Setting Up Apple TV for the First Time

Setting up your Apple TV isn’t hard, but if you’re new to Apple’s palm-sized video streamer, you might want a little advice. Here’s a guide to getting started with Apple TV, straight out of the box and how to screencast to Apple TV from your iPhone.

Connecting the Hardware

After unpacking your Apple TV, first connect the power lead to the Apple TV unit’s power port, then plug the other end into the mains and switch it on. You should see a white light come on at the front of the Apple TV, showing it’s powered.

To connect your Apple TV to your television, you need a HDMI cable. ‘HDMI’ stands for ‘High-Definition Multimedia Interface’ and it carries both the video and the audio signal. This cable is not supplied with your Apple TV, and has to be purchased separately. Fortunately, they’re available in all good TV and electronics stores.

Plug one end of the HDMI cable into your Apple TV, and the other end into your TV. There are usually several HDMI ports available. It doesn’t matter which you use, but make a note of its number.

If you plan to use your Apple TV with a cabled Internet connection, plug an Ethernet cable (not supplied) into the Ethernet port and plug the other end into your router. If you intend to use your Apple TV on your Wi-Fi network, you don’t need an Ethernet cable.

Setting Up Apple TV

If your Apple TV doesn’t appear on your TV screen straight away, tap the TV Source button on your television remote and from the on-screen menu, find the HDMI port you used to connect your Apple TV. Select it and the Apple TV setup screen should appear.

Tip: When setting up your Apple TV, you’re asked whether you want to use Siri and whether to allow Apple TV to use your current location. We suggest you agree to both these things, as they’re necessary for some of your Apple TV’s features.

Now follow the on-screen instructions to set up the Apple TV itself. Navigating the menus is done using the remote pad that came with your Apple TV. Switch between options by dragging your finger or thumb over the Touch Surface at the top of the controller. Press down on it to select an option, press the Menu button to go back a screen.

If you have an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch already connected to your Wi-Fi network and your Apple account, you can opt to use it to automatically transfer these settings to your Apple TV. When you get to the screen offering ‘Set Up With Device’ and ‘Set Up Manually’, choose the former and follow the instructions.

If you set up manually and want to use a Wi-Fi connection, you must input your network’s Wi-Fi password (which should be supplied with your router). You must also log in with your Apple ID, so you can use the App Store and iTunes Store on your Apple TV.

When you’ve finished setting up, accept Apple’s terms and conditions. After that, you’re up and running with your Apple TV. Have fun exploring, check out the free apps and take a look at the movies to rent or buy on your new device.

Screen Casting from an iPhone or iPad

There are two ways to stream what’s showing on your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV. The easiest way is Screen Mirroring. Open the Control Centre; swipe up on an iOS device with a Home button, or diagonally from the top-right on those without one.

Tap the Screen Mirroring button, and choose Apple TV. If you don’t see it, make sure it’s switched on, and connected to the same network as your iOS device. Whatever’s on your iPhone or iPad’s screen is then also shown on your television, through Apple TV.

The other way is through AirPlay. Find the video you want to AirPlay, and tap the AirPlay icon; it’s the one that looks like a TV screen with a triangle underneath it. Choose Apple TV. Again, if you don’t see it, make sure it’s switched on, and connected to the same network as your iOS device. Your video is streamed to Apple TV.

To stop streaming, on your iOS device, tap the AirPlay icon again and select iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

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Ian Osborne

Ian has worked on computer and video games magazines since the legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 in the early Nineties, so he’s seen many changes over the years (including an expanding waistline and receding hairline). A lifelong Mac user, he bought his first Mac in the year 2000. It’s a testament to the resilience of the Mac that his mother is still using that computer to this very day.

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