Apple TV for meeting rooms

Apple's Apple TV media player is a small network appliance and entertainment device that can receive digital data from a number of sources and stream it to a capable TV for playing on the TV screen.

With the 4th generation Apple TV you can also mirror your not-too-old MacBook, iPad or iPhone screens onto the TV. A Windows PC or older Macs can be mirrored as well if you buy additional software (see below).

This page describes the use of multiple Apple TV units on a university-wide campus network at DTU, mainly used for presentation purposes in meeting rooms and in offices.

Setting up a new Apple TV

Connect the Apple TV to a TV screen using a HDMI cable, and connect to your cabled Ethernet. Then connect the power cable.

The initial setup of the Apple TV:

  • Requires network access in order to complete.
  • First connect the Apple TV to cabled Ethernet.
  • If the device must be authorized in DHCP, discover its MAC-address in the DHCP server's log files (the MAC address can be verified on the Apple TV after installation has been completed).
  • Select language.
  • Select Manual setup.
  • Do not enter any Apple_ID when asked, but select Skip this step. You may enter your Apple_ID during setup if this is a personal TV device.

Further configuration

In the Settings Settings app:

  • Make sure to update the Apple TV software immediately in the System->Software Updates menu.

  • Verify the system version etc. in the General->About menu.

  • Verify the currently active network settings (Ethernet or WiFi) in the System->Network menu.

  • Select the AirPlay item and configure the Apple TV Name (the default name is Apple TV).

    It is recommended that you use a descriptive name such as the location of the Apple TV, for example: B345-123.

Connect to the WiFi network

Once the Apple TV has been set up using cabled Ethernet, you may connect it to your WiFi network. First disconnect the Ethernet cable.

In the Settings Settings app:

  • Go to Network and select the Wi-Fi menu.
  • A list of available WiFi networks will be presented.
  • Select the desired network and enter its password.
DTU device WiFi network

At DTU your Apple TV should be connected to the device WiFi network. Send the MAC-address of the Apple TV to the AIT Helpdesk and request it to be registered.

Screen mirrroring

With with AirPlay Mirroring, you can "mirror" (display a copy of) your iOS or Mac device screen onto your Apple TV screen.

There are some useful pages about this feature:

Using AirPlay from Windows PCs or older Macs

Older Macs are not compatible with AirPlay, see:

Windows PCs as well as older Macs will require a software solution to work with AirPlay. The following software will do this:

Protecting Apple TV against rogue users

If your wireless network hosting the Apple TV contains many users, as is the case on a campus-wide WiFi network, everyone will potentially be able to use AirPlay to take over your TV!

Problem:

  • You want guests to be able to use the Apple TV easily, but you do not want pranksters to send images to your Apple TV from elsewhere.
  • In particular, you do not want your presentations to be interrupted by other people connecting to your TV.
  • On the other hand, if someone forgets to disconnect from the TV, you want to be able to kick them off.

AirPlay settings are configured in the Apple TV Settings app under the AirPlay menu item. The Access Control functional settings are almost entirely undocumented by Apple, and are quite complex to configure to achieve your desired security level. At this time, the correct Access Control settings must be determined by experiment!

Important Access Control settings

Open the Settings Settings app (this is for TvOS version 11). The AirPlay item has an AirPlay sub-heading with important Security items whose recommended settings are:

  • Require Code: Every Time

These settings are explained in detail below:

Require Device Verification
  • Require Device Verification: Off

    This setting should definitely be set to Off.

  • Require Device Verification: On

    If you choose the On setting, it will cause two unrelated effects, but the help text does not document it properly:

    • Firstly, it makes Security: None behave almost like Security: Passcode.
    • Secondly, it makes the Apple TV check software versions of all devices attempting to connect to it (possibly also other devices it sees on the net). Older devices and AirParrot devices trigger an error message on the Apple TV. These error messages will interrupt presentations!

    Therefore it is very important to turn this setting Off.

Security
  • Security: Passcode

    This is probably the best setting. When accessing the Apple TV, a four-digit passcode is displayed on the screen, and you have to type that on your device, thus proving that you are present in the same room.

    Once connected, you have exclusive access to the Apple TV and other people cannot connect to it. If somebody forgets to disconnect after their presentation, they can be forced to disconnect with the Apple TV Remote control unit (press MENU). Usually you can also just wait: after a minute of inactivity the AirPlay connection will be dropped.

  • Security: Password.

    Probably not a good idea. We have not tested it yet, but it looks like if you set a password, anyone who has used the Apple TV and thus learned the password can force a take-over of your Apple TV at any later time from anywhere on the network.

  • Security: None

    Probably not a good idea. With this setting the security depends in an undocumented way on the above setting Require Device Verification.

    • If Require Device Verification is Off, your Apple TV is completely open. Anyone on DTU's wireless network can begin transmitting to your Apple TV, by mistake or as a prank.

    • If Require Device Verification is on, then Security: None behaves almost like Security: Passcode.

      Your Apple TV is still protected by a passcode, but the main difference is that access to the Apple TV is not exclusive.

      While you are connected to the Apple TV, other people anywhere on the DTU wireless network may attempt to connect as well. This will interrupt your presentation with a passcode being displayed on the screen.

      Of course, people who are not watching the Apple TV screen cannot type the passcode and take over the screen, but they will still interrupt your presentation with the passcode message. This will be triggered inadvertently by people elsewhere on the network selecting the wrong Apple TV by mistake.

If the TV turns on by itself

If the Apple TV is connected to a TV screen, you may have the problem that the sceen apparently turns on spontaneously. The screen will often be on in the morning, and may turn on during several times during the day, without anyone touching the TV remote or the panel controlling the TV screen.

This happens when the Apple TV is sleeping, and someone accidentally tries to connect to it from elsewhere on DTU. The Apple TV wakes up, and automaticaly wakes the screen. Depending on your setup, this may be what you want, or it may be undesired.

To turn this off, go to the Settings Settings app, choose "Remotes and Devices". Near the bottom under the Home theater control you can find the point:

  • Control TVs and Receivers: Off

    Set this to Off to prevent the Apple TV from waking the TV screen.

IT-wiki: Apple_TV (last edited 2017-11-23 17:57:06 by OleHolmNielsen)