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No kidding! That remote has to be the worst ever designed. Not only can I not control anything reliably, but no matter what I do, it always falls into the crack between the cushion of my chair and the arm.
... As for the falling between the cushions I got this Elago R1 Intelli Case for my Siri Remote and it's much better now from an ergonomic standpoint. It makes it harder to slip between the cushions and if it does the leash makes it easier to find. It's also easier to tell in the dark where the touchpad is.
 
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This is why I am happy to stay with Apple TV version 3. I do lose album art on occasion, but I can live with that.
The last time I used an Apple TV 4, well over a year ago, the software broke just about every convention of table view, with the sidebar lingering on the previous selected row.

We stick with Apple TV 3 and the previous version of the OS. I do miss the nice screensavers, but behind them was a hideous user interface.
 


I have an Apple TV 4, which I bought when they came out, but since earlier this year it has started this annoying bug where it keeps changing the name and appending numbers to its name in brackets. Doesn't matter what you call it, you end up with AppleTV (1), AppleTV (2) etc. This bug has been around since 2011, according to Apple Discussion Forums, and nobody seems to have an answer to it - any ideas anyone? My Apple TV has a fixed IP address, because I use the shortcut AppleTV On, which also switches on my Samsung TV, which is very cool.
 


I know people hate the remote, and it’s not my favorite, but I will counterpoint that my kids (8 and 4) can both manage it. It’s not impossible.

If you need an alternative, the metal and even the white Apple remotes will work in its place. And you can use a universal remote like a Harmony, or even just a regular $10 replacement. Or connect a $15 Bluetooth keyboard and use that (and have easier typing). Lots of options for those who can’t stand the touch remote.

I agree the remote should be reimagined, but it’s not a complete disaster - swiping down to change audio options on the fly is great (like activating sound leveling at night), the Siri voice activated search is remarkably useful, and the 10-sec. skip zones are great when a fire truck goes by.

And the 3rd-gen. will be limited going forward: new channels aren’t going to be added at the same rate as on the newer ones (if at all, after the next major update - its CPU is the same as an iPhone 4s).

The tvOS on the new models has matured a fair bit, and the issues I have are usually app-specific (Amazon is non-standard in many ways, including not adding audio cues, Hulu puts the selection marker at the top of the selected item, CW selects the next oldest item to play next instead of the next newer).

I’ve used multiple media center devices, but Apple TV continues to be the most straightforward to operate, even if there are some extra features I lose.
 


If you need an alternative, the metal and even the white Apple remotes will work in its place.
Thanks for that information, Mike. I also have a 3rd-gen Apple TV and am considering buying the 4K Apple TV, so I can have a supported OS. Knowing that the old remote will work now makes the purchase possible. Apple still sells the old remotes.

Does anyone know if there are disadvantages to the 4K Apple TV vs. 3rd-gen for playing 1080p or 480p home videos from my Mac? I don't know if the 4K model does upscaling, or how good the quality is, if it does. I hope it doesn't scale. I don't have a 4K TV yet and like buying for future needs.

This is probably the worst time to buy an Apple TV, since Apple is launching a streaming service and, by that time, the current Apple TV should be about 2 years old. But I worry that for everything they'll add, they might take something away, like IR remote support or streaming videos from my local computer.
 


Thanks for that information, Mike. I also have a 3rd-gen Apple TV and am considering buying the 4K Apple TV, so I can have a supported OS. Knowing that the old remote will work now makes the purchase possible. Apple still sells the old remotes.

Does anyone know if there are disadvantages to the 4K Apple TV vs. 3rd-gen for playing 1080p or 480p home videos from my Mac? I don't know if the 4K model does upscaling, or how good the quality is, if it does. I hope it doesn't scale. I don't have a 4K TV yet and like buying for future needs.
I bought an Apple TV this year, latest generation. The sales person at the Apple store told me that if I didn't have a 4K TV (I don't), the 4K Apple TV wouldn't work with what I have. So, I got the "regular" Apple TV, which works very well with a Samsung "smart" TV.
 


Does anyone know if there are disadvantages to the 4K Apple TV vs. 3rd-gen for playing 1080p or 480p home videos from my Mac? I don't know if the 4K model does upscaling, or how good the quality is, if it does. I hope it doesn't scale. I don't have a 4K TV yet and like buying for future needs.
Apple TV 4k can be set to output most any video resolution, the highest being 4K Dolby Vision. Upscaling is excellent, but some prefer the upscaling provided by their 4K television, and for that, you can set the output to 1080P HDR.

The work of 4K + HDR & Dolby Vision is filled with inconsistencies, so be prepared for a little frustration. For example, Amazon Prime Video offers a couple of series in 4K Dolby Vision, and the Apple TV version of the Prime Video app does Her, but not Dolby Vision. However, the Prime Video app built into my LG C8 OLED TV will play the series in Dolby Vision.

With that in mind, you may decide to get a new smart TV and use the built-in apps rather than buying an Apple TV 4K. But the Netflix app on the Apple TV streams at a much higher data rate than the Netflix app built into the TV or my Sony UHD Blu-ray player. Also, the DirecTV Now app is available on the Apple TV but not on the LG C8.

No easy single solution is available. I will say, for me, the resulting quality of a well set up OLED TV is well worth the hassle.
 


Our company recently purchased a Sony XBR65A8F 65-Inch OLED 4K TV for Keynote and Acrobat presentations via a connected Mac Mini and also via AirPlay with various employee 2015 MacBook Pros through the latest 4K Apple TV. Both connecting cables are high-end HDMI.

