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Getting Started with Apple TV 4

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Getting Started with Apple TV 4

Apple TV 4 is a quantum leap over its predecessor, bringing tvOS, the App Store and Siri to your television. This article covers how to get started with your new Apple TV.

Apple TV has long been considered a hobby. Apple’s previous attempts at set-top boxes have only offered the basic capability of streaming media. The lack of an App Store made it difficult for third parties to offer apps and services. Prior to the fourth generation model, Apple TV only offered a few dozen content channels. These channels all looked the same and offered similar functionality. It was good enough for playing movies, TV shows and music.

The new Apple TV 4 makes it clear that Apple is taking television seriously. While it’s not perfect, nor the quality one typically expects with Apple products, the new set-top box is an impressive evolution. With its new Siri remote, A8 processor, tvOS and App Store, Apple TV has a lot more in common with your iPhone. Let’s take a look at how to get started with your new Apple TV.

Unboxing and Connecting Your Apple TV 4

Apple TV 4 comes in a simple, yet attractive box. If you purchased a brand new unit, the box should still be wrapped in plastic. If this is not the case, consider returning the unit for a new, shrink-wrapped product.

Remove the shrink-wrap and open the box by carefully lifting off the top. The top of the box features an image of the Apple TV unit, with an Apple TV logo. With the top portion of the box removed, you will see the Apple TV unit and Siri remote. Both should be covered in protective plastic. Carefully remove the remote using the plastic tab at the bottom of the remote. Remove the remote’s protective plastic covering and place it in a safe place. The Siri remote is partially constructed of glass and may crack if dropped!

The Apple TV unit is also wrapped in plastic. Clear plastic covers the entire unit, and a black plastic strap protects the sides of the unit. An additional black plastic cover protects the bottom of the unit. Carefully remove the unit from the box and take off all three protective plastic wrappers.

Apple TV’s brief instruction manual is stored in the box, below the main Apple TV unit. Simply lift the cardboard panel using the hole to access the getting started guide, Apple logo stickers and product information sheet. Remove the plastic strip to view the getting started guide. As you can see, the guide is very brief and provides very little information about setting up your new Apple TV. That’s why I wrote this article!

After removing the documentation, you’ll see a USB to lightning cable. This cable is used to charge the Siri remote. Your remote will already be charged. Just set this cable aside for now. You won’t need it for the setup process.

Remove the cardboard panel that held the Siri remote in place. Next, remove the power cable and its plastic wrapper. Set the power cable aside for now.

The new fourth generation Apple TV is slightly bigger than previous models. Although it’s only 35mm tall, that makes it almost one-third taller than the previous model. This is because the A8 processor generates more heat, which requires the addition of a larger heat sink. There are no fans or active electronics to cool Apple TV 4, which cuts down on both noise and power usage. The lack of moving parts makes the device more robust. There are no fans to break or get clogged with dust. After several hours of use, the set-top box only gets lukewarm. You won’t have to worry about your new Apple TV overheating, however, you still need to consider thermal and ventilation issues when positioning the unit.

Find an ideal location for your Apple TV. It should be placed close enough to your television to attach an HDMI cable. If you are using WiFi with your new Apple TV, make sure that it can get a good signal. You can test a location’s signal strength using an iPhone or any device that works over WiFi. If you are using an ethernet cable, make sure your Apple TV is close enough to both the router and TV to attach the necessary cables. (continue…)

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