Today we're happy to release a brand new version of aTV Flash (black) which includes a revamped player that is optimized for iOS 5.0 and later. This new player improves performance for virtually all file type resulting in noticeably smoother playback. We've also baked in a number of other goodies including NFS streaming, subtitle timing settings, additional translations and a mountain of other improvements and fixes.

What about the ATV3 and the untethered version for ATV2?

Work is still underway on both fronts, and we've had some encouraging reports come in over the past few days. However, it's still too early to give any kind of ETA but we hope to have more news soon. For the latest updates be sure to follow us on Twitter.


Easy access to subtitle options through the Playback Menu

Full Changelog

  • Revamped player with improved performance (Apple TV 4.4 and later)
  • Added NFS streaming
  • Added Catalan, Czech, Korean and Traditional Chinese translations
  • Added support for localized TV show pattern: TV Show/Season #/S##E##.extension
  • Added manual subtitle time correction (-10.0s to +10.0s)
  • Added support for embedded .FLAC cover art
  • Added support for .AC3, .DTS and .MOD files
  • Improved .EYETV file handling
  • Improved audio synchronization in slow and unstable networks
  • Improved slideshow operation with small images
  • Improved movie folders detection logic to ignore hidden files
  • Improved metadata fetching to support movies split into multiple files (dvd#, cd#, disk#)
  • Improved zoom mode operation for non-square pixels
  • Improved DVD menu handling
  • Improved .OGG file handling (now correctly treated as audio)
  • Improved error handling for connection issues
  • Improved buffering logic
  • Improved installation routine
  • Other minor UI improvements
  • Resolved format detection that was causing rare playback issues
  • Resolved issue with volume level resetting during rw/fw
  • Resolved floating crashes usually observed when using SMB with Windows 7 shares
  • Resolved conflicts with XBMC related to SMB
  • Resolved issues with metadata fetching for 'Show.Name.###.extension' pattern
  • Resolved crashes observed in folders with significant number of files
  • Resolved playback error on DVD and ISO files observed when file path contains '?' character
  • Resolved crashes when working with long file paths
  • Resolved rare issue with incorrect pre-playback screen layout
  • Other miscellaneous bug fixes

Fantastic! Where can I get it?

If you're already running a version of aTV Flash (black) the new 1.5 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 haven't yet tried aTV Flash (black) you can learn about all the great benefits here.

Enjoy. :-)

Comments

Submitted by Marc bcn on April 18, 2012 - 4:31am

XBMC plays much better HD than the MediaPlayer.

Does this update upgrade the MediaPlayer to play at XBMC's quality?

thank you!

 

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 4:42am

When will we see a working version that supports Remote HD!!! I just bought that app for my iPad and it's amazing. Controlling all my computers from my iPad is so easy. I upgraded my ATV and now I can't use it...

Just great job with all you guys do at FireCore!

Submitted by jonez on April 18, 2012 - 6:07am

Amazing update as always! Keep up the hard work fireCore!

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 6:49am

It's triple and espresso you imbecile.

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 7:30am

great work! I'm anxious to see what "noticeably smoother playback" looks like, since I can't tell the difference between Media Player and a good Blu-ray disc already ... guess you can make perfection more perfect ;)

Submitted by italianatv on April 18, 2012 - 7:59am

I couldn't agree more. I have other media players from ac ryan and patriot which are crap in comparison however it's not so much the hardware it's the lack of improvements in there buggy software. They could learn a hell of a lot from these guys I am AMAZED at how quickly the improvements come and the fixes happen so quickly I don't get time notify them of the problem which are minor anyway.

THANKS FOR THE HARD WORK.

Submitted by james on April 18, 2012 - 8:41am

Yes, version 1.5 can be installed on AppleTV 4.2 and later. iOS 5 is not required.

Submitted by stephenk.5076 on April 18, 2012 - 9:15am

What UI does 1.5 have?  I'm on aTV 2 (iOS 4.4.4) running firecore 1.3 untethered.  I don't like the new interface Apple put together with all the icons and prefer the menu driven UI.  Is firecore 1.5 icons or menu UI?  

Thanks for all the great work!

 


Submitted by james on April 18, 2012 - 10:07am

The UI is entirely dependent on the version of AppleTV SW you are running.

5.0 (iOS 5.1) and later have the new icon based layout.

4.4.4 (iOS 5) and earlier have the original linear style layout.

Version info can be found in the Settings --> General --> About menu on the AppleTV, and aTV Flash (black) will match whichever version you are running.

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 11:18am

Can I update my ATV2 4.4.4 running FC 1.4 and still keep the installed Plex plugin?

