It's a brand new year, and we've wasted no time getting back to work making the AppleTV even more awesome. As a result, we're happy to present you with a fresh, new version of aTV Flash (black) which features a number of great new things including: video zoom options, grid view watched icons, quick access to recently visited pages, improved support for subtitles, and a truckload of other improvements and bug fixes.

Full details on what's new and how to update can be found below.

New Zoom Options

Three all new zoom options (Normal, Crop, and Stretch) allow you choose how videos are displayed. You can keep videos in their native format (widescreen or pillar box) or crop/stretch them to fill the entire screen. 

Grid View Watched Indicators

Watched indicator icons have been added to the grid view. These icons allow you to quickly see which content is new and ready to be enjoyed. (Note: These can be disabled through the Media --> Settings menu if desired)

Recently Visited Pages

Couch Surfer now displays thumbnail images in the 'top shelf' area of the main menu, which allows you to quickly get back to recently viewed pages.

Full Changelog

  • Added video zoom options (available through Playback Menu)
  • Added watched indicators to grid view
  • Added 'Recently Visited' section to Browser top shelf
  • Added support for MicroDVD .SUB files
  • Added screensaver during pause
  • Added file delete option
  • Added activity indicator for metadata clearing
  • Added 'tune' icon placeholder for audio files without metadata
  • Added episode number to the fetched name the list view
  • Added Reload Metadata' option in contextual menu for folders
  • Added 'no items' message to the 'Unwatched' filter of the list view
  • Added gray ticket image caching
  • Added loading screen when opening Manage Extras menu
  • Improved scrubber bar logic
  • Improved audio feedback for watched and pre-playback screens
  • Improved poster loading for large folders
  • Improved support for DVDs without menus
  • Improved subtitle support for right-to-left languages (e.g. Hebrew)
  • Improved installer device detection
  • Resolved minor memory management issues
  • Resolved issues with subtitles settings while playing a playlist
  • Resolved issues with yellow subtitles displayed for movies converted with Handbrake
  • Resolved conflicts with default audio player
  • Resolved issues with passwords that contain @ symbols
  • Resolved issues with metadata loading for files that contain '/' in folder or file name
  • Resolved buffer overflow in libafpclient observed when navigating folders with long names
  • Resolved issues with installer Bonjour detection
  • Resolved rare crashes during web browsing
  • Changed metadata format to S.# / Ep.# for TV Shows
  • Disabled metadata processing during movie playback
  • Corrected audio feedback when pressing Menu while in grid view
  • Minor UI improvements
  • Other miscellaneous bug fixes

Fantastic! Where can I get it?

If you're already running a version of aTV Flash (black) the new 1.2 version can be installed through the Maintenance --> Manage Extras menu. Links for the new version can also be found in your account under the Downloads tab.

If you're not yet using aTV Flash (black) you can get started here.

Enjoy. :-)


Submitted by lovestjarna on January 17, 2012 - 2:15pm

Still no support for playing m2v, mov, on webpages in Couch Surfer as promised?

Submitted by adams.3098 on January 17, 2012 - 2:17pm

LOL seriously? Douchebag.

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:19pm

Excellent!!! This is one of the reasons I was not happy with ATV Flash. Flattening directory structure is huge!!!

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:19pm

Yes! Please!

(Me and most of my friends all store each movie in a separate folder, to keep track of multiple parts, subs, cover art, trailers etc.)

(And please just use the enclosing folder name to look up the metadata rather than try to guess which of the enclosed files are the main movie)

(Normally, we use folder names of the form "movie title (year)", but sometimes we might prefix a director name and postfix a quality, like "Stanley Kubrick - Dr Strangelove (1967) 720p". This will often cause the metadata lookup to fail. It would be great if the algorithm could ignore chars before the first hyphen and chars after the last closing parenthesis.)

Submitted by foreignthinker on January 17, 2012 - 2:20pm

Physically impossible, because of their placement on aTV (black) you cannot plug in a micro USB and HDMI cable simultaneously, but you can access an external network drive.

Submitted by Sunbelt on January 17, 2012 - 2:23pm

I'm fully aware how to fix it myself. Thanks anyway.
Just noting it for future fix since they "Resolved issues with metadata loading for files that contain '/' in folder or file name".
Could be helpful for those that's not as technically informed as us. 

-Forget all of the above. I didn't realize I had to update components separately. Thought it was only Maintenance that needed to be uodated.

It works after I updated mediaplayer.

Thanks for the update!  :D

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:24pm

hi there, i am trying to figure out how to update to the latest apple tv update and the firecore update. What is the sequence?

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:24pm

I'm also waiting for this feature.

