updated 01:45 am EDT, Thu April 19, 2012
Enhanced playback, bug fixes for AppleTV hack
The popular hack to the second-generation (black) AppleTV by Firecore known as aTV Flash (Black) has been updated to version 1.5. While the update is still tethered -- meaning every time power to the AppleTV is cycled, the device will need to be plugged back into a computer via USB -- many new features have been added.
The primary improvement for the v1.5 hack over the original "final release" made available last winter is a revamped player optimized for the iOS 5.0 (5.1) build installed on the AppleTV, resulting in much smoother playback. NFS streaming has also been added, a method manual subtitle time correction has been developed, error handling for connection issues has been improved, and many other bugs have been squashed.
No upgrade has been provided for the aTV Flash for the original AppleTV, and work continues on an aTV Flash version for the recently-released third generation AppleTV. While Apple doesn't actively pursue AppleTV modifiers through legal channels, Apple's policy clearly reserves the right to void the warranty of any units that have been modified in such a fashion.
The first AppleTV hacks appeared on the internet in the winter of 2007, very shortly after the original AppleTV's release. After several independent open source projects were made available, FireCore stepped into the scene in the middle of 2008 with an integrated package of several hacks for the first release of the AppleTV. Where the original AppleTV ran a variant of OSX 10.4, the black 2nd and 3rd generation AppleTV units run iOS5 and greater.