Take Control of Apple TV
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Final Release Date: February 2014
Pages: 197

Everything you need to know about the Apple TV!

The Apple TV may be the smallest component of a home entertainment system, but its size is in stark contrast to the vast quantity of content that it can bring to life through your television. With it, you can consider cutting the cord to your cable company -- and ditching that expensive monthly bill! And with the advice in Take Control of Apple TV, you can go far beyond watching movies and TV shows to make the Apple TV into the hub of your stereo system, display gorgeous slideshows of your photos, and play iPhone and iPad games on the big screen.

Written by TidBITS managing editor Josh Centers, the ebook walks new owners through setup, and then dives into explaining how to best control the Apple TV with the included remote, Apple's Remote app, or another TV remote. You'll learn to customize the icon grid on the main screen, enable parental controls, and make your screen saver look awesome. Josh also covers uses of AirPlay, the Apple technology that lets you beam audio and video from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac to the Apple TV, and lets the Apple TV send audio to compatible speakers anywhere in your home.

When it comes to content, you'll tour the Apple TV's built-in video apps -- iTunes Store, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, PBS, YouTube, and more -- plus get ideas for which are likely to offer what you want to watch. But you're not restricted to commercial video -- Josh explains how you can best view home movies and any DVDs or Blu-ray discs you own, listen to your music or iTunes Radio, use Home Sharing to display your photos via the Apple TV, and discover iOS games designed for playing via the Apple TV. If you're feeling geeky, you can read about how to make Plex bring in even more video content, including free access to Comedy Central's The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Finally, the Apple TV isn't just about entertainment. Thanks to AirPlay, it makes a great device for giving presentations from a Mac, iPhone, or iPad using Keynote; it's the perfect accompaniment for a road warrior heading into unfamiliar conference rooms. Josh gives you all the details, including a list of what you'll need to handle any hardware you may encounter.

In Take Control of Apple TV you'll read about:

• The one-button press for jumping immediately to the main menu

• Hiding unwanted Apple TV apps that clutter your main screen

• Must-know video navigation tricks (also in the free Apple TV Cheat Sheet)

• Enabling subtitles for foreign-language films or for the deaf or hard of hearing

• Which is better, Netflix or Hulu?

• Navigating with audio VoiceOver

• Playing music from the Apple TV on every speaker in the house

• The obscure way to transfer photos from a computer to the Apple TV

• Two ways to show home movies on your TV screen

• Using your TV screen as a second monitor for your Mac

• Essential items to pack if you'll be giving a presentation via an Apple TV

• What you can do with Conference Room Display mode

• Improving AirPlay performance when playing games

• Setting up an Elgato EyeTV HD to record live TV for the Apple TV

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oreillyTake Control of Apple TV

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Great Companion Book

By Nerdy Dude

from Hollis, NH

Verified Reviewer


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand


    Best Uses

    • Novice

    Comments about oreilly Take Control of Apple TV:

    So, I wasn't sure what to expect from this book after seeing the TOC but I have to say it's quite the useful book for those that just pick up the remote and go with it with an Apple TV. There's actually a lot of useful information in the book on how you can control the Apple TV. I had no idea you could use ANY IR remote with it, so if you have some spare buttons on your TV remote that won't interfere with the operation of the TV, you can control it all with one remote. Very cool.
    Then there's the other information that while useful, can be considered a little shady by some. It's nice to know how you can rip a DVD or Bluray onto your computer for viewing and the proper disclaimers are there. I'm sure some people wouldn't like that information out there but it's in the book and at least explains how to get videos into your library.
    The best thing I found in the book, which is something that has plagued me since I have been using the Apple TV, is the fact that it explains what to do when the audio goes out when you send your desktop from your Mac to the TV. I have battled that so many times and just ended up reboot the Apple TV or computer to fix it but with the command lines, that should be a great fix for when it happens for me. I couldn't find much about it online but I look forward to using it when my audio goes out.
    Connecting the Apple TV and using it as a Plex client is also quite interesting and I'm glad the information is in the book to show you how to do it. I found that to also be quite useful.
    The information in here is stuff you could easily find online free but I found it was nice to have it all in one place that I can easily reference in the future as needed. If you don't mind paying for the convenience of having the information all in one place, I would recommend this book.

    Disclaimer: I received this book for free as part of the O'Reilly blogger program.

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