Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV is growing in stature and popularity around the world, not only because the hardware is pretty impressive and powerful, but also because the progression of tvOS has been swift and decisive. Latest tvOS updates have brought a growing App Store, full of content as well as new features and additions that improve the living room experience. However, if Apple TV 4 owners were to be extremely honest, one issue that they have with the device is the inability to efficiently navigate and interact with content, or input email addresses and passwords, using the provided Siri remote. To that end, a lot of device owners are taking the opportunity to purchase third-party accessories to enhance the Apple TV experience, but just how do they go about connecting those devices to Apple TV? Well, we are here to tell you exactly that.
Before we tell you how you can connect a Bluetooth accessory to the Apple TV 4th Gen, here are some things you need:
What you will need:
- This may seem like something that we don’t need to mention, but we like to be extremely thorough. You will, of course, need to be in possession of one of Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV units. Make sure that this is actually the fourth-generation version running tvOS.
- You’ll also need a Bluetooth accessory that’s designated as compatible with the Apple TV. This could be a controller that makes navigation and input easier, a Bluetooth-enabled keyboard for easier text entry, or something like a gaming controller to make playing games downloaded from the tvOS App Store a more pleasurable experience.
- A simple understanding of the tvOS firmware and the Apple TV interface. There’s nothing overtly complex about the process, but we do need to navigate through a few layers of settings to connect these devices.
First and foremost, you’re going to need to make sure that you have the Apple TV connected via HDMI to a television set, and that it’s activated and you can see & interact with the menu system. You’re also going to need to ensure that the accessory that you wish to connect is unpacked and has enough charge in it to turn on and become discoverable via Bluetooth.
We now need to deal with the Bluetooth device in question. Each Bluetooth accessory has the ability to be put into pairing mode, which essentially means that it becomes discoverable to other devices that are searching the Bluetooth spectrum. The pairing element allows those two devices to make a connection based on user interaction. With your Bluetooth accessory, whether it be a gaming controller or a keyboard, make sure it is placed into pairing mode as per the manufacturer instructions and guidelines that come with it. More often than not this is visually indicated by a blinking or flashing blue LED on the device.
Connecting the device to your fourth-generation Apple TV
Now, we need to jump across to the Apple TV itself. Here are the steps to connect a Bluetooth device to an Apple TV:
1. Using the Siri remote that is supplied as part of the Apple TV 4 package, navigate to, and open the Settings application. Like with Apple’s iPhone, iPad and Mac hardware, the Settings application is basically where most of the power lies on the Apple TV and where the majority of configurations take place.
2. In Settings, locate the “Remotes and Devices” section and select it.
3. As the name suggests, this is that part of the Setting experience where we are able to deal directly with any connected remotes or additional devices. Make sure that you now highlight and select the “Bluetooth” option.
4. As part of its automated process, the Apple TV will now automatically look for available Bluetooth devices that have been put into pairing mode within range. Bluetooth only has a limited range of discoverability, so it should only bring back the device you’ve put into pairing mode. Once the interface is updated, choose your accessory from the list by highlighting it with the Siri remote and selecting it.
5. This is the part of the process that could be a little different depending on the Bluetooth accessory or device in question. Some manufacturers insist that a passkey or PIN is needed to be able to make that connection. If required, the Apple TV interface will now ask for that PIN to be entered. The required PIN will be part of the manufacturers literature in the box of the accessory, so make sure to grab it from there.
In all honesty, the PIN is usually 1234 or 0000. If no PIN is required, this stage will be bypassed and the device will now show up in the Apple TV 4’s connected devices.
Make your Apple TV forget the Bluetooth accessory
There may be an instance where you no longer want to use the Bluetooth accessory that you’ve just paired above. You could be planning on selling the Apple TV, or passing it onto a friend or family member. Alternatively, you may have replaced the Bluetooth accessory with a new model and no longer want the old model clogging up your connected devices. If that’s the case, then it’s relatively easy to actually make the Apple TV forget about the connected device, essentially un-pairing it.
On the Apple TV, once again take the opportunity to head into “Settings“, and then navigate to the “Remotes and Devices” section before selecting “Bluetooth“. The Apple TV will once again try and search for Bluetooth-enabled devices that are in pairing mode in the local area, but it will also show all devices that are already connected. Find the device in that list that you want to remove, select it and choose the “Forget Device” option.
That’s it! The Apple TV will then forget the Bluetooth accessory and you will have to set it up again if you want to use it.
Enhance your Apple TV experience with Bluetooth Accessories
And there you have it; a relatively in-depth but concise look at how you can get pair multiple Bluetooth accessory types with an Apple TV 4, as well as remove those devices from the connected devices list, should you wish to do so. Chances are, you found the steps pretty simple but if you have any doubts or you faced any issues in the process. Do let us know in the comments section below.