Different Ways to Hook Up Apple TV

An Internet appliance that streams online content to your television set, Apple TV also streams music and photos from your computer to your TV. The device includes controls for fast forwarding, rewinding and pausing content, a remote control and a built-in power supply. To connect the Apple TV device to your television, you will need a High-Definition Multimedia Interface cable.

Apple TV works on a variety of television sets including plasma screens.


Apple TV contains a single HDMI port that accepts an HDMI cable, sold separately, that transmits both video and audio to your HD or other model of television containing an HDMI port. HDMI cables in varying lengths are available at computer, electronics and home improvement stores as well as online. Plug one end of the HDMI cable into the HDMI port on the Apple TV, and plug the other end into any HDMI input port on the TV.

Ethernet Connection

The device contains an Ethernet port that lets you connect it to a standard router in the event you don't have a wireless router. The Ethernet connection doesn't provide content to your television; it provides only Internet service to the Apple TV device. Ethernet cables are available in various lengths and are also available at computer, electronics and home improvement stores as well as online electronics outlets. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into a Wired or LAN port on your router and the other end into the Apple TV.

Optical Audio

Apple TV also contains an optical digital port for connecting the audio portion of the device to a stereo receiver or surround sound unit. Purchase an optical cable and connect it to the Optical Digital or Optical Audio port on the back of your receiver or surround sound unit, and then connect the other end of the cable to the corresponding port on the back of the Apple TV device.

Setting Up Apple TV

Once your television is connected to the Apple TV device, turn on both units and press your television’s “Input” button on its remote control or TV control panel to set its input. Select “HDMI” to activate the connection. You'll see Apple TV’s setup screen. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up the device. If you don’t see the setup screen, check your HDMI connection and your television’s input selection. Consult your television’s manual if you're unsure of the location of the “Input” button or control.