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 Anon on July 11, 2011 - 10:29am

Excellent blog! I definitely love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the facts are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which need to do the trick! Have a nice day!

Submitted by Anon on July 11, 2011 - 2:14pm

What's the best software used to rip physical DVDs to file formats that your software can stream with the best performance?

Submitted by Anon on July 11, 2011 - 4:28pm

it works just fine. get over yourself and make sure that you are following the instructions exactly.

Submitted by Anon on July 11, 2011 - 4:36pm

Probably Bonjour service isn't running.

Submitted by Anon on July 11, 2011 - 10:46pm

i vote for one like this

Submitted by jhuckle@simoret... on July 12, 2011 - 2:56pm

IF you are talking about ripping DVD's that you have paid for and just want a back up of....then I recommend Mac The Ripper.  

 

 

Submitted by salvatorebarrera on July 13, 2011 - 5:29am

Since the upgrade to Beta6, XBMC restarts every time I try to browse my files (VIDEOS menu). When XMBC reloads there is no text in interface and I have to physically unplug the ATV2 to restart it.

Has any one have similar problems? 

Submitted by joseph .7360 on July 13, 2011 - 6:37pm

Ran into my first problem since the beta 6. While about 45 minutes into a 2 hour film I got a message on my screen -" your device is running low on memory". Running from my external drive (NAS) connected to my Apple Extreme.

Any suggestions. When attempting to play again, it is a Video_TS folder, the film went back to main menu, not  resume playing.

Tried twice, same message appeared. 

I have played other videos, about 90 min and 75 minutes long, no problem.

 

Submitted by joseph .7360 on July 13, 2011 - 6:42pm

PS. I only have xbmc and Last FM  and Nito TV installed. Not using XMBC, could probably do without Lost FM if need be.

Submitted by paulphillips10 on July 15, 2011 - 1:53am

I've got some sympathy with the original poster. I was also attracted by the lack of hassle when compared to free alternatives such as XBMC.

However.... there are a couple of big downsides to atvflash which currently make it of really limited use for me:

  • doesn't play flash streams! XBMC on atv2 seems to manage this perfectly, even the HD streams from BBC iPlayer. So why can't it be implemented in atvflash? The supposed work-around - ipad mode - doesn't even work on the BBC iplayer website.
  • no ability to compensate for 'overscan'. Some older flat-screen TVs (such as mine) don't adjust for the image size, and hence I lose a chunk of the display around each edge. Means I can't use the browser in full screen mode. 

As for 'exercising your perogative' and not buying it, that's fine, but these issues only really become apparent after you have bought and installed the software...

Submitted by aaronm.3398 on July 15, 2011 - 1:14pm

I use Pavtube Blu-ray or DVD ripper.  Very good program

Submitted by Anon on July 16, 2011 - 2:18am

Video and audio compatibility seems far greater in beta 6, as is buffering. The first issue I hac encountered is crackling whilst playing DVDs as well as mkvs. I have tried the auto and 16bit setting without any improvement. Has anyone else seen this issue.

Submitted by Anon on July 16, 2011 - 8:08am

Yes, I'm getting crackling audio on mkvs. Other than that no problems so far.

Submitted by Joe Capricorn on July 17, 2011 - 4:00pm

 

I'm accessing to my Western Digital Sharing without problems but I can't play ISO file, why? I mean, I know that there are ISO files but I can't see them.

No problem with mp4 and AVI files.

Thanks

Submitted by Anon on July 17, 2011 - 6:02pm

I installed XMBC but prefer Plex, there doesnt seem to be a way to uninstall XMBC now?

Submitted by beatl.5442 on July 18, 2011 - 1:35am

since the update to beta6, the xbmc has problems to play music files. It crashes all the time. Two questions. Is it planned to play with the media player also music files? It would be creat to play .mod files direct with the media player, do you see the chance for this? Many thanks, you are doing a creat work!

Submitted by edudema on July 18, 2011 - 3:36pm

Hi there,

 

I'm having some "memory issues" when playing some .MKV files (>8GB). There is an error message regarding low memory and it freezes.

Anyone else with this problem ?