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:25pm

Thanks for the new video zoom option!

Would it be possible to add a global setting to always stretch 4:3 movies, to avoid having to enter the playback menu and select zoom mode each time a movie is played?

Also, whenever I choose to replay or resume a particular movie the option goes back to "normal" and I have to reselect "stretch". Would it be possible to remember the setting for a movie? Alternatively, could the zoom option for a movie be configured in the local xml metadata file?

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:25pm

Though not specified, if I am understanding correctly, this is an optional update. Currently PLEX works with my aTV Black version, but it doesn't with this upgrade? Not sure I want to upgrade if it's going to break what I spent a whole afternoon setting up. :)

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:27pm

My m2ts file playback are very choppy. Any fix that I may have missed?

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:29pm

Awesome job, love it! Hey can you write a andriod app to control the aTV and the media. thx

Submitted by ricardom.3449 on January 17, 2012 - 2:31pm

Still same issue with AC3 sound. it has been reported several times for almost a year now and no resolution.

I am still using PLEX due to this issue. I wonder if this will ever be resolved.

Submitted by shatfield on January 17, 2012 - 2:32pm

What I did was put an Airport Extreme down by the TV and extend my existing Airport Extreme network to include it via WDS. Then I plugged the ATV into it and plugged in an external HDD. Now aTV Flash has no problems playing the content, and I can transfer files from my Mac on the 2nd floor to the HDD that is shared from the Airport Extreme by the TV, or simply take the HDD upstairs and xfer large files in a few minutes if I'm in a hurry. It works absolutely beautifully! It's the first setup that I actually like, and my wife isn't intimidated by it at all. Great job fireCore!

Submitted by brissy on January 17, 2012 - 2:35pm

James, I suggested it recently that it would be good to have a way of getting remote functions or other Firecore tips like "show a gray corner, and watched items will show no corner at all." somehow within the software for quick reference, especially with an icon to show if there was a non-standard remote function available at some menu point. Hope that makes sense.

Submitted by marct.7639 on January 17, 2012 - 2:36pm

Thanks, and again like with all improvements we get hungry for more

I am still waiting for audio playlist support on music folder. Playlist only works of first level of folder higher than files. Audio files must be in playlistfolder. I rather have my complete audio library on shuffle. with folders in folders in folders. Any idea when this is supported?

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:36pm


This is a big one guys. Can you please at least respond to the status of this request?

Submitted by sebster on January 17, 2012 - 2:43pm

The new grid view indicator is great, but I was a bit dissappointed to see it only works for files, not for folders.

Because I mainly watch TV shows on my ATV, I was hoping to get an overview of all my shows (individual folders) in grid view, seeing all the shows that have new (unseen) episodes. Could this feature be added in the future?

Thanks for all the great work, this is a brilliant addition to the ATV!

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:44pm

Pleeeease add VPN!!

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:45pm

I am currently using plex beta on atvflash 1.2. 

Instructions how to get PLEX (0.90 beta 4) on a Jailbreaked Apple TV 2 (4.4.4) with atvflash 1.2

Be sure your Apple TV2 is on

1) Start Terminal on your iMac
2) Type: ssh


3) Type: alpine (the password)
4) Type: echo "deb ./downloads/PLEX/" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/plex.list
5) Type: apt-get remove com.plex.client-plugin
6) Type: apt-get update
7) Type: apt-get install com.plex.client-plugin=

Now your Apple TV2 should reset and when its starters there is PLEX.

(hint: you can also copy => paste the lines in terminal)

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:45pm

Is there a way to watch shows like south park or bur notice etc, without having to buy them from apple?

Submitted by gazzy3k on January 17, 2012 - 2:52pm

just updated my atv2 , no problems at all
thanks for  your workB-)

Submitted by easygordonnn on January 17, 2012 - 2:53pm

If you're trying to get US shows from outside the US, try!


I live in Germany and it works great.  Free trial and everything...

Submitted by faf407 on January 17, 2012 - 2:54pm

I would like this too, please implement this

Submitted by shatfield on January 17, 2012 - 2:54pm

I would like to see a way to browse by genre... I would really like to have the Comedies listed under Comedy, Dramas under Drama, etc.

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 2:55pm


Submitted by lilrkt on January 17, 2012 - 2:55pm

Great update as usual!


Any chance 1080p videos that stutter will be fixed one day? :)

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:01pm

me too

Submitted by james on January 17, 2012 - 3:03pm

We've been working to track this down, but haven't had much success yet.

To date, we've tried all sorts of setups to try replicate the issue but so far we haven't been able to get it to break. Additionally, only a handful of people have reported experiencing the issue, which makes finding a common thread even more difficult.

