For the last three years I’ve been using a 12" Powerbook as my media center (using a $5 IR-receiver, Apple Remote, Remote Buddy & VLC) — this has worked fantastic, but it’s becoming annoying to have to plug it in when I want to use it as a media center, unplug it when I want to use as a laptop, etc. So, I’m looking to get an Apple TV. But, the limitations on the Apple TV are really annoying and aTV Flash seems to solve this problem! But, I’m wondering if anyone could tell me how the upgrade policy works? If my Apple TV is running software v2.3 and I purchase aTV Flash v3.4.5, if I leave my Apple TV at v2.3 am I ever forced into upgrading aTV Flash? What I mean is, if aTV Flash v3.4.6 or v3.5 comes out, but I’ve left my Apple TV at v2.3, do I have to upgrade (ie. will aTV Flash somehow disable itself or anything)?
Basically, the reason I’m looking at aTV Flash (vs manual hacking of the Apple TV) is because of ease-of-use. My wife and I just had our first child and I no longer have the time to spend mucking around with this kinda thing. I just want to buy an Apple TV, use aTV Flash to expand it (for external HD storage and playing “other” media files), and then leave it be. If it works, it’ll just be left alone (won’t be upgrading the Apple TV OS for new features or anything, just need it for the basics) and if I leave it alone, I don’t want to have to continue to upgrade aTV Flash because a new version has been released (that I won’t need).
aTV Flash will not disable itself on the Apple TV and it will not be removed from the Apple TV as long as you check the box to disable auto-updates on the Apple TV when you create the patch. The upgrades to aTV Flash are mostly bug fixes and you can re-patch the Apple TV with the newer version of aTV Flash without having to restore the Apple TV. If you are happy with the current version of Apple TV and aTV Flash then you don’t ever have to change that. One note though, is the aTV Flash application you use to copy the files to the USB drive does expire when a new version comes out. So if you make the USB stick with today’s version and don’t ever want to upgrade then don’t format the USB stick. You will have to recreate the stick with the currently released version of you decide to format it. I hope this answers your questions, if not let me know.
I made this mistake myself recently and should not have ever moved from 3.4.3 to the newest version. I am now stuck with limited support for my USb external HDD under 3.4.5. nitopTV will not recognize any of my HDDs at all and aTV Files doesn’t see external HDDs in the “Movies” tab anymore. My advice to anyone looking into this, is once and if you get it working don’t touch it ever again.
I am pretty disappointed in the support for ATV Flash right now. I have made several posts in the threads here and have also emailed support and have yet to get my issues resolved. Basically my aTV is now worthless to me and doesn’t see my external HDDs. This was the only reason I bought aTVFlash in the first place. After several of my friends saw how poorly v3.4.5 was working and unable to recognize any of my HDDs in nitoTV, they skipped buying aTVFlash altogether and are using iTunes built in streaming features for their movies.
Version 3.4.5 doesn’t work as it should and no one seems to be able to figure out why or apparently care about customer service. Paying customers should not have to struggle just to get a working version of their previously purchased software. I have requested to get 3.4.3 back several times and apparently ATV Flash support will not do this for me.