How to Use Apple TV

By David Weedmark

Learn how to get started on your Apple TV and to stream content from an iOS device or computer to the big screen in your living room.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple TV console
  • High definition television set
  • HDMI or component cable
  • High-speed Internet network connection
  • iTunes

With an Apple TV, you can stream video and audio to any HDTV directly from the device, including movies and songs you purchased, or streaming content from apps like Netflix, HBO Now or Hulu. If you have an Apple iOS device, you can stream content directly

Getting Started

Step 1

Connect the Apple TV to a power source using the AC adapter it came with.

Step 2

Connect an HDMI cable from the Apple TV to your TV. HDMI streams stereo audio and up to 1080p high definition video.

Step 3

Connect the Apple TV's optical digital audio port to a home theater receiver using an optical digital audio cable.

Step 4

Connect an Ethernet cable from your home router or modem if you don't have Wi-Fi.

Step 5

Turn on the TV. Turn on the Apple TV by pressing the Menu button on its remote. A small LED light on the front of the device displays whenever the Apple TV is on. Follow the onscreen instructions to connect the Apple TV to the Internet and to enter your iTunes account, or Apple ID, name and password.

Using Apps and Streaming Content

Step 1

Press the Arrow buttons on the Apple remote to select apps on the Apple TV's home screen. To select an app, press the center Select button between the four Arrow buttons.

Step 2

Select Movies or TV Shows to purchase or rent videos using your iTunes account, or to stream videos that you have already purchased. Select the Music app to purchase music or music videos, or to stream content you have already purchased. Select iTunes Radio to stream live music. These Apple apps are all connected to your iTunes account, and purchases are made using your associated credit card.

Step 3

Select any other app, like Netflix, HBO Now or Hulu. Enter your account information for the service you selected. Choose the content you want to watch to stream it directly to your TV.

Step 4

Pause and play streaming content by pressing the Play/Pause button on the remote. Press the Menu button as often as needed to go back through previous menus and screens to return to the Home screen.

Tip

The Apple TV doesn't have a power button. It will automatically go to sleep and turn off after 15 minutes. To change the sleep timer, select Settings, then General and click the Sleep After menu.

Streaming Audio to an Apple TV

Step 1

Turn on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that's connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Apple TV. Select a music app like Spotify, Pandora or the iOS Music app, and then start the audio that you want. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center.

Step 2

Select Apple TV.

Tap the AirPlay icon and then tap Apple TV. The audio begins streaming to the Apple TV immediately.

Step 3

Select iPad.

Use the app's controls to choose another song or to adjust the volume, or use the Control Center controls located on the left. To stop streaming, launch Control Center, tap the AirPlay icon and select your iOS device.

Streaming Video From an iOS Device

Step 1

Select Apple TV.

Launch any app on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, including video streaming apps, the Photos app or any game. Most apps designed for streaming video, like HBO Now and Netflix, have a AirPlay icon on the screen when you start playing a video. Tap the AirPlay icon and select Apple TV. The video and audio begin streaming to the Apple TV.

Step 2

Select Mirroring.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap the AirPlay icon in the Control Center if you don't see the AirPlay icon in the app itself. Select Apple TV to begin streaming audio. Tap the Mirroring toggle to mirror the iPad's video to the Apple TV.

Stream Your iCloud Photos

Step 1

Select Settings from the Apple TV's home screen. Select Screen Saver.

Step 2

Select Photos and then iCloud Photos. Select Yes if you want to stream photos from the current Apple ID associated with the Apple TV. Enter your password. If you want to share a friend's iCloud photos, select No and have that person enter her Apple ID, or iTunes account, email address and password.

Step 3

Select an iCloud Photos album. The next time the screen saver is activated, your photos will appear on the TV. To see the photos immediately, select Preview from the Screen Saver menu

Streaming from Your Computer

AirPlay on iTunes.

Launch iTunes on your computer and select a song or a video to play. Tap the AirPlay icon that appears at the top of the window and select Apple TV. If you have a Mac computer, you can also stream from Safari on your Mac to the Apple TV by clicking the AirPlay icon.