Take your Apple TV on holiday with you! With so many vacation destinations offering free wi-fi internet access and with the Apple TV being so compact.. why not take it with you?
But if you do.. don’t forget your remote control. I wished I had remembered mine. My wife and I recently went on holiday and I was excited to try my Apple TV “on the road”. But dummy here forgot the remote the control.
Initially, I thought – no problem, I can control the Apple TV from my iPhone or iPad remote app. Except for one thing.. in order to use the remote app, your iPhone/iPad needs to be on the same wifi network as you Apple TV. With no keyboard.. the only way you can join a wifi network on the Apple TV is with a remote… I was stuck.
But then I discovered a solution that worked brilliantly. The Apple TV can learn how to respond to the signals from other – almost any – remote controls. It only needs six keys – left, right, up, down, select and back.
In order to use this solution, you need to be able to connect to a wired (ethernet) network – hopefully into the same box as your wifi (pretty standard with most vacation home internet services – standard ADSL modem/router) but it may be more tricky within a hotel or condominium block.
For some reason, you can’t configure the wifi network options when the ethernet cable is connected. So you get the “temporary” remote set up while it is connected to the fixed/wired network and then you unplug the network cable and use the new remote to configure the wifi.
Here’s the basic steps:
1. Hook the Apple TV to the tv where you want to use it and plug it into the network using an ethernet cable.
2. Make sure that your iPhone/iPad is already connected to the same network via wifi and then use the Remote App to connect to and control the Apple TV (remember that you can’t configure the wifi with the wired connection enabled and so as soon as you disable the wired network, your iPhone/iPad app will not be able to communicate with the Apple TV).
2. Find a remote control that has keys that you can use for left, right, up, down, select and back.
3. Using your iPhone/iPad Remote App, navigate to the “General” menu option.
4. Navigate to the “Remotes” menu option.
5. Select “Learn Remote” from the menu options.
6. Have your remote ready and then select “Start”
7. The Apple TV will now prompt you to press the appropriate button (holding it down) for each command until it recognised it.
8. Once it has learned each of the six commands, it will allow you to name your remote – I just kept the default (“Custom”), but do as you like.
9. You now have a remote that can work with the Apple TV. Disconnect the ethernet cable and the navigate to the Network settings (under “General”) and configure the wifi with the appropriate security settings as supplied by your host/resort.
Once it is connected, you should be able to communicate with the Apple TV with your iPhone/iPad again if you want.. or continue to use your “temporary” remote. Either way, you now have your Apple TV on holiday with you and connected to the wifi network. Enjoy.