New AppleTV - 11/12 Progress Update

They say time flies when you're having fun, and it's been nothing but as we watch the first version of aTV Flash (black) take shape. The first beta version of isn't far off, but we still have a handful of issues to resolve before it's safe for public consumption.

Read on for more details regarding our current progress as well as a few demo videos showing some of the apps in action.

Installer - 95% Complete

The new installer communicates directly with the AppleTV (no wires or USB drives required) and allows aTV Flash (black) to be installed onto the AppleTV in just minutes. Once installed additional apps (and updates) can be installed from the newly added 'Maintenance' item (as shown in the Couch Surfer video demo below).

Couch Surfer - 65% Complete

Couch Surfer is coming along exceptionally well. Most of the major hurdles have been overcome, basic browsing is working and we're striving to enable support for more advanced web plugins. A video demo of Couch Surfer running on the 2nd gen AppleTV can be seen below.

Last.fm - 85% Complete

Streaming Last.fm radio isn't far away - we've updated most of the critical components for the new AppleTV and also added a new slideshow layout. A video demo of Last.fm in action can be seen below.

Additional Video Codecs & NAS Streaming - 15% Complete

Not surprisingly this has turned out to be no trivial task - because of this we've teamed up with a few outside developers to move things along a bit more quickly. We'll have more info as things progress but unfortunately this probably won't make it into the initial beta version. The end goal however remains the same - robust support for non-itunes media (including DVD files).

So, when is the beta coming?

We're planning to have the first beta version available within the next 1-2 weeks - possibly even next week.

Can I signup for email updates?

Of course - we have an aTV Flash (black) specific signup formĀ here.

As always, feel free to share your comments below.