Josh walks you through cables, ports, and setup, and explains how to use gestures and spoken commands with the Siri Remote—yes, you can talk to your TV! He helps you navigate and customize the Home screen, plus describes getting-started settings such as inputting your Apple ID and enabling parental controls.
You’ll learn how to use the TV app (whether on the Apple TV box itself, on a Mac running Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, or Catalina; on an iPhone or iPad; or on a third-party smart TV), and how you can best view home movies and TV shows. The book also looks at using an Apple TV to listen to your music or Apple Music, download and play podcasts from the Podcasts app, and browse your photos.
In Take Control of Apple TV you’ll also read about:
- What’s new in tvOS 16
- Which Apple TV model to buy—or whether you should get different hardware instead
- Getting the most out of your the Siri Remote (either version)
- Alternatives to the Siri Remote
- Using a game controller with Apple TV
- Controlling Apple TV with Shortcuts
- Using AirPlay to beam the display of your Mac or iPhone screen to your TV
- Making Mac or iOS/iPadOS audio play through your TV’s speakers
- Running iTunes Home Sharing to play media from a local computer
- What you can do with Conference Room Display mode
- How to tell whether an iOS/iPadOS app includes a free copy of its Apple TV version
- How to reset or restore an Apple TV—useful for troubleshooting or for handing your device to a new owner
Compatibility? This book covers the fourth-generation Apple TV (now called Apple TV HD) and the newer Apple TV 4K models. It does not cover earlier generations of Apple TV hardware.
Josh Centers is is a Business Journalist at TextExpander, editor-in-chief of Unprepared, and founder of Apple Buying Advice. He has been featured in USA Today, Macworld, Scientific American, the Washington Post, Boing Boing, the Wirecutter, and other publications, as well as on Comedy Central, HuffPost Live, and Voice of America. Josh lives in Tennessee with his wife and children.
What’s New in Version 3.3
This update includes notes on the minor tvOS 16 update; see “What’s New in tvOS.” I added information on the third-generation Apple TV 4K in “Decide Which Apple TV to Buy.” I also discuss the new HDR10+ standard; see “Decide Which TV to Buy.”
What Was New in Version 3.2
This update reflects changes in tvOS 15 and related Apple operating systems. It also includes instructions on the second-generation Siri Remote:
- Apple has released new models of the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K. Should you upgrade? See “Decide Whether to Upgrade Your Apple TV.”
- tvOS 14.5 introduced a new Color Balance calibration. See “Calibrate Apple TV Color.”
- Apple has released a redesigned Siri Remote. See “Meet the New Siri Remote.”
- The touch surface component of the second-generation Siri Remote is called the Clickpad, so I also call it the Clickpad throughout the book. If you’re using another type of remote, translate “Clickpad” to whatever interface you’re using. For example, if you’re using a Bluetooth keyboard, you would use the arrow and Return keys to navigate instead of swiping and clicking the Clickpad.
- On the new Siri Remote and in the latest updates to Apple’s Remote apps, Apple is calling what was the Menu button the Back button. This makes logical sense because it’s long been the primary purpose of the button, but it adds a bit of confusion for Apple TV owners. I’ve tried to clear up that confusion throughout the book, but just understand that Back and Menu are the same command with different names.
- iPhone and iPad media controls for Apple TV have changed. See “Control Apple TV Media from Control Center and Lock Screen.”
- As have iPhone and iPad AirPlay Mirroring controls. See “Mirror an iPhone or iPad with AirPlay.”
- AirPlay Mirroring has changed in macOS as well. See “AirPlay Mirroring from Big Sur and Later.”
What Apple TV models does this book cover?
This book covers the fourth-generation Apple TV (now called Apple TV HD) and newer Apple TV 4K models. It does not cover earlier generations of Apple TV hardware.
Posted by Joe Kissell on March 5, 2020
Josh Centers discussed the third edition of Take Control of Apple TV with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices. He explains what has changed in the world of Apple TV and what to expect in the updated book.
Posted by Josh Centers on April 5, 2019
The Apple TV world had been pretty quiet until Apple’s March 25, 2019 special event that announced some major new things coming to the Apple TV:
- A redesigned TV app, redubbed Apple TV, that’s built around services, integrates live TV, and will even be available on most popular smart TV platforms, such as Roku
- Apple TV Channels, which will let you subscribe to à la carte cable channels and streaming services inside the Apple TV app
- A new streaming service called Apple TV+, which has the backing of big-name celebrities like director Steven Spielberg, media queen Oprah Winfrey, and director J.J. Abrams
- A new subscription game service called Apple Arcade
The new Apple TV app will be available in May, with Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade due later in the year. We’re currently evaluating the best way to update Take Control of Apple TV to best cover Apple’s strategic shift. In the meantime, you can read the TidBITS articles Apple Reveals Its Vision for TV and Apple Announces Apple Arcade Gaming Service.
In the here and now, iOS 12.2 has added some major Apple TV-related improvements:
- You can now control an Apple TV via iOS Siri using commands like “Pause the bedroom Apple TV.”
- AirPlay has been improved to play more nicely with multitasking.
- When AirPlaying content from iOS to an Apple TV, playback controls show in Control Center and on the Lock screen.
Also, Apple has changed the Apple TV remote logo in Control Center and the Remote app to show a small Siri Remote instead of the Apple TV logo, undoubtedly to prevent confusion with the new Apple TV app.
To learn more, see the TidBITS article Apple Releases iOS 12.1.1, macOS 10.14.2, and tvOS 12.1.1.
Posted by Josh Centers on February 16, 2017
Video-ripping app HandBrake has finally reached version 1.0 — actually 1.0.2 as of this writing. With that comes a few minor changes, but the most significant for readers of “Take Control of Apple TV” are the new presets. The now-legacy AppleTV 3 preset I recommended in the book is still there, but you should instead choose the Apple1080p60 Surround preset, which is now the best-quality Apple-compatible HandBrake preset.
Posted by Michael E. Cohen on December 29, 2016
Apple TV, slowly but surely, continues to gain features and capabilities, this time with its new TV app and Single Sign-on capability. Josh and Chuck Joiner of MacVoices discuss the state of streaming TV, Apple TV’s place in this dynamic and highly contested market, and what’s new in the latest edition of his book. Adjust your rabbit ears, sit back, and enjoy.
Posted by Josh Centers on April 23, 2016
When we published “Take Control of Apple TV, Second Edition,” the Plex app still required you to enter your username and password to sign in to your Plex account. Thankfully, Plex has now been updated to use browser authentication instead, so you don’t have to type or dictate your credentials with the Siri Remote. When prompted, visit http://plex.tv/link and enter the code on your TV screen.
Posted by Michael E. Cohen on April 11, 2016
Apple has new gear for the biggest screen in your home, and that means a new edition of Josh’s Apple TV book and a MacVoices interview. So pop some popcorn, put your feet up, and tune in to watch Josh and Chuck Joiner chat about all the new features found in the fourth-generation Apple TV, including apps and Siri. And, if you have an Apple TV you can watch the interview right on that system (the “Master AirPlay” chapter in the book tells you how)!
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