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Summary:

Sometime between last night and this morning, Apple released a minor update to the Apple TV. The new software version is 2.3.1 and includes a new network test function and other fixes that haven’t been listed by Apple as of this time. The update, just like […]

Apple TV

Sometime between last night and this morning, Apple released a minor update to the Apple TV. The new software version is 2.3.1 and includes a new network test function and other fixes that haven’t been listed by Apple as of this time. The update, just like all previous updates, disables Boxee and other hacks, but these are easily restored by running the patchstick again (more notes on that at the end).

When you run the network test, it will ask if you’ve been having trouble with slow downloads from the iTunes store. You can answer Yes or No to this question and it will still proceed to run the test. It then asks you what download speeds you expect to get from your Internet connection and begins a download test, probably similar to the various speed tests available on the web that simply download a file of a known size and then track how long it takes to complete the download. The test is a little dissatisfying because it doesn’t tell you anything — all the information from the test is sent to Apple and you never know what kind of download speeds you were seeing.

Restoring Boxee was as simple as running the patchstick update again. I had an additional problem on my own Apple TV in that my external USB drive wasn’t seen after the update. I was hoping that a quick reinstall of nitoTV would fix everything, but the USB drive was still not showing up when I ran “diskutil list” from the command line. I rather like having a 1TB Apple TV, so I’m off to restore the box from factory settings and make sure everything is working. I’ll let you know what happens in the comments below.

That said, I wouldn’t let my experience scare you away from the update. The new network test will be useful for anyone that is experiencing problems with downloading purchased or rented content from the iTunes store and there may be other fixes that Apple hasn’t announced yet. Some users on other forums are reporting improved responsiveness on the iPhone Remote app, which would be a welcome benefit.

Let me know how your upgrade goes in the comments.

  1. I installed the 2.3.1 update here in Australia this morning but did not get any of the network test messages that seem to have accompanied the installation in the US.

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  2. I am happy we can still use Boxee with this update!

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  3. just disable the auto update and forget about it.
    the guys at http://www.boxeeonappletv.com did it for me when I order by appletv with boxee preinstalled.

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  4. Donald Perreault Thursday, February 26, 2009

    I would love to install Boxee but I am afraid if I have problems I won’t be able to reinstall the original AppleTV software. Is Boxee worth the $50.00? I get a lot of Divx and AVI files and convert them to m4v format with QuickTime but many times I get an error during the conversion or the audio is out of sync. Any suggestion or advice?

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  5. The Apple TV has an option to restore to factory defaults which will wipe out everything on the BootOS partition and copy the original image from the recovery partition. I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

    And where do you get $50 from? boxee is free.

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  6. As an update, I had to roll back to 2.3 to get my USB drive working again. I’m sure someone will figure out how to get USB working under 2.3.1 eventually, but after having a 1TB AppleTV, I can’t go back to 160GB.

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  7. Thomas Rasmussen Saturday, February 28, 2009

    I have just upgraded my ATV to 2.3.1, and as other people have experienced, my USB drive stopped working, or at least wouldn’t mount the drive. I tried almost everything but it just wouldn’t work, so something must have changed from 2.3 to 2.3.1. Running system_profiler shows that the drive is actually listed on the USB bus, so the ATV does know about it, but it wont create the device so it can be mounted.

    I had to revert to 2.3 (followed these instructions: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/AppleTV_OS_2.3.1#Important_Notes

    and now my USB drive is mountable again… it seems as though many people have this problem :-(

    Thomas

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