Not later than yesterday, we wrote about Apple’s rumored plans not to push any hardware update for the Apple TV this fall and instead focus on software updates… and here it is: the Coupertino-based company just released Apple TV Software Update 4.3 (build 8F455) that adds Vimeo support and – more importantly – the ability to purchase TV shows from iTunes directly from your Apple TV.

Apple has already confirmed that shows purchased on Apple TV can be re-downloaded on other iOS devices (TV shows has been added to the “Purchased” sections of iTunes on both iOS and Mac/PC applications). All the shows previously purchased on other iOS devices or with iTunes automatically show up as available to play on Apple TV.

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aTV Flash (black), Firecore’s flagship product for the 2nd generation Apple TV, has been updated to Beta6. According to Firecore, Beta6 includes “huge improvements” in playback performance that come by way of a brand brand-new, lightweight player that has been built from the ground up specifically for iOS. This new player is said to empower Apple TV 2 to play a wide variety of media formats “without having to sacrifice the simplicity of the native Apple TV interface.”

What’s new in Beta6?

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Firecore has announced the release of aTV Flash version 4.3 for the original Apple TV. Included are some new features, as well as a number of improvements to existing features and core components.

The new update includes File Sharing (SMB Server) that allows you to stream non-iTunes media stored on your Apple TV (including media stored on external drives) to other devices including a second Apple TV (silver or black) or a Mac/PC computer.

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aTV Flash (black), Firecore’s flagship product for the 2nd generation Apple TV, has been updated to Beta5. This time the developers’ main focus has been on building and improving the Media Player feature: according to Firecore, the Media Player has received a “big boost” in Beta5, but is still under heavy development with many more features and improvements still to come.

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AirPlay-Enabled Apps: Air Video (review)

by Andrew Webster on April 14, 2011

I ask you the problem with the Apple TV, you (may) say the lack of playable video types. With Air Video, a great iPhone and iPad app, your Apple TV will be playing all of your video files (without conversion) in no time.

The app can stream video from your computer to your iPhone or iPad, which can then be streamed to your Apple TV in the new 4.3 firmware. Currently a beta version of the video server is required (or else only audio will stream through AirPlay). This beta is available for download on InMethod’s website. After you select the folders which you would like Air Video to watch, all videos within are accessible on the Air Video app on both the iPhone and iPad (the app is universal).

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aTV Flash (black) Beta4 for Apple TV 2 has just been released. According to Firecore, in terms of features, this is the most substantial release since Beta1 first became available in early December 2010. The latest version of aTV Flash features an ‘alpha preview’ version of a brand new Media Player that has been under development for the past few months. This player enables the playback of non-iTunes media (streamed from a network source) on the Apple TV with no special software or transcoding required.

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