Basic Apple TV Deployment Tips

Basic Apple TV Deployment Tips

In our school district we’ve deployed over 540 of the 4th gen Apple TVs. All in all the initiative has been fairly straight forward, but like anything, we’ve learned a few helpful tips along the way. Currently these devices can be managed with MDM, but the payloads and functions are somewhat limited. The list of possible payloads can be viewed here (click here). We have some additional steps that have been useful in classrooms across the district (click here). A more thorough discussion of how to deploy 4th and 5th gen Apple TVs in a K-12 environment can be found in an upcoming article on EdTechChris.com

Apple’s Recommendations

Follow these recommendations from Apple for the best possible AirPlay experience from Apple’s macOS Deployment Guide (click here):

Apple TV should be connected to Ethernet if available.

Mount the Apple TV with the rubber side touching the surface it’s mounted to.

  • Important: Any objects between the two devices could interfere with the BTLE or Wi-Fi signals. Mounting the Apple TV in a cabinet, behind a TV, above a projector, or in the ceiling could degrade the signal between the devices.

Mount the Apple TV with few or no obstructions between it and the other device.

  • Any objects between the two devices could interfere with the BTLE or Wi-Fi signals. Mounting the Apple TV in a cabinet, behind a TV, above a projector, or in the ceiling could degrade the signal between the devices. Ideally, the Apple device should be within 25 to 30 feet of the Apple TV. (Click here for potential sources of BTLE or Wi-Fi interference.)

If possible, avoid using Wi-Fi channels 149 and 153 in rooms where peer-to-peer AirPlay is frequently in use.

  • Though the devices will share air time fairly with the infrastructure network, removing any conflicting traffic from the room improves the stability of the AirPlay session. The fourth-generation Apple TV can also use an 80 MHz wide 802.11ac channel at 149,80 if the device streaming to it is also 802.11ac capable, though the increased throughput available with 802.11ac makes airtime contention less of a concern. (Click here for Revolution Wi-Fi discussion on 80 MHz channels. Just food for thought.)