The 5.1 software update for Apple TVs came out a couple months ago, but it turns out it’s been rendering some Apple TV unusable. Solution? Restore back down to 5.0.2.
Odd how this hasn’t come to light sooner, but AppleInsider found a long, and growing (16 pages now), thread in the Apple support forums who said the September update to the Apple TV OS 5.1 bricked (or maybe pucked) their Apple TVs.
There isn’t a heck of a lot of detail. Generally, people update and then their Apple TV just stopping working like before. Some folks just get a black screen, others network issues, still others streaming issues. The only thing generally consistent is the solution:
Downloading the IPSW restore files from Apple, connecting the Apple TV to a Mac, wiping, and restoring to 5.0.2.
Here are the links to the IPSW files (from the support thread):
Apple TV 2:
Apple TV 3: