Apple TV — this is streaming media a device that brings you movies, TV shows, music and live events through your TV. If you’re new to Apple TV, then you need this Apple TV user guide to help you learn the ins and outs and get the most out of your new streaming box.

This guide supports TVOS versions 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, and 6 — 4th, 3rd, and 2nd generation Apple TVs. This guide also covers the iTunes and Apple TV apps for macOS versions Catalina (10.15) through Mountain Lion (10.8).

Apple TV Box 4K version with remote control.

How to set up Apple TV?

If you have just purchased an Apple TV, go to setup guide Lifewire Apple TV . Be sure to log into your account iCloud on your device and connect to Wi-Fi. Now you are ready to start using it.

How to control Apple TV?

Apple excels at creating beautiful interfaces, and the Apple TV is no exception. The main screen displays a selection of content, and below it are several menus with large, rounded icons for each channel or feature. The simple remote control allows you to move left and right, up and down between each icon, and select using the center button or touch area.

Apple TV interface with folder.

The first row of icons contains category icons for movies, TV shows, and music. There’s also an icon showing your connected computers and then a Settings icon. On the 4th generation Apple TV, you’ll also see the App Store icon.

Just below that, you’ll see all your favorite channels like Netflix, Hulu, and even one for Apple’s live events.

To change the order of apps on the home screen, use the Siri remote to select an app, then press until it starts shaking. Then use the touchpad to move it to a new location and press the touchpad again to save it.

Apple TV remote

Let’s touch on a few Apple TV basics. Depending on the version you have Apple TV on the Apple TV remote may have arrow buttons (silver remote for 2nd and 3rd generations). If you have a newer Apple TV (4th generation), you will have a touch bar for navigation.

On the new remote control, swipe up and down or left and right to move through the menus and icons, and tap the touchpad to select. On the old remote, use the arrow buttons to move between icons and the center button to select.

All remotes have a menu button and a pause/play button. The newer remotes have a home button, as well as controls to increase and decrease the volume. On the old (silver) remote, the menu button works like a back button that takes you back one level throughout the system.

Newer versions (HD and 4K) have Siri built in, so you can use voice commands to find TV shows and movies, play content, open apps, and more. You can even use your iPhone as an Apple TV remote control by downloading the appropriate app on your phone.

Apple TV Remote.

Here are some voice commands:

  • «Open Netflix.»
  • «Play the latest episode of South Park.»
  • «What football games are on?»
  • «Listen to some jazz music.»

To use function Siri hold the button microphone for a few seconds, and then say your command when you hear a beep.

Search on Apple TV

Searching on an old Apple TV is different from using an Apple TV with Siri. In older generations (2nd and 3rd), you first need to select the Movies, TV or Music category, and then scroll through the top menu and select » Search» . You will see a keyboard and you can select letters, numbers and symbols to enter the name of the movie or show you are looking for and then select from the results.

As soon as you start typing, the results will be displayed for you to choose from. You won’t need to enter your full name to find your favorite movie or series.

To search on a remote that supports Siri press and hold the button Siri until you hear a beep. Say your request in the search remote and Siri delivers. Siri also looks for apps like Netflix Hulu and HBO to find exactly what you need.

Apps and content for Apple TV

The best thing about a streaming device is access to hundreds of channels and apps. One of the most popular uses for Apple TV is to play games. With the new version of Apple TV, you have access to thousands of apps through the App Store. Follow the instructions below to find and install games and apps on Apple TV .

According to Apple, the Siri Remote for HD and 4K versions includes «an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a built-in compass for playing a variety of games. Depending on the game, you can hold and move the remote in three dimensions (pitch, roll and yaw). Some games react to the movements you make in the air with the remote control.”

  1. From the main screen, select icon App Store .

  2. Use choice Featured or Siri to find the game or app you want.

  3. Select an app icon to install it. Some apps require a purchase and some are free.

  4. The app will now appear on your home screen ready to use.

Stream movies to Apple TV from your Mac

While you can download the official Apple TV guide online and learn how to watch movies from your Mac this is a faster and easier way. If you want to rent DVDs and then copy them to your computer, you can create your own home movie library and watch them on your Apple TV. Using the same method, you can also share photos, music, and TV shows.

Add Movies to Your Mac

As soon as you copy DVD to your computer you can save them in any folder. Then follow the steps below to get the TV app or iTunes (for older operating systems) recognized your movies.

Using iTunes

To make iTunes recognize your movies, follow these steps.

  1. Open iTunes.

  2. Switch to films .

  3. Go to File > Add to Library .

  4. Find the folder or file you want to add.

  5. Click the button Open» and iTunes will add them to your library.

  6. Movies are now available and ready to watch on Apple TV.

Using the Apple TV app on Mac (macOS Catalina):

To make the Apple TV app on Mac recognize your movies, follow these steps:

  1. open television on Mac.

  2. Click Library up.

  3. Click File > Import .

  4. Select a movie folder or file.

  5. Your videos are now available and ready to watch on Apple TV.

Enable Home Sharing

You will need to enable Home Sharing for everything to work well together. The process is slightly different for older versions of macOS prior to Catalina.

In iTunes version 10.7 or earlier, click » Additionally» > » Enable Sharing» .

Sign in to your Apple TV to watch movies

Once you set up your Apple TV and sign in with your Apple ID and password, you’ll have access to those movies, photos, and music. From the Apple TV home screen, select icon » Computers» . You’ll see categories for your shared music, TV shows, movies, and photos. Scroll through the list to find the movie you want and press «Select» to start playing it.

Another useful feature is Airplay which can be used to mirror the screen from a Mac, iPhone, or iPad to an Apple TV.

Apple TV app vs. Apple TV Box

Now that Apple has released its Apple TV app on other devices, the media box may someday die out. For now, however, Apple TV is alive and well and offers one of the best interfaces, high-quality content streaming, and seamless integration with HomeKit and iCloud services.

Application Apple TV which can be used on any iOS device and other streaming media devices, offers some of the same box content and features. However, it doesn’t come with a remote or the ability to share screens via AirPlay or stream your personal libraries. Along with the Apple TV app, Apple has released its own set of restricted content and TV shows you can’t view anywhere.

Additional settings and features such as turning on and off subtitles, pairing accessories, or using VLC on Apple TV see B official Apple TV guide .

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