Getting Started with Apple TV 4

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If you don’t have an iOS device, you must manually enter information about your WiFi network and Apple ID. Use the trackpad to select and enter characters on each screen. It’s not unwieldy, however, using an iOS device will save you a few steps.

The next set of steps will continue configuration of your Apple TV. These steps can’t be completed on your iOS device, so you’ll need to use the Siri remote.

Location Services can be enabled or disabled from the next configuration screen. I recommend enabling Location Services, as it will provide you with locale-specific screen savers and recommendations. Apple is pretty good about protecting their customers’ privacy. If you are protective of your privacy, you may want to opt out of Location Services.

You have the option of enabling or disabling Siri. I strongly recommend using Siri. The personal digital assistant is quite helpful with tasks such as turning on subtitles, skipping back or forward in a video, and looking up information such as weather conditions, sports scores and stock quotes. Siri is initiated using the microphone button on the remote. Although Siri for tvOS is not as capable as its iOS counterpart, it is still convenient.

Apple TV 4 features breathtaking HD aerial screen savers. The next set up screen asks if you want to download these automatically. I have actually turned this off, because these automatic downloads sometimes happen at inopportune moments. I dislike the way Apple implemented this feature. Users can only select a frequency (daily, weekly, monthly) for downloading, but there is no way to manually initiate a download. You can turn on daily downloads whenever the screen savers get stale and turn them back off after an update. Screen saver downloads can be configured in the Settings app.

Users are once again asked if they would like to send diagnostic and usage data to Apple. I recommend turning this off, as this feature has proved problematic on older models of Apple TV. Perhaps they have fixed it, but I wouldn’t take that chance. Finally, agree to the warranty and legal agreements to finalize your Apple TV 4’s configuration. You will now see the home screen, which presents a marquee of top movies, music and TV shows, along with a grid of tvOS app icons.

Enjoy Your New Apple TV 4!

Now that your configuration is complete, you can finally use your Apple TV. Unlike previous models, the fourth generation Apple TV only offers Apple content apps on a new device. If you want to watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO NOW or other steaming services, you can download these from the App Store. Simply use the trackpad on the Siri remote to select App Store and download these apps.

Make sure to download and play some of the amazing games that tvOS has to offer. So far, I find Asphalt8 and Air Wings to be among the best games, however, developers are adding new apps every day. Spend some time getting acquainted with your new Apple TV. The user interface is intuitive, however, there are some tricks that aren’t obvious.

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    1. Local news is a bit tricky on Apple TV. Your local news affiliate needs to provide a stream via some app. Most local news channels don’t have the resources. It’s most likely, if they do offer local news, it will be on YouTube. Just search for your local affiliate. It’s possible they may have a tvOS app, so search for your local affiliate in the App Store too. Good luck!

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