Friday, December 31, 2010

Apple iPad Remote and the 1st Gen Apple TV

Apple TV MC572LL/A (2010)
I saw my brother in law over the Christmas break and he asked me about the Apple Remote iPad application and Apple TV and whether I used it or not.  He was seriously considering buying the AppleTV now because of this capability.   Wow, what a great question.  I have had the Remote app on my iPad since I purchased it because I downloaded it for my iPhone many eons ago.  I never really used it on my iPhone because it didn't seem that much better than just going through the TV menus.  But my brother in law was right that the idea of the iPad controlling the AppleTV was kind of a game changer because of it's large screen.  I had tried the Apple Remote iPad app to control iTunes on my computer and it was nice but I rarely want to control my iTunes remotely.  When I tried it I was mostly disappointed that it didn't replace the Air Video app for iPad (The Air Video app is also very cool but it's not from Apple and I think Apple's implementation would be better).  Basically, I wanted to watch and listen to my iTunes content on the iPad itself without having to store it on the iPad.  The Remote app doesn't do that.

Anyway, I was curious so last night I gave it a try.  I found the Apple Remote on the iPad and turned it on. I then switched to the AppleTV and went to settings.  I selected the General / Remotes screen and nothing happened.  Bummer.  I then did a Bing search and read something about enabling Home Sharing and using that technology.  Well my 1st Gen AppleTV doesn't support Home Sharing.  Double bummer.

Right about now I was starting to get AppleTV 2nd Gen envy when I decided to give it one more try and did a search on the Apple site and found this article.  The way to set this up on the 1st Gen AppleTV is to:
1) Add an iTunes Library to the iPad Remote App by clicking on the Gear icon and then selecting the Add Library button.  You will see a 4 digit code appear.  Leave this on.
2) Then go to the AppleTV and under Settings navigate to the General / Remotes screen.  Your iPad's name should appear.  Click on it and then type in the same 4 digit code that the iPad Remote app displayed.
3) Click Done.  You should see the 4 digit code disappear on the iPad and the AppleTV contents will then be displayed.

After this the Remote App is paired with the AppleTV and all of the music and videos appear on the iPad. You can do a search on the iPad and then start the song or video from there.  It's very cool.  There is also a mode where it acts like a regular remote.  Click on the 4 arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the remote app to get to this mode.  Swiping right or left will go right or left in the AppleTV menus.  Swiping up or down will go up or down the AppleTV menus.  This is the way to control and get to non-music and video content such as pictures.

This is definitely a game changer and might possibly be a reason to buy an Apple TV over a Roku box.   Think of a supped up Sonos system (I don't have one of those but I imagine it's kind of like that).  I think it's a definitely slam dunk if Apple starts allowing iOS apps on the new AppleTV.  I would love to have Pandora, Sirius XM, HuluPlus and other apps some of which are already supported on Roku.  I would upgrade my AppleTV for those new capabilities.


  1. Thanks so much for posting this, pulled out my old apple tv and tried using my phone as a remote for it and had exactly the same problem. Luckily I found your fix and it has worked great ever since!

  2. Very nice, thank you!