For a $99 set-top box there is a lot you can do with an Apple TV and Apple will likely continue to improve the device with future software updates.
We have put together some tips to help you get the most out of your Apple TV.
- To return to the main menu from anywhere, hold down the Menu button for a few seconds.
- From the main menu, press Play/Pause for about five seconds to put Apple TV in Stand by mode
- Rearrange the order of icons on the main screen by selecting an icon and holding the Select button on the remote until they jiggle. Move the icon to the new position and press select again when finished.
- While listening an iTunes song, you can create a Genius mix. Simply hold down the select button (center button) and you will see the option to generate a playlist.
- To reset your Apple TV, press both the Menu and Down buttons on your Apple remote until you see the LED on the front of Apple TV flash quickly.
- Use a remote from your TV, DVD player, cable box, etc. to control your Apple TV. Your Apple TV has a built in feature that will learn the remote.
- The standard remote that comes with the second generation Apple TV is less than ideal. If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you can download the free remote app from here.
The remote app has all the same controls as the standard remote plus a keyboard that makes it faster and easier to enter text.
Convert Videos to an Apple TV Format
If you already have videos on your computer that are not compatible with iTunes, you can easily convert them to a format that is compatible with iTunes. The best way to do this is with HandBrake.
HandBrake is free software for your Mac or PC, it’s simple to use, it even has a preset for Apple TV.
After your videos are converted, you can add them to iTunes, turn on Home Sharing, and stream them to your Apple TV.
As we already mentioned, you can stream movies and videos from your computer to your Apple TV but you can also stream music and photos.
Home Sharing will have to be turned on both your computer and your Apple TV.
- To enable Home Sharing in iTunes on your computer;
Go to Advanced -> Turn On Home Sharing from the menu bar-> Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted.
- To enable Home Sharing on your Apple TV;
Go to Settings -> Computers -> Turn On Home Sharing -> Enter your Apple ID and password.
Streaming Music to Apple TV
If you have a home theater system, this is a great alternative to the other wireless music systems. Not only can you stream your entire music collection but the sound quality will be outstanding on high quality surround systems.
You can also control your music with the Remote app for iPhone, iPad or iPad Touch.
Use your Apple TV on an Older TV Without HDMI Port
Ideally you want to use your Apple TV with a television that has a HDMI port but there are some alternatives if your TV does not have an HDMI port. You can buy an adapter that will allow you to use it with component cables. (The red, yellow, and white ports).
You can also buy component converters that converts VGA or Component Video and Audio to HDMI. The component converters should result in higher quality than the cable adapters. You can find them for around $40.
Use an Ethernet Cable if Possible
If your Apple TV is close to your router, use an Ethernet cable instead of connecting to the internet with wifi. This will result in a faster connection and reduce the chances of interruptions while watch movies.