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Top 5 Apple TV Troubleshootings to Solve Common Issues

by Christine Smith • • Proven solutions

Apple TV gives you access to tons of great HD content in a tiny package and streams content from different iOS or Mac OS devices to big screen. However, there are still some common issues users will encounter. Here I would like to provide the solution to top 5 trouble shootings depending on the online poll I shared on my social account.

Tip: If you want to get more information on how to enjoy media on TV, check out this guide>>

online poll

Part 1. Unable to Locate a WiFi Network

WiFi network

When stream media files from iOS device or Mac to Apple TV, most users will choose to stream wireless based on the same network (generation 2 or earlier) or different (generation 3). However, it’s common problem to locate a WiFi network in Apple TV or sometimes even you locate the WiFi but can’t access to the content.

  • 1. Go Settings > General > Network on Apple TV to check your signal strength in Apple TV network setting
  • 2. Make sure the signal strength is strong, if not, move to step 3
  • 3. Ensure that Apple TV is within range of your Wi-Fi router or base station, try you best to near to WiFi router
  • 4. Make sure that Wi-Fi router with latest firmware and cable/DSL modem are connected to power and turned on and all your iOS devices can connect to WiFi network, if not, move to next step
  • 5. Restart your Apple TV by choosing Settings > General > Restart or restart Wi-Fi router or modem by turning it off and then on again, if it still doesn’t work, move to next step
  • 6. If you can connect to the Internet using an Ethernet connection, verify that your Apple TV is using the latest software by choosing Settings > General > Software Update. If your Apple TV can be updated, install the update and then try the steps again
  • 7. Sometimes you can’t locate WiFi network just because it’s configured to private or closed, then you need to input network name, security and password by going Settings > General > Network > Wi-Fi > Other
  • 8. If all above solutions are not available to you, try to contact with Apple Support team.

Part 2. the AirPlay Icon Doesn't Appear on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

AirPlay icon doesn't appear

Like the top one, you should make sure all software in iOS devices and Apple TV are latest and turn on WiFi network for them. If it doesn’t support peer-to-peer AirPlay, all those devices should be under the same network. If you make sure the above setting, but the AirPlay icon doesn’t appear on your iOS devices too. Please follow up these steps.

  • 1. Try to enable or disable AirPlay on Apple TV in the AirPlay menu: Settings > AirPlay, to make sure it’s functioning well on Apple TV
  • 2. Check Internet or network connectivity on your iOS devices because some media files require Internet connection to authorize content playback
  • 3. Make sure third-party app or a website from your Safari app on your iOS device is AirPlay compatible.
If the above solutions don’t work for you, you can try some other unofficial solutions. 
  • 4. Try your best to near WiFi router with Apple TV
  • 5. Try moving or disabling some certain external devices, such as microwave ovens and baby monitors, may interfere with a Wi-Fi network
  • 6. If the Wi-Fi router has an external antenna, check to see that is it connected properly and in good condition

Part 3. HDCP Issues

HDCP issues

HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) is a form of digital copy protection that requires compatibility between your Apple TV and high-definition TV. A common message may appear on your television stating "This content requires HDCP for playback. HDCP isn't supported by your HDMI connection."

  • 1. Switch wireless to wire, Connect your Apple TV (2nd generation and 3rd generation) directly to your HDTV using an HDMI cable or try using a different HDMI to HDMI cable
  • 2. Go Apple TV interface, select: Settings > Sleep Now, Set your Apple TV to sleep mode and turn off your HDTV
  • 3. Consult your TV manufacturer's user manual or online support pages to update firmware

Part 4. Static or Blurry Video Issue

static or blurry video issue

After make sure the latest software updated with suitable connection in different ports, if the static or blurry video issue doesn’t solve, try following steps.

  • 1. Press and hold the Menu and Up button on your Apple Remote for six seconds to change the Apple TV resolution, which will automatically cycle to the next resolution at approximately 20 second intervals
  • 2. Reboot your Apple TV by holding down the Menu and Down button on the Apple Remote for six seconds. Allow the Apple TV a few minutes to restart

Part 5. No sound

No sound

There are multiple reasons to result in no sound when viewing media content with Apple TV, here is the solution.

  • 1. Adjust the volume on your TV or receiver and turn off mute if you can find the manufacturer's user guide for help changing the volume or mute setting
  • 2. Restart your Apple TV
  • 3. Change the Audio Output setting from Auto to 16 bit with your Apple Remote, select Settings > Audio & Video
  • 4. Change the Dolby Digital Out setting from On to Off in the same section of step 3
  • 5. Last option is to adjust the preference in Settings > Audio & Video > Sound Effects

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Christine Smith

Christine Smith

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