As I mentioned the other day, I am loving the AppleTV at the moment. The intergration with all my other iDevices is simply amazing, and everything just works. I thought I would put together a few tips & tricks of what I have learnt over the past couple of weeks with the AppleTV. if you haven’t got one yet, I highly recommedn heading over to the WildTwig guys, and ordering one.
- Setup Home Sharing in iTunes, which will allow your AppleTV to browse your iTunes library on your PC/Mac. You need to enable this on the AppleTV as well by going to Settings -> Computers -> Home Sharing & entering your Home Sharing username & password (iTunes account)
- Even though the AppleTV doesn’t play DVD’s, I have backed up a lot of mine (especially the kids) and store them on my iMac. I used Handbrake, which allows you to “rip” your DVD’s into a M4V format, which you can then import into iTunes, and the Apple TV sees using Home Sharing. Handbrake offers a preset specifically for AppleTV2
- Turn AirPlay ON, on the AppleTV by going to Settings -> Airplay & On. This means that if you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, and are listening to music or watching a video on the iDevice, you can automatically start streaming it to your Apple TV, by tapping the Airplay icon. This works awesome with Youtube Videos as well. You can also view your photos on your iDevice, by clicking the AirPlay button.
- Although I am not a big fan of Jailbreaking, I would recommend Jailbreaking the AppleTV & install Plex. Basically Plex allows you to watch any existing AVI’s or MKV files (over WiFi) you have on a PC/Mac that is running the Plex Server software. The really cool thing about Plex is it goes and gets all the movie or TV show information, and displays it on-screen. To Jailbreak the AppleTV, I recommend using Seas0nPass, and following the steps makes this a really simple process. Once that is done, follow these steps on the Plex Wiki, to get Plex installed. You need a little bit of tech savvy to do this, but it is quite simple once you get the hang of it.
- Movie Rentals & TV Show Rentals are awesome. 2 things you need to ensure though; Make sure you have credit on your US iTunes account by topping up with iTunes vouchers & ensure you have a decent ADSL line. I would highly recommend a 4MB ADSL line, as your movies start streaming almost immediately once you have rented them. The cost of renting a movie is well priced in comparison to DVD rentals.
- Hidden away at the bottom of the Internet menu on the AppleTV is a section called “Radio” which gives you access to thousands & thousands of online streaming stations. This is a great feature if you want to play background music, or are interested in a specific topic
- Also hidden in the Internet menu, is “Podcasts” which allow you to stream the latest episode of your favorite video or Audio podcasts. An awesome little gem !
- If you really feeling at a loss for content, you can sign up for a Netflix account. Just follow these steps on Jason’s blog for a How-To on how to get Netflix setup in South Africa
- Download the awesome Apple Remote iPhone & iPad app, which allows you to connect & control the AppleTV. Perfect for when the small included remote goes astray !
- Download AirFlick. A must have free Mac app, which allows you to play & Airplay ANY content from your Mac to your AppleTV
If you have any cool AppleTV tips & tricks, please leave a comment below.