 

Will there be option to switch DUAL AUDIO files (.mkv and others) and also add subtitles (.str) files ? 

 

Hope you can help.

 

Regards

 

 

Submitted by reuven.8847 on July 20, 2011 - 6:26am

Hi -

excuse me for the newbie question, just got my ATV and I see that the IOS installed is 4.2.2 . will this release beta6 support

this IOS ?

Thanx

 

Submitted by ewanh.6307 on July 20, 2011 - 12:52pm

Hi, Been playing with the new Beta for a while now.  Set up is Synology 211J NAS with 2 x 2TB 7200 RPM drives RAID 1, all wired CAT5E cabling.  Media player is very good.  Plays HD content fine no buffering, just works.  The only slight thing I noticed was that the aspect ratio on some movies is more letter box than if I play the same file on other media players (itunes, XMBC and Plex).  Here are some suggestions that would make it more user friendly.

Simplify access to the media files.  At present I have to go through the file tree to get to the content.  It would be nice to be able to set up files to associate with movies, TV shows music etc. Very much like how Plex sets up.  i.e. its then available from a menu.

Tile content ala Plex and do a better job of scraping the Metadata

Basically I have to say I love the Plex interface, make it more like that...  The big + for Firecore media Player is the direct NAS streaming and thats a BIG plus.  Just make it more user friendly to access files (something the wife understands).  Thanks.

Submitted by Anon on July 21, 2011 - 1:41pm

When 24 bit / 96 audio will be supported?

Is this player also capable of "bit perfect" output?

Regards

Submitted by Anon on July 21, 2011 - 3:36pm

Spotify!!!!!!!!!!!
iTunes Visualizer!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by reuven.8847 on July 24, 2011 - 11:42am

hi - I have updated to the latest beta 0.6 update, and almost every file I try to stream in media player either crashes, or reports "unsupported file type" ..   I am trying to see either avi or divx and havent been able to see yet 1 good streaming session.  Any advice ?

Submitted by LarsLauritzen on July 26, 2011 - 12:57am

Hi.
Is it possible to make a complete bacup of my ATV2 just like it´s possible with Iphone, so that if i upgrade somthing "firmware ect. ect" quickly can restore to latest configuration/firmware because not evry things is god ore bad with the Jailbreaks/Software etc. etc.

And it´s not to be negativ, just to make it easier for playing arround with ATV2.

Lars/

Submitted by Anon on July 26, 2011 - 1:47pm

Right now I'll stick with xbmc and icefilms.
When ever I install media player icefilms won't load up.
Guess xbmc and media player don't play together well.

Submitted by Anon on July 27, 2011 - 12:58am

Hmm all my m4v files doesn't work anymore??

Submitted by Anon on July 27, 2011 - 1:00am

My m4v files doesn't work anymore - anybody else with this problem??

Submitted by Spot3 on July 27, 2011 - 1:02am

Cant play my m4v files anymore?? Anybody else with this problem?

Submitted by lemoon on July 27, 2011 - 2:14am

NO, I don't have, as I use Handbrake and ifunia media converter to do video, movies, audio files converting.

Submitted by naelk.5773 on July 27, 2011 - 11:39pm

I am very... VERY IMPRESSED. After trying tot get XBMC and plex to work without FLASH i now only use FLASH/black ed. without any other client.

If only Spotify is added as an option. At this moment we can not use Last.FM in Holland. ...

keep up the great work.

a huge fan

Submitted by Anon on July 28, 2011 - 4:48am

Hey! Video playback doesn't work at all. When I navigate to my shared movie folder and start fetching... it crashes every time?!!! Actually, the only reason I bought this software was the ability to store all my dvds on a single device and it doesn't work!!! I'm very disappointed.

Submitted by Anon on July 30, 2011 - 11:20am

Hi

I have one item for the wishlist:
It would be great if you could implement a client for the squeezebox server.
This would allow for headless music playing and perfect remote control either via the iPhone with iPeng or via the web interface of squeezeboxserver with any webbrowser in the house .
This feature alone would be worth $20 for me (and probably a lot of other people with squeezeboxserver on a aserver or a NAS)

Mike

Submitted by jamest.8685 on July 31, 2011 - 12:19pm

Same problem here - maybe 50% won't play in the Media Player; all play/stream fine from iTunes

Submitted by james on August 1, 2011 - 9:36am

Please submit a bug report and we can look deeper into what's going on.

