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Apple TV: How to install, connect, and configure your apple tv (simple programming system to reconfigure)

Updated on January 29, 2012

Apple TV Review

If you are considering purchasing an Apple TV you are probably only hesitant only because you are worried about how to get everything set up. Well, there is no need to worry. We will cover the basics on how to install your Apple TV, connect your Apple TV, and configure your Apple TV, but first lets take a quick look at what the Apple TV really does...

The Apple TV unit is basically just a link between your PC or Mac and your home theater system. It allows you to stream content from your computer directly to your television set by your wired or wireless ethernet network. So, if you were to rent or purchase a video (or music) from itunes, amazon, netflicks, or any other downloaded content you can watch (or listen to) them from the comfort of your home entertainment system (rather than your computer monitor).The Apple TV also lets you store content on its local hard drive so you can watch it again and again if you own the content.

Content available on Apple TV

We touched on some of it earlier, but there are many different forms of content that your Apple TV will support. Content available on your Apple TV can include:

Rented Movies and TV shows: You can rent movies and TV programs from Itunes. Television programs from Fox and ABC are generally 99 cents.

Movies you own: You can synch movies that you buy on itunes as well as others that you have downloaded from the web. You can also take your current DVD collection, convert them, and save them to your Apple TV.

Music: Previously downloaded and new downloaded music from itunes and other webstores can be stored to your Apple TV.

Photos: You can move photographs from your digital camera, scanner, or facebook to the Apple TV hard drive. You can set up a slide show to make your TV a constantly changing work of art.

Youtube Videos: You just download them from and store them on the hard drive.

Podcasts: You just download from the itunes store

Audiobooks: Same as above... quick download and you can listen to them on your Apple TV... You could also set up a slideshow with your photos so that you have some visual stimulation while listening.

Pros and Cons of Apple TV

Now that you have a little better idea of what the Apple TV offers. Let's take a quick look at the pro's and cons of Apple TV:

Pro's of Apple TV:

Aesthetics: The Apple TV Box is so tiny for how powerful it is... and Apple made it beautiful (as always).

Price: For only $99 you get a pretty cool little device that lets you view whatever you want, whenever you want. I also think that the tv and video rentals are pretty reasonable at 99 cents and up. I think that a lot of people who are overpaying for cable will do the math and realize that the amount they are paying for the amount of content they never watch is ridiculous. If you only watch a couple of different programs on a weekly basis you could save a lot of money over the course of a year (example: If you only watch 5 programs a week, you will only spend $20 for the month, as opposed to $100 for your cable subscription). Apple TV has allowed viewers to pay for what they watch rather than fitting them into a subscription system...

User interface: Quick to learn and easy to use. It syncs especially easy any Apple content... Netflix runs great through it as well. A little reading online and you should be all set!

Cool additional features: Being able to use your iphone, ipad, or itouch is just one of the cool features.

Cons of Apple TV:

Limited Selection: Currently Apple TV doesn't have quite the programming selection that some people would like. They will likely continue building their television and video selections.

How to Install your Apple TV

If you buy an Apple TV, the installation is pretty easy. All you have to do is set up an itunes account.

Now if you have a Mac, you don't need to read any further as itunes comes standard. However, if you have a PC, it is not all that difficult either (just follow the simple steps below:)

1. Go to

2. In the top left hand corner there will be a windows icon and a prompt to "Download Itunes Now". Simply type in your email address and click the Download Now button directly below. If a dialog box should pop up (this depends on your personal settings) asking you to run or save the file, you should click "run"

3. Next the Itunes installer will present the licensing agreement, which just tells you what the purpose of itunes is and tells you not to break the law. Read it and accept the licensing agreement (if you agree... of course).

4. Click install

5. Launch Itunes. You are done and free to look around at the content available on Itunes.

*Bear in mind that Itunes does have certain computer system specifications needed to run the program. Here are those necessary specifications according to Apple (found at

Windows Hardware

  • A PC with a 1GHz Intel or AMD processor
  • Intel Pentium D or faster processor is required to play Standard Definition video from the iTunes Store
  • 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor is required to play HD video, an iTunes LP, or iTunes Extras from the iTunes Store
  • 512MB of RAM; 1GB is required to play HD video, an iTunes LP, or iTunes Extras
  • Screen resolution of 1024x768 or greater; 1280x800 or greater is required to play an iTunes LP or iTunes Extras
  • DirectX 9.0-compatible video card with 32MB of video RAM; 64MB recommended
  • QuickTime-compatible audio card
  • Broadband Internet connection to use the iTunes Store
  • iTunes-compatible CD or DVD recorder to create audio CDs, MP3 CDs, or back-up CDs or DVDs

Windows Software

  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or later, 32-bit editions of Windows Vista, or 32-bit editions of Windows 7
  • 64-bit editions of Windows Vista or Windows 7 require the iTunes 64-bit installer
  • QuickTime 7.6.6 or later is required (included)
  • 200MB of available disk space
  • Screen reader support requires Window-Eyes 7.1.1 or later; for information about accessibility in iTunes, visit

How to connect your Apple TV

Connecting an Apple TV from your PC or MAC to your television is also super easy. It all just depends on which kind of connectors and you have. The Apple TV manual covers all of this (along with RCS stereo), but this may help you know what to expect:

HDMI connection: If you have HDMI capability on your TV or receiver just connect it directly to the Apple TV box. This will take care of both the audio and the video (HDMI makes it almost too simple...)

Component Video: If you have component video (the multi-colored cables that have 3 different connectors), you just need to connect each color so that it matches up between your TV or reciever to your Apple TV unit (connect blue to blue, green to green, and red to red). Now this just covers the video, so you will buy an optical cable to connect the sound (which just goes from the sound jack in the Apple TV to the sound jack in your TV or receiver.

How to Configure your Apple TV

To configure your apple TV you should first make sure that all the cables are connected from Apple TV to your TV or receiver. Select the apporpriate TV input signal (most TV's have several different inputs... just choose the input signal you used to connect the Apple TV box to your TV or reciever, so if you used an HDMI connection, choose the HDMI input signal...). You should also make sure that your Apple TV unit and your TV/Receiver are turned on (and plugged in, for that matter). The apple logo should pop on to your TV almost immediately once you turn it on. If it fails to do so, you can press and hold both the menu and plus buttons to reset it. It will then cycle through various video resolutions. When it shows the apple logo, hit the play/pause button and you will have chosen the correct resolution setting.

Once the Apple TV and your TV are running properly, you will have to select your network settings. This is a pretty easy process where you choose what language you would like to use. If English is your primary language simply click on"English"

Next, you will choose your wireless network and input your password so that Apple TV can connect to your wireless network. The TV than will show you numerical passcode which you need to enter into your Itunes account in order finish the setup and allow you to sync the two programs.

Finally, you will want to go back to your computer and run Itunes. Click on the "Apple TV" (which is under the "Device" heading), enter the passcode that is on your TV, and you are now ready to start using your Apple TV!

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