Update Turns Apple TV into AirPlay Broadcast Center

Apple released the new 5.1 software update for the 2nd and 3rd generation Apple TVs this morning, adding support for Shared Photo Streams, multiple iTunes accounts and the ability to send audio from the Apple TV to AirPlay enabled speakers and devices.

If you own an Apple TV, this is great news. When you watch videos from YouTube, Netflix, or another source, you can stream the sound to your speakers. You can also use this to access music from iTunes, which can then be automatically streamed to speakers and devices around the house. And finally, you can now use AirPlay to stream to all of the Apple TVs in the house simultaneously.

The Apple TV Software page has been updated with all of the details on the new features:

  • Shared Photo Streams: Accept invitations for Shared Photo Streams, browse photos and comments, and receive notifications of new content.
  • AirPlay: Send audio content from Apple TV to AirPlay-enabled speakers and devices (including AirPort Express and other Apple TVs). Also includes the ability to require an onscreen code to use AirPlay with your Apple TV.
  • iTunes Account Switching: Save multiple iTunes accounts and switch quickly between them.
  • Trailers: Search movie trailers. In the United States, see show times for local theaters.
  • Screen Savers: New Cascade, Shrinking Tiles, and Sliding Panels screen savers.
  • Main Menu: SDH support for the deaf and hard-of-hearing as well as improvements to viewing and selecting subtitles.
  • Network Configuration: Support for setting up advanced network options using configuration panels.
  • Stability and Performance: Includes general performance and stability improvements.

To download the new update, you will need to navigate to the settings menu on the Apple TV, then the general menu, and finally, select “Check for update.” The update should install automatically, in just a few minutes.

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