Thursday, 3 January 2013

Why Get an Apple TV

My wife is an apple fan. She expects things to work straight away out from the box without complicated settings. Reliably simple that works every time, that's how she find apple products.

Now that she can view her favourite pinoy tele-dramas on her ipad and iphone, thanks to the site's new interface, I decided to get her something that can mirror these on a big telly. This means being able to use her ipad or iphone to output what's on the screen to a bigger monitor wirelessly. You might be thinking of streaming, but streaming can only output something that is already inside the device, like the itunes contents, and not from an outside source like the internet. To me, mirroring is rather more advanced as it outputs the things you do with the device like surfing internet sites, playing games and using VOIP communications. I also think that it is useful when you are doing a presentation and would like to use your ipad or iphone as a source for files and as a remote control without complicated settings.

What's inside an apple TV box

Like any of the apple product range, the packaging is simple and minimal. Inside the box is the apple TV receiver, the remote control, the mains plug extension and some paper works. It is just a shame the product does not include HDMI connection which is needed to make it work with any TV with HDMI input. You need to purchase one if you do not already have one of this.

Setting up

To set up the apple TV, you need a telly with HDMI input, HDMI cable, wi-fi router, iPAD or iPhone. Connect the other end of HDMI cable to the apple TV and the other end to the telly's HDMI input.Turn on your TV and select the HDMI channel input for the apple device. Then plug the mains socket into the apple TV, and with the remote of the apple TV, press the play button. The device will guide you through to the set up menus. Remember to set up both the apple TV and your apple products ( iphone, ipad, ipod, imac etc.) you intend to output the contents into the same Wi-Fi network as the apple TV.

If you want to use a wired connection to connect the apple TV and wi-fi router, you can use an ethernet connector, RJ45, to do this. I prefer this kind of connection specially that we use the built in internet video provider, Netflix, to watch movies. This kind of connection depends on the proximity of the router, TV and apple TV.

Use Apple TV to mirror internet content

This is the function that I intended for my wife to use, so that she can view her favourite internet programs on her iPad onto a bigger monitor. All she needs to do is to double click the home button and scroll through the apps going to the right and find the airplay button. Tap the airplay button and choose apple TV then turn on mirroring. Follow the same procedure if you want to use iPhone, and if you use iMac or other Mac computers, go to systems preference and under display menu, choose apple TV and turn on mirroring. Now you can output anything you do from your device.


Before setting up the unit, it is best to download the remote application for the apple TV. This will let you type in your details and settings easier. Direct link of the application is below.

If you have the first generation ipad, you can still stream internet contents and your itunes contents using the device. What it doesn't do is to mirror your activities. There are also built in applications for videos and movies like netflix, vimeo, itunes movies and you tube that you can access without the use of another internet device. 

Which generation of apple device is compatible? As long as you see the airplay button when you double click the home button of your iphone, ipad or ipad, you can play the content on your apple TV.For notebooks and iMacs, if you can see the airplay button at the top of you can detect the apple TV at the display settings, then your device is compatible.

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