Holiday Progress Update

Merry Christmas Eve! Hopefully by now you've got all your holiday shopping done, but if not, the new AppleTV is becoming a more appealing option with each passing day. Imagine a single, easy to use (sub $100) device that provides unrestricted access to all your current media along with new content from services like Netflix, Last.fm and the iTunes Store. Excited yet? We sure are.

We'll be taking a few days off during the holidays, but wanted to share what we've been up to over the past few weeks. Read on for the latest details as well as a new teaser video.

Additional Codecs

We've made exceptional progress towards creating a new hybrid player app that will enable access to a wide range of media formats that are not normally supported on the AppleTV. This new player will provide a mix of hardware and software decoding, providing seamless access to additional media types through the native AppleTV menus.

As of this writing we have the following media types working on the AppleTV.

  • Video: H.263, H.264, Windows Media Video, DivX, XviD
  • Audio: MP3, Windows Media Audio, AAC, AC3, PCM
  • Containers: mp4, mkv, m4v, flv, avi, mov, vob, wmv

There is still a fair amount of work to do before this feature is ready for beta testing, but many of the most challenging hurdles have already been overcome. 

Additionally, because the storage capacity of the AppleTV is extremely limited (only 8GB) we're also working to enable direct network streaming. This will allow you to browse and play files stored on your Mac/PC as well as most NAS devices without the need for iTunes. 

Below is a new teaser demo that showcases native DVD (VOB) file playback on the 2nd gen AppleTV. This feature is still a bit rough as we have yet to add many of the niceties such as chapter navigation, menus and special features, but it provides an exciting glimpse of what's soon to come.

Happy Holidays :-)

Comments are welcome below.

Comments

Almost a month since last update ? I know that some effort went to the very nice seasonpass but what about given us some info regarding the aTV2 progress ? :-)

I would like to know If you are adding VPN so we can use it for BBC iPlayer/NetFlix and more. Also will you and support for MKV files?

Do you think XBMC will be supported in the future on the ATV2 much like it was supported on the ATV1 ?

Does anyone know if Couch surfer pro will be, or is, able to display any flash content on the apple tv2?

This is a feature we're working on. As of today Adobe Flash is partially working on the ATV2.

James
Have an idea for Infuse? Tell us.

Assume this means "as of today...in our lab tests" Flash is partially working as I dont have any flash support in Beta 2. Any idea/ETA on when the next Beta update might be released to try some of these new additions?

Love your work so far

If partially means flash video that would be great news.

hi guys,
i am impressed by your project... is really exciting.
currently using plex in order to stream movies to my atv2. the only thing i like in this program is matching movie file names with movie covers online.
would your program include such function?

great job anyway.
-hmanski

I have an actual new question. I have a PC server which runs iTunes currently. Right now to save power it goes to sleep when not performing one of it's designated functions. It is capable of wake on LAN, but out of the box Apple TV doesn't want to do that, it will only connect if the PC is running.

Seems like it might be an easy feature to add... although perhaps not a common request. Any chance?

HURRY UP

I agree!

It would be nice to get an update on BOTH! The release and the JB!

Whats up guys?

We all know ya are working hard but at lease keep us updated.

Othere wise this little black box is gong in the trash and I'll just keep using my own hack that works just fine!!

Windows based!!!

Please... have a some more respect for the guys working on this !!!
Further more I hope to connect directly to my QNAP NAS instead of my mac with plex.

Keep up the good work :)

Do you mean hurry up with the jailbreak?
Or do you mean hurry up with the beta ....... which is waiting for the jailbreak?

Will this aTV Flash fetch metadata from the internet now, or in the future? (I have a bunch of .avi file and haven't found a way to batch retrieve the info without converting them all to mp4 and using MetaX.) So I am curious if this will or is a feature (also for .vob files).

