Apple updates Apple TV software to version 2.3.1

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple overnight released a minor software update for owners of its Apple TV set-top media box that has thus far been revealed to include a new Network Test function and improvements when using Apple Remote for iPhone.



As of this morning, the company has yet to update its Apple TV software updates page, which has documented the changes in each new version of the software since the Apple TV Take 2 (review: part 1, part 2) update was unveiled early last year.



Instead, those installing the 2.3.1 software are reporting the update to wreak havoc on makeshift installations of the Boxee cross-platform media center software, which adds unauthorized support for a wide range of multimedia formats, online video channels, and social networking features. [Update: see Boxee's response on our blogs.]



An update to Apple TV that arrived this past November also disabled Boxee installations but did so while delivering a number of widely received features at the same time, such as AirTunes streaming from Apple TV, third-party remote control compatibility, playlists, and music volume control.



Although Apple still considers Apple TV to be one of its "hobbies," sales of the slim grey boxes rose three-fold during the 2008 calendar year. Apple customers are also expressing greater interest in the device as a movie rental system, which has compelled the electronics maker to continue to allocate R&D spending for the segment.



"It is clear the movie rental business is working and there are more customers who want to try it," Apple interim chief executive Tim Cook recently told analysts during a quarterly conference call.Â*"We will continue to invest there, because we believe there is something there for us in the future."



User-discovered changes in Apple TV 2.3.1



One AppleInsider forum member notes that songs selected via the Apple Remote iPhone application now begin playing immediately on Apple TVs update with version 2.3.1 of the software.



Another AppleInsider forum member notes that Apple has added a Network Test function to Apple TV under Settings>General>Network, which sends diagnostic information about your internet connection to Apple. This appears to be in response to a growing number of complaints that HD downloads suddenly slowed to a snails pace for some users around the holidays.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    Just noticed this. Quick download. Installing now.



    I assume it'll bork boxee....
  • Reply 2 of 80
    OK - installed and running.

    Of course, it does bork boxee & XBMC.



    Seems much snappier...
  • Reply 3 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ... makeshift installations of the Boxee cross-platform media center software ...



    "makeshift" that's one way of putting it.



    I guess "unlicensed hack" is for the stuff we don't like and "makeshift" is for the stuff that we like?
  • Reply 4 of 80
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Maybe I'll be able to shut mine off now rather than constantly having to unplug it.
  • Reply 5 of 80
    I haven't downloaded it yet, but with iTunes 8.01 and the last Apple TV software you couldn't stream music for more than 5 or 6 song before the conntection was lost or the music stopped playing.
  • Reply 6 of 80
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:

    Although Apple still considers Apple TV to be one of its "hobbies," sales of the slim grey boxes rose three-fold during the 2008 calendar year.



    Again -piss poor statistics.





    Quote:

    Apple customers are also expressing greater interest in the device as a movie rental system, which has compelled the electronics maker to continue to allocate R&D spending for the segment.



    We have no choice - that is what is has become- an iTune$ Jukebox.
  • Reply 7 of 80
    Yay! When you chose a song on the Apple TV using the Remote app on iPhone/Touch, it didn't play straight away, you had to press the play button. Now it starts straight away



    Wonder if they read this I posted?



    http://getsatisfaction.com/apple/top...ay_immediately
  • Reply 8 of 80
    Is the network test feature new? I've not noticed it before. Running it now.



    Software update was quick and issue free.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    We LOVE our Apple TV. Had it for almost a year now.



    I would only like to see a couple changes or modifications to the service:

    - Longer window to watch the movie once you start viewing. 24 hours is not long enough when you have kids in the house. It has to be at least 48 hours if not 72.



    - Subscription based price options similar to Netflix. I would much rather pay Apple a constant $9.99 a month and get something like 3-4 HD rentals per month or even $14.99 for HD 5-6 rentals.



    - Rental TV episodes. I've bought 8 TV episodes so far and downloaded countless free ones and I have to say that I have only watched one of the bought ones more than once. Steve said that people tend to want to rent a movie and not buy it. I think that TV episodes fill that description much more fully than movies do.



    - This is a way out there idea, but why are there SD and HD quality movies available for rental? You NEED to have an HDTV to hook up an Apple TV to in the first place, why not make all movies one price and if there is an HD version then there is no SD version available.



    - HD movie purchases.
  • Reply 10 of 80
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomkarl View Post


    Is the network test feature new? I've not noticed it before. Running it now.



    Software update was quick and issue free.



    This is new, thanks. In response to this.



    K
  • Reply 11 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    We LOVE our Apple TV. Had it for almost a year now.



    I would only like to see a couple changes or modifications to the service:

    - Longer window to watch the movie once you start viewing. 24 hours is not long enough when you have kids in the house. It has to be at least 48 hours if not 72.



    - Subscription based price options similar to Netflix. I would much rather pay Apple a constant $9.99 a month and get something like 3-4 HD rentals per month or even $14.99 for HD 5-6 rentals.



