This article is a pre-release chapter in the upcoming “Take Control of Apple TV,” by Josh Centers, scheduled for public release in January 2014. Apart from “,” these chapters are available only to ; see “ ” for details.
The Apple TV is simple to set up; just connect the proper cables to your home entertainment center and follow the onscreen instructions. But I’ll show you how to make that initial setup even easier. If you own a compatible iOS 7 device, all you have to do is turn on your Apple TV and touch your iPhone, iPod, or iPad to it!
In this chapter, I’ll offer advice on what to do if you own an older television without HDMI inputs, the best places to buy an HDMI cable, whether to use a wired or wireless Internet connection, and the settings you’ll want to look at right away.
Before you can do anything with the Apple TV, you have to connect it to your television and network. Let’s look at the ports on the back of your Apple TV (Figure 1).Figure 1: The ports on the back of your Apple TV, from left to right: Power, HDMI, Micro USB, Optical Audio, and Ethernet." />
Without electricity, the Apple TV is only an attractive paperweight. Insert one end of the included power cable into this port and connect the other end to a power outlet.
Without a display, the Apple TV is again merely a pretty paperweight. HDMI transmits both audio and video from your Apple TV to your television. Unfortunately, an HDMI cable is not included, but the upside of that fact is that you can pick the length (and color) that will work best with your setup. After you track down an HDMI cable, connect one end of it to the Apple TV and the other end to your television set or receiver.
You will probably never have to touch this port. It’s needed only if you have to restore your Apple TV from iTunes or install developer betas.
Also known as S/PDIF or TOSLINK, the optical audio output allows you to connect the Apple TV to home theater receivers that do not feature an HDMI port, or don’t support audio over HDMI. If you don’t own a receiver, you can ignore this port.
If you wish to connect the Apple TV to your network with a wired network connection instead of using Wi-Fi, then you do that here.
The Apple Remote works well enough for clicking around in the Apple TV interface, but typing login credentials for your Apple ID and wireless network, or for services like Hulu or Netflix, is like mowing the lawn with nail clippers. I’ll look carefully at each of these options in Chapter 3, Control Your Apple TV, but here’s a quick overview to get you through setup:
With your Apple TV plugged into your TV and/or receiver, and all your gear, except the Apple TV, turned on, it’s time to fire it up and finish setup. Press the Select button on the Apple Remote (the big silver button in the middle of the directional ring).
After a few loading screens, you’re presented with a welcome screen (Figure 2).Figure 2: With the welcome screen showing, you can use a compatible iOS 7 device like a wizard’s wand to automate setup." />
Pick up your iOS 7 device, unlock it, and turn on Bluetooth. If Bluetooth isn’t already enabled, display Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, then tap the Bluetooth iconin the top row to turn it on.
After enabling Bluetooth, touch your iOS device to the Apple TV until the setup prompt appears on the iOS device’s screen. Enter your Apple ID password (Figure 3). You’ll then be asked if you want the Apple TV to remember your password. Go ahead and tap Yes. Next, you’ll be asked if you’d like to automatically send data to Apple. If you value your privacy, tap No Thanks.Figure 3: With the new Automatic Setup option in iOS 7 and Apple TV 6.0, you’re only a touch away from setting up your Apple TV." />
The Apple TV imports your Apple ID and Wi-Fi credentials automatically. When you see the Apple TV’s main menu, with its grid of icons, you’re done! However, you still must manually enter passwords for Netflix, Hulu, and other third-party services. For now, skip ahead to.
To set up your Apple TV manually, if you’ll be using a Bluetooth keyboard, keep reading just below this paragraph. Otherwise, press the Select button on the Apple Remote (the big silver button in the middle of the directional ring) and skip ahead to.
If you own a Bluetooth keyboard, I’m guessing you didn’t buy it to use exclusively with your Apple TV. If your keyboard is paired with a Mac or iOS device, you must first unpair it to be able to use it to set up your Apple TV.