Can i install the 4.1.1 update (for now i have 4.1) and then jailbreak 4.2.1 with pwnage tool when available?

dear friends, i guess we are all early adopters to purchase the atv, as much as i wanted to love it im very close to returning it. Im thinking the WD media player does the job alot better with a polished interface, it plays all file formats, connects to your Nas drive and you can connect any usb drive to it, so why are we still trying to jailbreak atv ssh plex etc to get a limited experience.

what i was disappointed with plex that you still need the media server running on your computer, this really defeats the whole objext, i just want to stream it straight from my nas drive.

so can anybody clarify for me if atv flash black requires a server to be running on the computer? and if currently with the beta will be able to stream from the Nas drive?

by the way guys you can jailbreak 4.2.1 with pwnage tool, yes it is tethered, but atleast you get to test drive your new purchase

NAS streaming is not yet supported, but is something we're working hard to add. This will enable native playback with no server-side transcoding required.

James
Have an idea for Infuse? Tell us.

hey james, i certinly look forward to seeing the NAS streaming feature to be avilable very soon, hopefully in the next update; i just hope i havent returned the atv back tot he store.

i like to know for your media playback at the moment are you using Plex? or do you have your own media server?

also i like to urge you how important to add VPN

good luck

James, I wonder how many more times you will have to say this!!

NAS support is pretty much all I'm after. I bought a NAS which supported iTunes sharing but since the new Apple TV changed streaming support to only Home Sharing, people like me have been left abandoned. Can't wait when it's out.

Also, a nice/customisable interface for browsing network files would be awesome :)

me too :) have 8 TB working with Plex on my Macbook. Would love to get that going on ATV soon.

I second the NAS support, my 2tb drive is going to be useless unless I have NAS support on the apple tv.

Native codecs and NAS streaming are the top two items we're working on. Stay tuned. ;-)

James
Have an idea for Infuse? Tell us.

What upsets me is that i spent 6 hours of my time thinking that I was the idiot that could not get this to work. I have no problem waiting but they should make it more clear what is going on.

I'm like you and all the others.

Still waiting and STILL no replies from firecore.

At least an update would be nice seeing we all have this nice shinny black box that don't work?

Any updates guys??

Sorry for the confusion. The current beta of aTV Flash (black) requires the AppleTV to be jailbroken. At the moment the only jailbreak available is 'tethered' which can be difficult to use.

In addition to the work on aTV Flash (black) we're also working on a simple to use jailbreak app which will make the process much easier. We're hoping to have this available soon.

James
Have an idea for Infuse? Tell us.

Please tell me that this jailbreak app will also work using a PC. You can only jailbreak if you have a Mac with pwanage. No love for us pc users.

Have the apple tv 2 g, have your beta, have a sad face for not being able to use the darn thing to it's potential.

If I understand Fire Core is working on the ATV Flash software. The un-tethered jail break will come from other sources once completed.

Yes, Fire Core is a business and they could just keep it under raps and not say anything until ready for release or they can keep us informed of the progress and we get to see behind the scenes a little. It is a mutual thing we get to look inside and they get feedback of what we want.

Like anything we need to be patient. They don't live in the office 24/7. Hopefully they have a life and go home to their families for the holidays and come back Monday fresh and ready to rip it up.

yup, some better updates would be great.

-720p/1080p
-XBMC/PLEX
-Supported files
-NAS/Server file access
-VPN Support
-Browser with Flash
All desired, got the software eagerly waiting for jail break.

Maybe you should have a chat with the guys at http://www.inmethod.com/air-video/index.html, and add airvideo to the apple tv :)

Am I the only one who thinks all this great work firecore is doing will be useless till the jailbreak is launched.
Maybe before working si hard in these features they should focus their efforts in getting a proper jailbreak.

you can go ahead and jailbreak it now you just have to do the tethered method. The beta 2 works great on my 2g apple tv on 4.2.1 that I got for christmas

Link? How to? JB for iOS 4.2.1 I don't think so.

i have mine jb for 4.2.1!!!! So before you say its not possible google it! Ive had mine jbroken now since 4.2.1 came out! And the firecore software for now works awesome especially the browser!!! I dont even use my macbook anymore i just go right on my tv....lol firecore you guys are amazing!

There is a tethered JB.
http://blog.iphone-dev.org/post/1652053923/thanksgiving-with-apple
Elsewhere there are instructions on using this on the Apple TV.

FYI - we're also working on a simple to use jailbreak app which will make the process much easier. We're hoping to have this available soon.

James
Have an idea for Infuse? Tell us.

Yeah, I bought the beta but am awaiting the jailbreak...

Great work!

Hello Mates nice work you have been doing all the time.

Just had an Idea:

what about implementing a mail client on it. something like thunderbird oder apple mail which just displays the mail and not save the contents.

this would be great so i could check if I received an email on my tv.

Or a function, like the Push Funktion on the iphone. no matter what i do if i receive a messege on facebook or a new tweet is posted I will get informed about this while watchin a movie or listeining to music.

So lot of success for further extras ;)

I cant wait to release. ;)

Gee here it is new years and still no JB

Must be a long vacation?

Glad i did'nt spent the 20 bucks.

I'm just sitting here looking at this little black box and wondering how to make it work?

Yea Apple is the way to go, Yea RIGHT!!

Please add support for VPN (both OpenVPN and PPTP)!

+1 for:

1) external hard drive support (NTFS), doubleplus good if visible and contents modifable over network (so I can copy new files to it from my PC without disconnecting the drive from the ATV and connecting the drive to my PC)
2)I can stream to it via uPnP or DLNA
3)FLAC (including reading all tags and any embedded album art)
4)1080P
5)web browser control for all functions.

Happy New Year (almost)

( instlall flash failed on pc )installation failed ,sorry the installer could not connect to your apple tv help !!!!! apple tvg2 black 4,1.1

There just might be hope for a handful of people (with factory installed 4.0 fw i.e. iOS 4.1) to have an untethered jailbreak for their appletv 2g soon. At the moment these people, although with jailbreakable firmware, cant jailbreak because they dont have their shsh blobs.

My advice is to please remain at this 4.0 firmware until further notice (you've got nothing to gain by upgrading to 4.2 or 4.2.1 as there is little chance redsn0w 0.9.7 will jailbreak these firmwares).

You will also be aware of the fact that the window to save 4.0 blobs has been closed by Apple. This in essence means that if you havent saved your shsh before this window closed you cant save it any longer unto Cydia or with Tiny Umbrella.

One of the dev teams however is working on a tool that can extract the factory installed shsh blobs from idevices (without the need of itunes or apple) and save it locally on the PC. This is however only limited to devices which still have their factory installed blobs and havent upgraded.

What this means is that you will be able to jailbreak your atv2 presumably with Pwanage tool 4.1.2 and point TU to the location where you saved the extracted blobs to on ur PC and jailbreak it. So stay put for now until further notice

@PYTEK

I jailbroke my atv when i purchased it in november but never saved the blobs.I have since upgraded to 4.2.1 due to the 720p problem ,losing the jailbreak in the process.I have saved 4.2 and 4.2.1 blobs....my question is Would the original factory blobs be on my device for 4.1 or would they be overwritten now?

++ for the VPN - are there plans of implementing a VPN client - so that we in the europe also can enjoy hulu.com and netflix?? And if yes what is ETA?

I got the same problem like u,the only way to get around it is by usin VPN on ur wireless router or VPN on ur Mac/pc,that's how I watch my hulu and Netflix

Been reading around different places regarding the dev team jailbreak thats being worked on...From what i can see it depends on b3 hashes in order to be successful.From what i gather we atv2 users do not have the blobs for use with this jailbreak,so does anyone have any ideas if the dev team are working on another type of jailbreak for peeps who dont have the b3 blobs

Will ESPN3 video streaming be supported by Couch Surfer?

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