Setup - What Is Apple TV - The Apple TV Crash Course (2015)

The Apple TV Crash Course (2015)

Part One: What Is Apple TV


So you know what Apple TV is; you know what’s inside it. Now how do you use it? It’s pretty simple to get started, but let me walk you through it.

First things first, however—get everything plugged in! Make sure the HDMI cable is connected and you’ve figured out if you have wireless or LAN Internet.

Once that’s on, turn your TV on and to the input that the HDMI is connected to. Now hit the menu button on the remote. The first screen will look like the one below:

At this point, you should also hear a robotic voice (Siri, for those of you with other Apple devices) explaining what’s on your screen. This is a good way to make sure both your video and audio are working.

Language selection is pretty self explanatory, but be carful—selecting the wrong language will be a big headache. It can be reversed, but you’ll have to find the language in the language you selected, which can be confusing.

Once you’ve selected your language, you’ll be presented with the Internet connection screen. If you’ve connected your device via Ethernet, just tap the select button. If not, you’ll be presented with a list of available Wi-Fi networks:

Using the up and down buttons on your remote, highlight your Wi-Fi network and then press select. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be prompted to enter your Wi-Fi password:

Just press the up, down, left, and right buttons on your remote until you’ve highlighted the first letter (or number) of your password, then press select. Do this for each additional character in your password. Once you’ve finished entering characters, use the right and down buttons to head to the item labeled ‘Submit’. Once you’ve highlighted ‘Submit’, tap select.

Once you’ve done that, your Apple TV will begin the process of connecting to the Internet. Your screen will display this:

The connection process should only take a minute or two. If it seems like it’s been too long, press the menu button to head back and re-check the Wi-Fi network you’re connecting to, and/or re-enter your password.

Once you’ve connected, you’ll be asked whether you want to send Apple info about your device and how you use it. This doesn’t slow down the device at all, and you’d never know the information is being sent. If you feel like helping Apple make the device better, then opt in; if not, just say no thanks and move on.

Once you finish, you’ll be shown the bread and butter of the Apple TV: the main menu. It looks something like the one below—the movies change regularly, so the top portion always looks a little different.

I know what your thinking—finally, time to get my movie on! But not so fast. First, it’s a good idea to update the device to make sure you have the latest software installed. Will it work without it? Sure. But some apps mentioned in this guide might not be there.

If you want to just follow along, that’s fine, but take note of it because you’ll probably want to update the device every month or so.

To begin the software update process, use your Apple remote to navigate to the ‘Settings’ icon, which is located all the way to the right on the top row of icons. Once there, press the select button to enter the settings menu.

There’s a lot of options, and I’ll talk about those in just a little bit. For now, just navigate to the “General” menu and press select. The next menu looks like the one below:

Navigate to the menu item labeled ‘Update Software’ and then press select. After a few moments, your Apple TV will display this message:

Make sure the ‘Download and Install’ menu item is highlighted, and then press select. This isn’t the quickest process, so don’t start if you really want to watch a movie now! Most updates take about ten to thirty minutes. If you don’t see the option to update or it’s greyed out, then you have the latest version installed and there’s nothing you need to do. During that time it will look like this:

Once your update has been downloaded, your Apple TV will automatically begin the update process. This is a two-step process, requiring you to leave your Apple TV alone while it does its thing.

After a few moments, your Apple TV will automatically reboot and apply the update. You’ll know this is happening by taking a look at the screen, which will look like this after the reboot:

Once the process has completed, your Apple TV will boot into the home screen, which will now feature a couple of extra icons and some things you can’t see, like performance improvements. For the most part, it will look exactly the same with the exception of a new app icon. Changes are often under the hood.