The Apple TV is a debatably great device with what many argue is a lot of unrealized potential. Some want to see the Apple TV bring widgets and applications into the living room, while others want support for the codec rainbow and external USB storage. For some time now, aTV Flash from Apple Core, LLC has brought a number of these improvements to the Apple TV with a set of clunky Unix scripts and magic fairy dust. With a fresh new version 3.2 update, however, things have gotten a lot more interesting.
As a quick primer: aTV Flash has enabled Apple TVs with support for DivX, Xid, AVI, and WMV formats, surfing the web with Safari, checking weather forecasts, and much-sought-after USB mass storage for some time now. The only catch has been that setting all this up involves some fairly unfriendly scripts and a USB flash drive.
With version 3.2, aTV Flash now sports a GUI installer for those allergic to Unix and the Terminal. It also supports the latest Apple TV 2.1 update, which means that all the support for codecs and external USB storage doesn't require downgrading to a previous, less capable version of the Apple TV software. The update also adds regular FTP support to aTV Flash's previous SFTP and SSH capabilities.
All this useful functionality doesn't come cheap, though. aTV Flash has no demo to download and try out, and a license with simple installation instructions costs $50, which includes one year of free updates. Extra years can be purchased for $10 each, and "lifetime" updates costs $30. On the upside, Apple Core says aTV Flash in no way voids the Apple TV's warranty. We aren't positive whether that's accurate, but we'll agree with 43Folders:it's probably best to dive into aTV Flash on the premise that you proceed at your own risk.
Expect a review of aTV Flash's installation process and performance in the coming weeks. Considering that its features make the Apple TV a far more appealing device, we're very interested in whether aTV Flash can live up to its promises.