How to decode Apple TV 4 serial number

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 8 Apr 2016

The 4th generation Apple TV is one of my new favorite toys. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be improved. Now wouldn’t it be great if there was some way for me to add to it. Well, luckily the Pangu team, notorious for their iPhone jailbreaks have recently released a jailbreak for Apple TV 4.  However, the jailbreak will only work on Apple TVs running tvOS 9.0 – 9.0.1. So, before you run out to buy a new Apple TV we are going to show you a few important steps that will hep you know if you are even getting a device that can be jailbroken. 

If you already own an Apple TV, you can check to see what tvOS you are running by going to Settings -> General ->About and viewing the tvOS version.

Since my Apple TV is up-to-date I will not be able to jailbreak (yet), but that doesn’t mean I can’t help steer you guys in the right direction. So again, if you have a device that have tvOS 9.0.1 or lower, you are good to go. But if you are looking to buy a device, you may be able to find one that has this older tvOS pre-installed by breaking down the serial number on the device box. If you can view the serial number by buying online then that may be the most effortless option, but if you go into the store you can view the serial number yourself and get it that same day. Win-win.

If you grab a box off the shelf and turn it over you’ll see a sticker that will have the part number along with the serial number. Here is the number on my box: DY6Q68RNG9RM.

Apple TV - Box

So inside that super cool number there are few things we can figure out. By looking at the fourth and fifth characters in the serial, we can figure out when that particular Apple TV was manufactured. That may seem like a bunch of gibberish, but there’s lots that can be deciphered from that 12-digit number. So, for man you are looking at Q6. It seems that first character represents the year (Q) and the second character represents the week (6). If you are wondering how Q translates to a year, don’t even worry about it.

Thanks to a few guys from around the way, you can simply enter in your serial number and the rest will be figured out for you. Just out the site right here. This is what came out when I entered in my serial number:

Serial - Apple TV

So from this, I see that I first purchased my fourth generation Apple TV, tvOS 9.0 was installed. This was the only tvOS available at that time. If you don’t remember when the different tvOS were released you can view them below. This will help you figure out if the Apple TV you are looking at will have the proper tvOS for jailbreaking.

  • tvOS 9.0 – 10/29/15
  • tvOS 9.0.1 – 11/9/15
  • tvOS 9.1 – 12/8/15
  • tvOS 9.1.1 – 1/25/16
  • tvOS 9.2 – 3.16.16

In bold are the dates where you want your Apple TV to fall under if you wish to jailbreak it with Pangu’s tvOS jailbreak. That’s all you need to know when buying your device. And once you do get it, remember to turn off automatic updates and find a USB-C cable online or at a local retailer. This cord is needed to connect you Apple TV to your computer for the jailbreak to be installed.

Let us know if you plan on jailbreaking your Apple TV in the comment section.

[Via: 9to5Mac]