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

Submitted by Anon on August 3, 2011 - 7:35pm

I saved all mine as ISO's also. I would love atv flash to support this. I've used XBMC but it buffers to much. I used ANYDVD to rip this to iso.

Submitted by Anon on August 4, 2011 - 7:11am

hadi bakalim danke

Submitted by Balperro on August 4, 2011 - 8:13am

Hello:

Per the What's New in Media Player, Added support for multiple DVD audio tracks. My question is: In Media Player, how do you switch through multiple audio tracks on DVD's? (VIDEO_TS) The file is just the Main Movie without the DVD Menu.

Thanks,

Balperro

Submitted by james on August 4, 2011 - 12:03pm

Switching audio tracks without the main menu will be available in the next version.

http://twitpic.com/60vgsy

Submitted by allaturka on August 6, 2011 - 5:28pm

my question is this....

All my movies on my hard drive is in seperate folders and all the folders contain the poster images (folder.jpg)

in xbmc i can see all my movies in library mode and dont have to go one by one into the folders to see which movies i have and to see the image of the movie but in atv flash i need to go in each folder to see the info and the poster of the movie. 

Is there any way to see my movies all at once like in library mode like xbmc ? 

Other than that the program is awesome...

Thanks...

Submitted by ausafk.2567 on August 7, 2011 - 2:06pm

cant play 1080p mkvs

Submitted by joergimausi on August 8, 2011 - 5:57am

Lol, a "media player" that cannot play mp3. You are so funny...

Submitted by Anon on August 8, 2011 - 10:18am

I've been using atv black beta 6 for a while now and am loving the added features Smile
However, I noticed for the first time that I no longer have access to the apple standard Movies and TV menu. I've tried showing them and disabling them from the maintenance->settings menu but can't get them to show. Is there something else I can try?
Thanks.

Submitted by Anon on August 8, 2011 - 9:44pm

If you came out with an Open VPN client you'd have my $20 on that feature alone.

Submitted by Anon on August 9, 2011 - 1:51pm

Trying it out but every 720p mkv I try streamed via smb from my synology will start out fine and smooth(no stuttering) but freezes eventually. Sometimes after 2mins, sometimes after half an hour. This will be a great product if playback can be made more robust!

Will file a bugreport..

Submitted by naelk.5773 on August 10, 2011 - 8:11am

DIVX sound is faster then the screen.....

Submitted by craigw.0324 on August 10, 2011 - 8:05pm

I'm having trouble playing iTunes files stored on my external HD connected via Extreme. I can find them fine but they don't play via Media player and they cause XBMC to freeze. Any ideas anyone?

I can play the video files on the same HHD no problem (as a side note: including playing straight Video TS files off my computer! Which is very cool!)

Submitted by saultracey@gmail.com on August 12, 2011 - 10:46am

doesn't work for me either. Any work around?

Submitted by Anon on August 12, 2011 - 4:52pm

I second that, VPN functionality in aTV as addon will make a world of differance. Netflix is useless without this feature. Hope we can be expecting it soon.

Submitted by robertg.5933 on August 21, 2011 - 4:34pm

Thanks. Audio stream selection would be great. Some of my media files default to Directors commentary. :(

Looking forward to the new version with support for that.

 

Had some memory warnings and also some audio/video sync issues, but it seems to play all my movies/videos pretty good.

HD, 1080p, mkv, DTS audio, it plays. I like it.

 

Would it help if I uninstall some other apps (e.g. Plex client) to free memory and decrease the amount of memory warnings?

Submitted by Anon on August 29, 2011 - 1:27pm

Please please add support for .wtv (Windows Media Centre TV Recordings).

Submitted by bargibney on October 12, 2011 - 1:41am

Thanks for the response James. I actually got this working shortly after writing the post. I had an option turned off in settings which prevented above the line displays. So have it working now and looks great.

Thank you.