How to Set up Your New Apple TV

BY Parth Shah

Published 25 Dec 2022

Use Apple TV

Apple hit it out of the park with the latest Apple TV launch. The streaming device packs an A15 CPU, double the base storage, and a smaller footprint with a cheaper price tag. If you have already bought one, read our dedicated guide to set it up.

Apple TV offers a seamless setup experience for iPhone users. If you don’t have one, you must login with your Apple account details manually. We will cover how to set your Apple TV in both ways, download your favorite streaming apps, change video settings to your preference, and more.

Set up Apple TV

Before you set up Apple TV, make sure you meet the following requirements for a seamless streaming experience.

  • A TV or monitor with an HDMI port.
  • Robust internet connection.
  • An HDMI-to-HDMI cable since Apple doesn’t ship one with the retail box.

 Let’s get started.

  1. Use the supplied power cord and connect your Apple TV to an outlet.
  2. Grab the HDMI cable and connect your Apple TV with a TV, monitor, projector, or other display. If you plan to watch movies and TV shows in 4K HDR on Apple TV 4K, make sure to use HDMI 2.0 or later cable and have a TV that supports 4K, HDR, or both.
  3. Turn on your TV and change your source of output to HDMI.
  4. If you have a higher-end Apple TV with an Ethernet port, connect your Apple TV to a router for a fast internet connection.

Before you start using your Apple TV, you need to choose your preferred language and set Siri.

  1. Press up or down or use the swipe gestures on your Apple TV remote to set your preferred language.
  2. If you accidentally choose the wrong language, use the back button to return to the previous menu.

Sign in with Apple ID

You need an active Apple ID to start downloading apps and sync photos and music from Apple Music and the Photos app. You have two ways to sign in to your Apple account on an Apple TV.

Sign in with iPhone

Before you sign in with your iPhone or iPad on an Apple TV, make sure to follow the below requirements.

  • Unlock your iPhone or iPad.
  • Connect to a Wi-Fi network from the Control Center.
  • Turn on Bluetooth from the same menu.

Now, move your iPhone close to your Apple TV, and a pop-up will appear on your phone to complete the setup. It may take a while as per your Wi-Fi speed.  

Sign in with Apple ID

Sign in Manually

Not everyone has an iPhone or iPad. Android users can select Sign in Manually and connect the Apple TV to a Wi-Fi network. Now, type your Apple ID and password for successful authentication. If you don’t have an Apple account, create one.

Apple ID Sign in

Download Streaming Apps from the App Store

Similar to iPhone, iPad, and Mac, your Apple TV comes with default apps to explore music, TV shows, movies, photos, and podcasts. You should familiarize yourself with default Apple apps.

  • App Store: A single go-to source for downloading third-party streaming apps.
  • Arcade: Download all Apple TV games. It requires an Apple Arcade or Apple One subscription.
  • Fitness: Apple Fitness+ subscribers can access on-demand workout videos, health data, and other stats.
  • iTunes Movies: Check your rented or previously bought movies from iTunes.
  • Apple Music: It’s the default music streaming service on Apple TV. It requires Apple Music or an Apple One subscription.
  • Apple TV+: Home to some of the best TV shows and movies on Apple TV. It’s a part of the Apple One subscription. You can get it for a separate subscription too.
  • Podcasts: It’s a free app to listen to your favorite podcasts at home.
  • Settings: The default Settings app to make changes to your Apple TV.
  • Photos: It shows all your photos and videos from the iCloud library. You can check folders, memories, and your shared albums too.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to the default Apple TV apps only. The App Store is packed with popular streaming services to explore. Let’s download Netflix, YouTube, and other apps to complete your setup.

  1. Open the App Store on your Apple TV.
  2. Use the search bar at the top or glance over the app library.
    Open App Store on Apple TV
  3. Select an app and click Get to install the app.
    Open the App Store
  4. Repeat the same for all your preferred apps and games. If you plan to purchase an app or game, make sure to set up a payment method for your account.
    download apps on Apple TV

You shall find all your installed apps and games on the home screen. You can use the Apple TV remote trackpad or navigation buttons to switch between them.

Customize the Apple TV Home Screen

As expected, Apple places five of its apps at the top for easy access. You can customize it and place your favorite apps using the steps below.

  1. Hover the select over your preferred app and long-press on it.
  2. Use the navigation buttons to place it at the top.
  3. Repeat the same for your top five apps and place them at the top.
  4. When you select an app, the tvOS shows the relevant content right at the top.
    apple TV home

Change Apple TV Theme

Apple TV uses a dark theme by default. We recommend changing it to automatic for the best experience.

  1. Open Settings from your Apple TV home screen.
    open Apple TV settings
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll to Appearance.
    Open appearance in Apple TV
  4. Select Automatic from the following menu.
    set theme to automatic

The option changes the appearance to Dark at night and Light during the day.

Explore Video Settings

If your TV or display supports HDR or Dolby Vision, you can tweak video settings on your Apple TV for the best viewing experience. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Head to Settings.
  2. Select Video and Audio.
    open video and audio
  3. Open Format.
    open format menu in Apple TV
  4. Select 4K Dolby Vision (with the highest frame rates available) and confirm your decision from the following menu.

From the same menu, you can tweak audio settings, color balance your Apple TV display, match frame rate to play the content in original frame rates, and more. We highly recommend digging into the Video and Audio menu to customize your Apple TV experience.

Use Apple TV Like a Pro

Apple also toyed with the idea of low-cost Apple TV but scrapped the plans later. You should also regularly update tvOS to enjoy new features and fix bugs. How’s your experience with an Apple TV so far? Share your findings in the comments below.