updated 07:00 pm EDT, Fri March 30, 2012
Not all plug-ins work with it yet
Owners of the now-previous (the "720p black" or "ATV2") AppleTV box now have an option of jailbreaking the device in a limited way, even if it has been upgraded to the newest 5.0 (iOS 5.1) software. FireCore has updated it's Seas0nPass jailbreak tool and aTV Flash (black) software to work with the new jailbreak, which allows users to retain the advantages of the Apple TV 5.0 software while adding various unofficial plug-ins such as Last.fm and NitoTV for additional content.
The jailbreak is tethered, at least for the time being, and does not work with the newest third-generation 1080p AppleTV (ATV3), which is visually identical to the previous model. FireCore explains that in this case, a tethered jailbreak means that the ATV2 unit must be connected to a Mac or PC when first powered on after applying the jailbreak. Once the procedure is complete, the unit is generally left on continuously. Should the unit lose power for any reason, the jailbreak will need to be re-performed.
Another disadvantage in its current state is that the jailbreak doesn't yet support a number of the most popular plug-ins users add to jailbroken Apple TVs. Currently, Plex and XBMC (alternate interfaces and media management plug-ins) are not supported, nor are Overflow, Remote HD and Rowmote. Most if not all of these will be updated in due course to support the new jailbreak. Couch Surfer, Last.fm, Maintenance, NitoTV, Weather and the RSS Feeds plug-ins already work as expected.
The official 5.0 AppleTV software (a modified version of iOS 5.1) brings a number of its own features, including an all-new interface that is more visually-oriented -- claimed to have been once rejected by former CEO Steve Jobs. It also added iCloud support for movie purchases, Genius recommendations, National Geographic photos in a new built-in screensaver mode, and on-device signup for additional content such as Netflix and MLB.com. Users do not have to update to the new 5.0 software in order to utilize the current tethered jailbreak in Seas0npass and aTV Flash (black).
Seas0nPass 0.8.3 is available as a free download, while aTV Flash (black) users will find a 1.4.1 update in their account under the downloads tab. The aTV Flash (black) software costs $30. There is also a version available for owners of the original (silver) AppleTV boxes, which cannot run the 5.0 software. It is available for $40.