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Reset Video Settings
Apple products are supposed to be easy-to-use, but they need to coexist with a variety of products. Your Apple TV box needs to interface with a variety of TVs, which complicates configuration issues. Maybe someone in your household loves to fiddle with settings and has ended up making things worse. Don’t worry. Just go to Settings > Video and Audio and click on Reset Video Settings. After a confirmation, Apple TV will figure out the best video settings for your TV.
Restrict AirPlay to Devices on the Same Network
AirPlay users sometimes notice that other Apple TVs show up on their AirPlay source devices. At first, this freaked me out. I saw my neighbor’s Apple TV show up on my iPhone and figured that they were stealing my WiFi. I changed my WiFi password to something very long and cryptic, and I still saw their Apple TV. It turns out, this is by design. Apple TV can work over Bluetooth and it picks up every Apple TV in proximity. By default, you still need to initiate AirPlay by entering a one time code. This means that passerby’s and neighbors can’t just beam content onto your Apple TV, but they can pop up a code on your screen. Fortunately, tvOS 11 solves this problem, once and for all.
AirPlay for tvOS 11 now offers the ability to restrict access to devices on the same network. This means that only devices connected to your WiFi router can beam media over AirPlay. Your Apple TV needs to be on this same network. Simply go to Settings > AirPlay and click on AirPlay. Select Anyone on the Same Network from the ALLOW TO AIRPLAY list. You will probably still see other Apple TVs on your source devices, as your neighbors may not have upgraded to iOS 11 and made the change. By default, AirPlay allows anyone to play content, but it is still protected by an on-screen code.
Use the TV App
When the TV app first came out, I thought it was yet another garbage built-in app from Apple. Let’s face it, Apple makes some great devices and operating systems, but their own apps are often some of the worst. Over time, the TV app has grown on me, even though I don’t even launch it directly. Instead, I find the marquee functionality to be most useful. The Up Next view on the marquee makes it so easy to get back into a show I am watching. It’s the binge watcher’s best friend. Apps like HBO NOW are not very good at tracking what I have been watching, but the TV app does this quite well. For now, Netflix has decided to ignore the TV app, so you will need to launch Netflix directly. That said, with every tvOS update, more and more apps and networks are joining the fold. It kind of makes Netflix look bad…
Map Home Button to Home Screen
Apple seems to like the TV app much more than I do. With tvOS 10, they mapped the Home (TV set) button on the Siri Remote to the TV app, instead of the Home screen. When you upgrade to tvOS 11, they reset this behavior. This makes some sense, as you can already reach the Home screen by holding down the Menu button. The problem is that I only use the TV app’s Home screen marquee, and not the app itself. My muscle memory is also trained to get to the Home screen by pressing the Home button. That’s why it’s called the Home button! next page →