    - Rental TV episodes. I've bought 8 TV episodes so far and downloaded countless free ones and I have to say that I have only watched one of the bought ones more than once. Steve said that people tend to want to rent a movie and not buy it. I think that TV episodes fill that description much more fully than movies do.



    - This is a way out there idea, but why are there SD and HD quality movies available for rental? You NEED to have an HDTV to hook up an Apple TV to in the first place, why not make all movies one price and if there is an HD version then there is no SD version available.



    - HD movie purchases.



    If Apple added Hulu support they would sell a lot more AppleTvs. While I don't mind paying for non-fictional (i.e History, Discovery Channel, etc ...) shows, I see no reason to pay for the latest episode of 24, Chuck etc...
  • Reply 12 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    This is new, thanks. In response to this.



    K



    It has been "uploading test results..." for about ten minutes now. Pretty sure it is stuck.
  • Reply 13 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nace33 View Post


    If Apple added Hulu support they would sell a lot more AppleTvs. While I don't mind paying for non-fictional (i.e History, Discovery Channel, etc ...) shows, I see no reason to pay for the latest episode of 24, Chuck etc...



    Oh man you are so right about adding Hulu support. I forgot all about that!



    Why would anyone pay $1.99 or $2.99 when you can view SD and HD quality for free on Hulu???



    My DVR has conked out during Heroes before and I just went up to Hulu to watch the last 15 minutes the next day on my Mac.
  • Reply 14 of 80
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomkarl View Post


    It has been "uploading test results..." for about ten minutes now. Pretty sure it is stuck.



    Out of curiosity, did you have Boxee or some other hack installed prior? What kind of connection do you have?



    K
  • Reply 15 of 80
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tomkarl View Post


    It has been "uploading test results..." for about ten minutes now. Pretty sure it is stuck.



    No- it's just sending all your computer's network information to Apple- it takes time! Just kidding.
  • Reply 16 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kasper View Post


    Out of curiosity, did you have Boxee or some other hack installed prior? What kind of connection do you have?



    K



    Nothing other than Apple software on the box. Wireless N connection through a TC. Qwest DSL.



    Second time seems to be hung in the same place. I'm going to just leave it and see if it completes.
  • Reply 17 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    ... Why would anyone pay $1.99 or $2.99 when you can view SD and HD quality for free on Hulu??? ....



    just to play devil's advocate ...
    • Advertisements

    • Tiny view area

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    • Watch on computer only

    • Advertisements

    Edit: Also forgot ...



    ANYONE NOT LIVING IN THE USA
  • Reply 18 of 80
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    Again -piss poor statistics.



    AI can only quote the stats that Apple publicly releases.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    - This is a way out there idea, but why are there SD and HD quality movies available for rental? You NEED to have an HDTV to hook up an Apple TV to in the first place, why not make all movies one price and if there is an HD version then there is no SD version available.



    You can hook up an AppleTV to a TV that supports 480p at 60Hz. An HDTV (1080p/1080i/720p) is technically not required.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    Oh man you are so right about adding Hulu support. I forgot all about that!



    Why would anyone pay $1.99 or $2.99 when you can view SD and HD quality for free on Hulu???



    My DVR has conked out during Heroes before and I just went up to Hulu to watch the last 15 minutes the next day on my Mac.



    Why would anyone rent anything with only a 24 hour viewing window?
  • Reply 20 of 80
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,258member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    - This is a way out there idea, but why are there SD and HD quality movies available for rental? You NEED to have an HDTV to hook up an Apple TV to in the first place, why not make all movies one price and if there is an HD version then there is no SD version available.



    - HD movie purchases.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post


    Oh man you are so right about adding Hulu support. I forgot all about that!



    Why would anyone pay $1.99 or $2.99 when you can view SD and HD quality for free on Hulu???



    AppleTV isn't the only target for iTunes video content. iPod's can't play HD content. Some people have minis (and even AppleTVs) connected to standard def TVs. And if I'm just catching up on an episode of Chuck or renting a movie to watch on my next flight, I really don't need the HD version hogging space on my laptop hard drive and causing the next wireless Time Machine update to take forever. (And even when I'm watching it on my 42" 1080p plasma TV, half the time the iTunes SD video quality is better than Comcast's 1080i broadcast anyway.)



    There are similar issues for why Hulu isn't the answer to everything. I don't always have an internet connection. Hulu is of no use to me on my iPod (believe it or not, not everyone has an iPhone!) or on a flight. What I think the networks should really do is take their Hulu versions of shows, include the commercials, and just release them as podcasts via iTunes. They'll have a broader audience since podcasts are compatible on many devices, not just iPods, Apple doesn't charge anything for managing our podcast subscriptions, and the networks don't have to pay to maintain Hulu. They only need to host their source video.



    HD movie purchases won't arrive until Apple has secured the video signal between iTunes and the display. I suspect that is a main factor for the adoption of the DisplayPort standard. You can do rentals from AppleTV because they are temporary and don't ever get copied off the AppleTV to your iTune library. But for purchases, you are going to want to watch them on other devices and back them up. That means getting them into your iTunes library. The studios likely wouldn't allow that until the entire path, iTunes to display, is encrypted.
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