To unpair your keyboard from a Mac, open System Preferences, then open the Bluetooth preference pane. Mouse over the keyboard listing, then click the “x”Figure 4: From the Bluetooth preference pane, move your mouse pointer over the listing for your keyboard, then click the “x” that pops up." /> that pops up (Figure 4). When asked if you want to remove the device, click Remove. (If you’re using OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, the process is similar, except you need to click the minus button in the lower left to remove the keyboard.)
To unpair your keyboard from an iOS device, open Settings, tap Bluetooth, identify your device, then tap the button to the far right of the keyboard’s name. In iOS 6, this button is a blue arrowFigure 5: From Bluetooth settings, tap the button adjacent to your keyboard’s name, tap “Forget this Device,” and then tap OK." /> , while in iOS 7, it’s an “i” surrounded by a circle . Tap Forget This Device, then tap OK (Figure 5).
Once your keyboard is unpaired (an Apple Wireless Keyboard should have a blinking green light in the upper-right corner), turn it off (on the Apple Wireless Keyboard, hold the power button on the upper-right edge of the keyboard). Then turn on your Apple TV by pressing the Select button on the Apple Remote (of course, turn on your TV, too).
When the welcome screen appears, turn on your keyboard (on the Apple Wireless Keyboard, press the power button again). You’ll then be prompted to enter a four-digit code on the keyboard. Do so, then press Return on the keyboard. If pairing is successful, you’ll see a picture of a keyboard in the upper-left of the welcome screen (Figure 6).Figure 6: If keyboard pairing succeeded, you should see a picture of a keyboard in the upper left." />
With the keyboard paired, you can navigate the Apple TV’s menus with the arrow keys, select items with the Return key, and exit out of menus with the Esc key. Select your language with the arrow keys on the keyboard, then press Return to continue, as I describe next.
If you don’t have an Ethernet cable plugged into your Apple TV, you’ll be prompted to select a Wi-Fi network. Select the network from the list, or select Other to manually enter a network name, and then enter your Wi-Fi password.
Finally, you’ll be prompted to automatically send user information to Apple. Select No Thanks to continue.
There are a few settings you may want to configure before continuing, or be aware of so you can come back to them later, once you are more familiar with your Apple TV. To access these settings, open the Settings app—the gray tile with a gear in the middle of it (Figure 7)—from the main menu by using the Apple Remote’s directional ring to move the selection to the Settings app, then press the center Select button.Figure 7: To make adjustments to the Apple TV after initial setup, explore the Settings app in the main menu. In the above image, Settings is in the right column, second item down, with a faint blue selection outline." />
If you set up your Apple TV with Ethernet, you can connect to Wi-Fi later by going to General > Network > Wi-Fi and following the onscreen instructions.
Navigate to General > Time Zone, and choose Set Automatically. This way, your Apple TV will always have the correct time, without further intervention on your part. The Apple TV determines your time zone based on your network location. If it doesn’t correctly detect your time zone, you can turn this feature off and set it manually.
If you require VoiceOver, but didn’t turn it on during setup (or accidentally turned it on), go to General > Accessibility and choose VoiceOver.
If you have multiple Apple TVs, it’s a good idea to name them so that you can easily tell them apart in AirPlay menus. To name your Apple TV, select General > Name, and either choose one of the predefined names, like Living Room, or choose Custom to make up your own.
To sign in to each service, access the iTunes Store and iCloud menu options. You’ll need to log in to these services to make and access iTunes purchases, listen to iTunes Match music, listen to iTunes Radio, and view iCloud Photos. You can use a different Apple ID for each service.
If you have young children, you may want to enable restrictions under General > Restrictions. Select Turn On Restrictions and you’ll be prompted for a four-digit passcode. Be sure it’s one you’ll remember, as you’ll need it to disable or bypass restrictions later! Don’t worry, you’ll have to enter the passcode twice. If you ever forget your passcode, you’ll have to select General > Reset > Reset All Settings, which returns your Apple TV to factory condition.
There are a number of restrictions you can set, not all of which have to do with censoring content:
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