Submitted by stephenk.5076 on April 18, 2012 - 12:12pm

Awesome.  I'm going to update tonight.  Thanks for the info :)

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 12:26pm

Hello thanks for the good work
But just one question
Before the upgrade there was the volume control what
Happen to it ?

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 12:29pm

Hello thanks for the good work
just one question
Before the upgrade there was the volume control when we watched the movie in media player
what Happen to it ?
Thanks

Submitted by james on April 18, 2012 - 1:29pm

This feature is still there, but it will need to be enabled through the Media --> Settings --> Playback menu.

Submitted by james on April 18, 2012 - 1:30pm

Yes, updating to version 1.5 will not affect the version of AppleTV SW you are running.

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 3:15pm

I was asking about the Plex plugin. Thanks

Submitted by james on April 18, 2012 - 3:17pm

Yes Plex will remain installed.

If you update the AppleTV SW itself, then Plex will no longer work as it is not yet compatible with the newer 5.0 version.

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 9:56pm

Just wondering if I could get info on moving media icon to row1 position 1 ( top left) as shown?
Thabks

Submitted by MrAnderson69uk on April 18, 2012 - 10:02pm

I think the OP is referring to BBC iPlayer for BBC content while in Italy.

 

For that to work, you need to appear to be in the UK. i.e. you need a VPN or something means of making your iPlayer web requests from the ATV to appear to come from a UK location.

 

The other end of the VPN (the VPN Server) will need be located in the UK and a VPN tunnel connected from Italy to you UK location. There are some free and pay-for services that provide VPN's for this and other region restricted services. If you have a broadband router that has a VPN service on it, then you can use that to connect to the free/pay-for VPN services. If you have a UK location with broadband (perhaps you've two homes), then you could set up the VPN yourself for free (well the cost of two VPN capable routers). Then network traffic from the ATV (set it's default gateway to the far end VPN servers router address) would route over the VPN to your UK router and out to the internet as though you were in the UK.

e.g. ATV - VPN Router (it) - internet - VPN Router (uk) - home network kit.

VPN Router (it) LAN address 192.168.1.254 / 255.255.255.0

VPN Router (uk) LAN address 192.168.0.254 / 255.255.255.0

ATV LAN address 192.168.1.x / 255.255.0.0  def. gw 192.168.0.254   (notice the default gateway is the UK router)

The subnet mask is set to a /16 mask (255.255.0.0) to enable using 192.168.1.x for the LAN address and 191.168.1.254 for the gateway address. You'll need to use Manual Network configuration to do this. DHCP will just configure the ATV for an address off the router in Italy.

 

I've done this sort of VPN setup for my parents who spend 6 month in France. Actually it was set up for VoIP so they could have their UK phone forwarded to a VoIP ATA in France as well as originate calls from France via the UK. It uses two inexpensive Linksys WRV200 routers. But with the VPN established, and computers running both ends, you can configure proxy services to filter network traffic destined for bbc.co.uk or other catchup services. On MAC computers you can use GlimmerBlocker - it has the ability to proxy and you configure rules to filter on specific destinations. The VPN router in Italy may also do filtered routing - depending on the what router you end up getting - the Linksys WRV200's are a little temperamental and you need to ensure you've got the latest firmware (1.0.39 seems to work best, but sometimes it's web server locks up requiring a power cycle).

 

NOTE: I've not tried the ATV LAN set up like I've mentioned above ... will be able to try sometime in July/August when I go to visit. 

Submitted by Anon on April 18, 2012 - 11:23pm

Works great. Thanks a lot!!

Submitted by brett7 on April 18, 2012 - 11:51pm

Yes, I had XBMC before the update. Now XBMC is gone. 

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 1:30am

So if I update will xbmc disappear? Because I'd like to keep using it. Awesome work guys!

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 4:31am

Is there any possibility for TV show folders in Mediaplayer to get covers like they do in XBMC?

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 6:21am

Absolutely useless, was watching fine then ATV rebooted.. guess what have to tether boot again.. What a pain, finding a better alternative.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:28am

I'm going to follow my usual advice and wait 2 weeks before updating my unit; seems there are still some glitches and I'd like to wait for the new player to get a tad more stable (until then, XBMC works fine anyways).

