Apple TV 4K’s Hidden Lightning Port

Apple TV 4K features a hidden Lightning port. There’s no indication as to the Lightning port’s function or purpose.

By Chand Bellur

October 18, 2019 at 12:18 p.m. PDT

Where Is the Lightning Port on Apple TV 4K?

Apple TV 4K features a hidden Lightning port embedded in the ethernet connector. From all accounts, one needs to open the unit to access the port.

The first few models of Apple TV featured several ports, including support for digital audio. Over the years, as with most Apple products, ports have disappeared. The future is both wireless and port-less, but until then, cables and ports still have their uses.

What Does the Apple TV 4K Lightning Port Do?

It’s unclear what the Apple TV 4K’s Lightning port does. Documentation, both online and included with Apple TV, doesn’t even mention the port. Apple clearly endeavored to hide the port from users. This seems to indicate that it’s for service technicians only. It probably provides a way to access diagnostic functions.

The jailbreak community is quite excited about the new finding. They suspect that it could allow the device to be jailbroken. This would enable end users to bypass Apple’s walled garden, opening up their device to apps distributed outside of the App Store.

At the time of this writing, tvOS 13 cannot be jailbroken. There’s always some lag between an iOS release and it being compromised by the jailbreak community. They hope that the discovery of a Lightning port may accelerate jailbreak development.

Should You Jailbreak Your Apple TV?

Jailbreaking may seem exciting, but it’s a risky proposition. Apple’s walled garden — the App Store — is designed to protect customers. Apps submitted to the App Store are inspected for quality and security. If an app is too risky for Apple customers, it won’t be sold in the App Store.

This is not to say that the jailbreaking community is run by criminals. In fact, many security flaws in Apple products are discovered by this community. The problem is that a small group initiative can’t protect consumers from malware as well as Apple. Jailbroken iOS devices have been easier to compromise, with some real-world attacks that have left users exposed.

Jailbreaking can open your Apple device to new possibilities. Unfortunately, Apple TVs are often jailbroken to enable piracy. Consumers can easily download, transfer and play illegally-obtained content using a jailbroken device, which makes movies, TV shows and music more expensive for the rest of us.

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