Take Control of Apple TV, Chapter 4: Discover What’s on Offer
Although iTunes content is front and center in the Apple TV’s interface, Apple offers lots to watch from numerous other sources as well, some of which may be a better deal than renting or buying from the iTunes Store. In this chapter, Josh Centers gives capsule descriptions of each of the Apple TV’s current “apps,” which provide movies, TV shows, sporting events, concerts, music videos, news, weather, and even your home movies. It’s not all video, though, since you can listen to your music from iTunes via the Apple TV, plus enjoy iTunes Radio and podcasts. And if you want something showing on screen while you’re rocking out, or just want to share your vacation pictures with friends, the Apple TV can access your photos from iCloud and Flickr.
In the chapter about getting content from YouTube and Vimeo, and the pain of typing with the remote, you might mention the Remote app for the iPhone (or iPad), which makes the process much easier. It's free, too!
A previous chapter talks about setting up Remote, in detail, along with how to use a Bluetooth keyboard or even any keyboard. Sounds like a reference from this chapter back to that one would be a good idea!
Hi Deborah, thanks for supporting TidBITS! As Tonya said, I covered that in the last chapter. Trouble is, even with the Remote app, the YouTube app on the Apple TV isn't as good as the one for iOS. Search results and navigation just aren't as good. So, if you have an iOS device anyway, you're better off AirPlaying from the YouTube app.
Another advantage of YouTube iOS app: in the iPad version, you can shrink down a video to a small window and browse for more videos as you AirPlay the currently playing one to the Apple TV.
Apple TV content seems US focussed. Is there a way to configure a VPN service on Apple TV?
Hi Robert, I've been asked this question a lot, so I might include something about it in the last chapter. Basically, you'll either need a router that can connect to the VPN or you'll have to share a VPN connection from a Mac or PC.
I'd rather not get into router configurations, but I could do a section on using a Mac as a VPN connection. Would that be helpful?
A section on using a Mac as a VPN connection would be very helpful!
You could also consider a DNS redirection service such as Playmo.tv. We use them to watch our US content on the Apple TV. Every now and then I have to restart the Apple TV to dismiss the 'this content is not available for instant playback' message, I go in again and it's back. The virtue of it over a vpn is that you can specify it on a device basis, so my iPad and the AppleTV use it but my MacBookPro and MacPro do not. I've an affiliate link- http://playmo.tv/?ref=imlj
If the content is paid for, you have a different issue to address. For Netflix, your local subscription will be deducted and there's no issue, Netflix checks for the location itself rather than via the payment. For Hulu+ you would have to get US Apple Store credit, easily done on eBay. The cable channel apps are just not available to you however.
In the "Learn the Main Menu" section -
- Is there a notion of a "go to Home" control (jump to 1st icon)? e.g., I would rank my icons on the second home line, maybe third, and would use these most often.
- fig 2 notation not congruous with text. implies starting with page 2 icons may be moved. Text above is clear.
- Settings icon is treated like a relocatable icon? I would move/leave on second line.
- can Dock icons be hidden/restricted/replaced too? e.g. I wouldn't rent or buy movies from iTunes (have Netflix).
Hulu section - $7.99 [ add per month]
Hi Mike, thanks for your feedback and for supporting TidBITS.
- Afraid there's no way to jump to the first icon, but you can absolutely move the icons around as you wish. (Except for the top row.)
- Good point. I'll tweak the captions.
- Yes. It starts on the second line, but you can move it around as you wish.
- Good question. Music and iTunes Radio can be hidden, but not Movies or TV Shows. If you hide them, then Computers and Settings moves into the dock, and they can no longer be moved.
- We'll make the Hulu Plus pricing clearer.