Looking forward to an unteathered jailbreak for iOS 5 (in fact, it'd be awesome if you could update iOS from within aTV Flash, have it reboot already jailbroken... may be impossible given the nature of iOS but sounds cool in my head.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:29am

Nope; it'll still be there, media player and XBMC are both components you can install, or choose not to.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:30am

What version of iOS are you using?  iOS 5 currently only has teathered boots available, and FireCore can only use what jailbreak is currently available for the OS and device.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:32am

Cover art storage on-device is HORRIDLY non-standardized; and pulling meta-data from the internet for large folders is wasteful -- I'm not sure you /want/ aTV Flash to do what you're asking.  Pulling out the first .jpg or .png file with "cover" in the file name should work in about 30-50% of cases; however, it would still lead to an inconsistant experience.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:37am

"Quality" is very dependant on so many different factors it's not really even funny. MP4 files between 280 and 720 resolution will play natively with the Apple TV decoder, and will be the same quality on both. Awkward formats like DivX/XviD will need to be "transcoded" (literally converted to another format, trading off 1. buffer time 2. playback quality 3. cpu/gpu/memory usage, pick any two, an you have to pick 3).

aTV's video player and XBMC will both be "tuned" differently, use different versions of encoding libraries, and choose different option to try and optimize the playback quality on the ATV's limited resources. That said, this release is a LOT more optimized so there should be more "headroom" available for transcoding. Ultimately, if your library is composed of mostly non-MPEG4/h.264 video, give both a try and see which looks and feels better for you. 

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:39am

Check if it's once again available under the extras menu; if it is, trying un-and-reinstalling to correct menu entries (if you're worried about loosing settings, wait for a better answer).

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:41am

IIRC XMBC does not yet work with iOS 5 from the extras installer; if it's not listed in the extras installer and you are on iOS 5, you may try an experimental build here ( http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=127369 ).

This this is an experimental build your settings may be lost and you may need to un-and-reinstall XBMC when aTV Flash eventually includes it as an extra.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:44am

It's technically an archive with other files inside it; aTV will need to decompile the archive /and/ decode the video at a fixed rate at once (or unpackage the /entire/ archive in a temporary location, I'm not sure which it is doing). This adds time and complexity to the process and may leave less available resources for transcoding, leading to slight quality degradation over MPEG2, and significant overhead compared to MPEG4/h.264 that the device could play natively.

Submitted by fzs on April 19, 2012 - 6:45am

I am on OS 4.4.4. If I update to aTV Flash 1.5 will I be able to use XBMC the same way as I have it setup right now? Cause I see it says (nightly built only!!!) I am not really sure what that means??? Will I have to reinstall XBMC?

And since my player is working just fine, is there any real benefit for me to update?

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:45am

See my previous post on this if you want to try an experimental build.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:47am

Currently if you are on an ATV2 you must follow the teathered jailbreak option until an unteathered option becomes available. If you're content to wait a while, 4.2 and up are still well supported for now and you should not be missing any real features.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:49am

ATV's don't have the processing umph to handle decoding and encoding at once. If you want to record output from the AppleTV you'd need to find some device that will let you take a HDMI input and record from that (which, I haven't yet seen).

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:51am

Apple TV 3rd generation cannot yet be jailbroken. Apple TV 2nd generation seems to have better support by apple and FireCore right now, and is a much smaller package. Apple TV 1st genration is a much larger device, uses more power, and has no further support by Apple and limited support by FireCore. I'd suggest you get a second generation, right now your best bet for that seems to be eBay.

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 6:51am

I access my files via NAS and just want my folders to have cover art. It doesn't need to be fetched from the internet and stored on the aTV.
If I understand correctly cover art isn't supported at all, or could I use my own pictures from the particular folders?

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:52am

XMBC has this as I recall; so you're not at a total loss.

Submitted by devlinks on April 19, 2012 - 6:54am

It means you'll likely have to use an experimental build (see my other comments below on that). Unless something is horribly broken for you right now, I'd recommend staying on the version you are at until full support for iOS 5 stabilizes and you can upgrade both at once.

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 6:57am

Clarification: I want my folders to have cover art, not the files inside.

Submitted by fzs on April 19, 2012 - 6:57am

Thanks that sounds reasonable to me.

Cause I sure dont want to miss my league matches without xbmc.

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 7:32am

Hi,

just upgraded to version 1.5. I would like to use the option of subtitle time correction.
My play-back menu looks different then the image above and I can't find the option. I'm running FW 4.4.4. instead of 5.0. Can this be the reason?

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 7:34am

Sorry, should have looked further. Just read it can be found in the playback menu when watching the movie...

Submitted by kenny on April 19, 2012 - 8:06am

Why does the artwork 9 out of 10 times give me some Euro or Russian artwork?  All my settings point to NYC, where I live... and when I refresh it still gives me the same artwork... or nothing at all?

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 9:14am

Still didn't fix buffering issues

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 9:28am

Still waiting for automatic subtitle download to buy this software. Till then, I'm sticking with "the" alternative.

Submitted by Anon on April 19, 2012 - 9:41am

Nevermind, found it -.-

Submitted by james on April 19, 2012 - 9:59am

Already in the works. :)

Submitted by james on April 19, 2012 - 10:00am

If you can tell us more we can look into it.

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