be able to retrieve metadata faster?

Submitted by coryd.9075 on July 7, 2011 - 7:49am

Great upgrade, but how do you chose different audio tracks? My m4v's have the first track as stereo for iDevices and the second as full surround sound, but unlike XBMC I cannot seem to change the tracks.

Submitted by james on July 7, 2011 - 12:56pm

Switching audio tracks (as well as support for 5.1 surround sound) will be available in an upcoming version.

Stay tuned. :)

Submitted by Anon on July 7, 2011 - 3:16pm

I have same problem - mp3's don't work - message -> "no playable files"

Submitted by rodrigob.3731 on July 8, 2011 - 9:37am

Hey guys I was prompted to update to a beta6.5 version, updated and now I cannot see any of the livestream, NASA tv, or many more streams I could watch in beta 6 in couch surfer while using the "iPad" user agent... Please help!

Submitted by marcelonamura on July 8, 2011 - 7:57pm

Pls add .srt subtitles like a priority issue in next update.

Tks for this and congrats for hard job.

Submitted by kerrse on July 9, 2011 - 7:02am

I still have no top shelf even after playing films, media still crashing occasionally plus cant fast forward it just freezes

Submitted by Anon on July 9, 2011 - 3:18pm

Gr8t work!

But please Add .srt support.

Submitted by andrewd.2974 on July 10, 2011 - 12:24pm

Since this udate i cannot seem to get itunes home sharing to work. anyone else having this issue? no computer show on my appletv anymore.  

Submitted by Anon on July 10, 2011 - 9:06pm

Ack!! No wonder most of my movies which are AC3 passthrough don't work. I was receiving the same message I get trying to play them through Apple's iTunes server player - "Can't play content". Apple broke AC3 passthrough with their last update.

I'll stick with XBMC for right now which absolutely rocks on ATV2. I'll be looking forward to trying your media player when AC3 is fixed.

Submitted by james on July 11, 2011 - 9:17am

It sounds like you may be running an older version. Can you confirm that the version of Media Player that appears in Maintenance --> Manage Extras is 0.5-194640 and that Media Player has a status of 'Installed'.

Submitted by james on July 11, 2011 - 9:21am

It's automatic, and currently will only support recently played files.

If metadata is off (or not working) you will only get a standard 'ticket' thumbnail. That said, metadata fetching should be improved in the next version.