We'll keep at it, but because of the reasons mentioned above I can't say if it will be a week or a month before we can figure out what's going on.

Submitted by james on January 17, 2012 - 3:04pm

Great! :)

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:05pm

Please don't post comments like this.

Submitted by Prometheus51 on January 17, 2012 - 3:07pm

plex is working onmy appletv running 444 os but i run media server on my windows 7 pc then sync them in plex prefs on atv

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:11pm

Please fix AC3!!!!

This is the only thing that isn't working!
I also posted several test on your forum.

Dts works, ac3 static / bliebs.
iTunes, Xbox, wdtv, ps3, AC3 works!


Submitted by Prometheus51 on January 17, 2012 - 3:11pm

I wasnt able to get out of xbmc's main screen til this build thanks had the prob on two atv's thanks was an issue for me



Submitted by lnp142 on January 17, 2012 - 3:17pm

Attempted maintenance update, it said successful needs restart, all  i get is a black screen.

Submitted by Sipheren on January 17, 2012 - 3:18pm

Is there any word on AAC audio? Would love to have this working for 5.1.



Submitted by sacksyboy on January 17, 2012 - 3:18pm

There is another thread on here for how to install Plex again. I did it through Terminal and it worked perfectly.

Submitted by whipstar on January 17, 2012 - 3:22pm

I have my iTunes library on a network share. I access this now via the Media app, but as I have a very large music collection, there is a long delay as it reads the name of all the folders in the main music folder.

Would it be possible to have the Media app read the Tunes Library.xml file (when it detects one, to) speed this up?

I realize video has been the focus of Media app, but it would be great the the music experience could be improved. Diving into Library.xml would also make search possible (another big help with large libraries...)

Perhaps a separate Music app would be better...

Submitted by lnp142 on January 17, 2012 - 3:22pm

ok i feel stupid.. all is good... i just wasn't patient enough.. it works great

Submitted by ptang83 on January 17, 2012 - 3:24pm

I found that I needed to plug in the power cable in Step 4 in order to get the unit to enter DFU mode.  After that I had to unplug the power cable and the installation completed normally.

Submitted by stevea.7874 on January 17, 2012 - 3:26pm

lol were you going to plug it into apple tv 2 got to usb port lol 

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:31pm

No more sound after update :-(

Do I miss something?

Submitted by samulik on January 17, 2012 - 3:31pm

My AFP share just stopped working after the update. Works fine with Samba but when using AFP I just get "There are no items to playback" (which technically is true since there are just folders). I would rather use AFP because it seems to have slightly better performance and was working fine just minutes ago. I wonder if this regression might be related to this: "Resolved buffer overflow in libafpclient observed when navigating folders with long names".

Really nice that the yellow subtitles with Handbrake ripped movies was fixed :)

Submitted by asantana on January 17, 2012 - 3:31pm

Hi, you can control it by VNC viewer, after install Expossed in your ATV2 in nito installer

Submitted by antonplankton on January 17, 2012 - 3:39pm

I tried your instructions for getting Plex, but I got an error on the first instruction line:

My input in terminal:

ssh root@apple-tv.local


Terminal came back saying:

ssh: Could not resolve hostname apple-tv.local: nodename nor servname provided, or not known

Any idea what I am doing wrong?



anton plankton

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:40pm

< !!! Thanks this is great !!! >

Submitted by brianh.8693 on January 17, 2012 - 3:44pm

Oh please, please. It's like you're reading my mind. Wouldn't category search be amazing!?

Submitted by dennism.3886 on January 17, 2012 - 3:55pm

Problem resolved Thank You!

Submitted by thespillmonkey on January 17, 2012 - 3:56pm

Id also like to request PPTP based VPN Client support.
It would make things so much simpler.


And for those who always seem to reflexively scream "JUST USE "service-x", there are more reasons than country code or region bypass to have a native VPN client. 

Submitted by Anon on January 17, 2012 - 3:57pm

Being able to search for metadata in subfolders would be great! Personally I also have all my movies stored on a NAS with each movie having a separate folder named "Title (Year)".

It would be great if it was possible to adjust how deep the scan should be. E.g. I have my TV shows in a structure like this:

Show (Year)
- Season 1
....Episode 1 - Episode Name
....Episode 2 - Episode Name
- Season 2
....Episode 1 - Episode Name
....Episode 2 - Episode Name

I am concerned if it will try matching episode names and it might come across an episode named "Mission Impossible" and match it to the movie with the same name. Therefore, it would be great if it would only go one deep (search for "Show (Year)").