Apple TV Settings for Deployment in Schools

At Eanes ISD, we have a standard set of Apple TV Settings for schools that we prefer to use. The goal is that teachers will be able to use the device without having to do any configuration. Ideally, teachers get to concentrate on teaching and not “futzing” with setting up technology.

Apple TV 4th Gen Set Up Instructions EdTech EdTechChris Chris Miller

There are a number of ways to configure these, but the list below seems to work well for our teachers. Setting these up involves a couple of stages. Apple Configurator 2 allows us to enroll the Apple TV into our JAMF MDM solution, add configuration profiles for wifi, and any security certificates. We also name them at this time. Naming conventions are important because teachers will see quite a few of these when trying to AirPlay. We also use naming to help create groups in MDM. This pattern seems to work well: Room#-Campus-ATV

The next step involves actually plugging the device into an HDMI capable monitor and finishing up some basic settings.  That list is as follows:

  1. Plug in AppleTV and HDMI
  2. Pair Remote (hold down + and Menu buttons near the AppleTV)
  3. Join Network
  4. Update software
    1. System -> Software Updates -> Update Software -> select Download & Install

Apple TV Reboots

  1. Move Settings icon to upper left corner (hold down on icon and drag)
    1. This keeps some of the media from showing and/or the teacher’s photo stream.
  2. Join Network
  3. Enable Siri
    1. Settings -> General -> Siri -> Select On
  4. Turn on Dictiation
    1. Settings -> General -> Dictation -> Select On
  5. Date and time automatically on
    1. Settings -> Date and Time -> Set Automatically -> Select On
  6. Set up Screen Saver (also displays conference mode settings)
    1. General -> Screensaver -> Never
  7. General -> Sleep After -> Start After -> Select 15 minutes
  8. Turn Airplay On (may be enabled by default)
    1. Settings -> Airplay -> Select On
  9. Turn on Conference Mode Display
    1. Settings -> Airplay -> Conference Room Display -> Select On
  10. Enable Passcode
    1. Settings -> Airplay -> Security -> Select Passcode

Once this is done, the units are ready to deploy. When installed, the Apple TVs are connected via ethernet, but can also use wireless. These devices are essentially little wifi access points and tend to take much of the load off our existing wireless. We are also not using any Bonjour configuration with these and they seem to work just fine.

In phase 1 we’re rolling out 150 of these. After we gather feedback from teachers, we will then do the rest. All said and done we should have about 460 in production.