What can I expect if I buy ATV Flash?

I have been watching this forum for a while, trying to decide if it is worth purchasing ATV Flash. On paper it looks great, but it sounds like from the threads that I’ll be spending more time trying to get it to work than actually using it. Or is the forum made up of the 10% having problems while the other 90% are having fun getting some real use from their ATV? Just looking for some honest feedback. Thanks,


As long as your system is stable, doesn’t auto-update itself all the time, the aTV Flash app adds very nice extra functions to your ATV.
You do need to know how to read and follow instructions.
You do need to find extra software to upload files to your ATV ( FUGU works for me). And you do have to enjoy playing with the thing to get it to work.
It does take some “Black Magic” to get it running and keep it running trouble-free. Since it’s a Hack, you should expect some learning pains.
A “Slacker” wouldn’t bother with it all and miss out on the extra value it brings to the platform.
Are you a “Hacker” or a “Slacker”?

It is a hack. Out of the box, “so to speak,” aTV Flash lets you surf the “basic” web, view video files that are not only h.264 m4v files but avi, mpg, Video_TS folders, etc. using Boxee/XBMC/NitoTV, gives you Boxee and XBMC (after running the update feature), you can order pizza (not the most advertised feature), you can install QuickTime as well, and a few smaller things. I haven’t touched everything it can do, but what requires some tweaking is getting Flash installed, getting USB support and Network support, getting FireFox installed, and any other plugins that are not included in the patch.

as above, this is a “packaged hack” - a collection of hacks available individually from the good guys in a few other AppleTV hacking forums.

if you stick with “known to be good” combinations of AppleTV firmware and ATVFlash version(s), then you should be a happy camper.

however every time you want to update your AppleTV firmware (and Apple’s released two of them in the last few months, which is positively lively compared to their previous release schedule), you’ll need a corresponding update to ATVFlash to be installed onto it immediately after, or you’ll usually lose some ATVFlash functionality. reverting to a previous AppleTV firmware version after upgrading to the latest and greatest is not straight-forward.

if you insist - as i’m learning i shouldn’t - on updating to the latest AppleTV firmware before all the various hacks get updated, and then packaged into a new version of ATVFlash, then the result will be what you see here on the ATVFlash forums :wink:

Thanks for all the replies. I am going to purchase ATV Flash.

I thought I had seen a way to prevent ATV from auto updating…if anyone has done this, please share how to do so. I will search for how in the mean time. Thanks again,

aTV Flash, if enabled on the patch, will change the hosts file on the AppleTV to not check for updates and not download the update from Apple. This is a forum topic on this exact problem:


One thing to keep in mind is that you really need a MAC to create the stick and also enable flash. I come for a PC / Linux world. I finally tracked down someone to create the flash drive for me as a favor. They had an old power Mac.

I now need a file from the OSX recover disks to make flash work. I am having an issue finding someone with that.

I guess what I am saying is that this is a great hack, but you should really have steady access to a MAC if you need to tweak it.



One thing we truly lazy people appreciate about the ATV flash is the ability to “ssh” into the ATV and do a remote reboot instead of getting up and yanking on that hard plugged power cord when you inevitably “lockup” the machine.

sudo reboot

Haha, nice explanation of what Apple should have put in their Settings menu…a Restart “button.” I always hated that they never had a way to restart, the AppleTV software always seems to slow down after being on for days/weeks straight. I never liked having to get up to turn it off and reboot it.