No matter what settings we try on the Sony and the Apple TV, within three minutes of not clicking a key or moving the cursor, the Sony auto-dims from bright to dull. We opened a tech support case with Sony and went round and round. All we want is a way to stop the auto-dimming! Our presenters frequently talk much more than three minutes while an image is being displayed on the Sony, and it is incredibly frustrating for the dimming to kick in.

Sony's "advanced" tech support finally claimed this is a feature. We disagree. I would be thrilled if someone here with knowledge can fix this ridiculous issue. And, yes, the Sony's firmware is current, along with multiple factory resets accomplishing nothing.
 


No matter what settings we try on the Sony and the Apple TV, within three minutes of not clicking a key or moving the cursor, the Sony auto-dims from bright to dull. We opened a tech support case with Sony and went round and round. All we want is a way to stop the auto-dimming! Our presenters frequently talk much more than three minutes while an image is being displayed on the Sony, and it is incredibly frustrating for the dimming to kick in.
There are programs out there, such as Caffeine and Amphetamine, which can prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Perhaps one of those would be of use.
 


There are programs out there, such as Caffeine and Amphetamine, which can prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Perhaps one of those would be of use.
This is absolutely not a Mac sleep issue. The settings on both the Mac Mini and all the laptops are clearly instructed to stay awake and not sleep, much less initiate a screensaver.

I will repeat that the Sony dims from bright and vivid down to dull, so the displayed document is readable, but no longer attractive. The Sony does not turn black or go into screensave mode.
 


This is absolutely not a Mac sleep issue. The settings on both the Mac Mini and all the laptops are clearly instructed to stay awake and not sleep, much less initiate a screensaver.
I will repeat that the Sony dims from bright and vivid down to dull, so the displayed document is readable, but no longer attractive. The Sony does not turn black or go into screensave mode.
You originally commented that "within three minutes of not clicking a key or moving the cursor, the Sony auto-dims from bright to dull." What these programs do in many cases is simulate a mouse movement on your Mac, as noted for the product Jiggler:
Jiggler is a little freeware app with one purpose: to keep your Mac awake. When you have some lengthy task for your computer to do, it's annoying to have to turn off your screensaver and turn off the sleep timer, only to have to turn it all back on again when you're done. (The "never sleep" corner will keep your screensaver from kicking in, but still won't prevent your machine from falling asleep.) What you really want is a little helper who will bump your mouse every once in a while to keep your machine alert. That's Jiggler.
 


the 10-sec. skip zones are great when a fire truck goes by.
I achieve a 50% success rate with the +/- 10 sec. jumps. I have far too often caused some action, like scrolling too far on the home screen or any like it, that I did not intend. I find the Apple TV remote app on my iPhone to be more successful, but more limited and, due to screen auto-locking, far less convenient than even the Apple TV remote. :-(
 


Our company recently purchased a Sony XBR65A8F 65-Inch OLED 4K TV for Keynote and Acrobat presentations via a connected Mac Mini and also via AirPlay with various employee 2015 MacBook Pros through the latest 4K Apple TV. Both connecting cables are high-end HDMI.
No matter what settings we try on the Sony and the Apple TV, within three minutes of not clicking a key or moving the cursor, the Sony auto-dims from bright to dull. We opened a tech support case with Sony and went round and round. All we want is a way to stop the auto-dimming! Our presenters frequently talk much more than three minutes while an image is being displayed on the Sony, and it is incredibly frustrating for the dimming to kick in.
Sony's "advanced" tech support finally claimed this is a feature. We disagree. I would be thrilled if someone here with knowledge can fix this ridiculous issue. And, yes, the Sony's firmware is current, along with multiple factory resets accomplishing nothing.
TV’s often have a special mode for display while in a showroom, but I'd think that this behavior is the exact opposite of what a showroom would need. It's worth a check anyway.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
This is absolutely not a Mac sleep issue. The settings on both the Mac Mini and all the laptops are clearly instructed to stay awake and not sleep, much less initiate a screensaver.
Just to double-check, did you turn off System Preferences > Energy Saver > Battery > Slightly dim the display while on battery power?

This appears, however, to be a "feature" of your TV that's designed to prevent damage to its OLED screen:
Sony said:
XBR-65A8F

The screen becomes darker while watching TV.

If the whole image or part of the image remains still, the screen brightness will be gradually reduced to prevent image retention. This is not a malfunction of the TV.

You are concerned about image retention.
If the same image is displayed repeatedly or for long periods of time, image retention may occur. To reduce image retention, we recommend that you turn off the TV normally by pressing the power button on the remote control or the TV.

Note
  • Perform Panel refresh manually only when image retention is particularly noticeable. As a reference, perform it only once a year. Avoid performing it more than once a year because it may affect the usable life of the panel.
  • Images that include clocks, logos and bright colors (including white) easily cause image retention. Avoid displaying these types of images for long periods of time, otherwise image retention may occur.
 


This appears, however, to be a "feature" of your TV that's designed to prevent damage to its OLED screen...
While the TV is not behaving, and Sony is clueless, it might be the time to return the TV and let OLED TVs mature for a while. A nice 4K TV might be just as good. In theory, the folks watching the presentation should be focussed on the presentation, not the quality of the TV. (My experience suggests that the presenter has a far greater influence on quality of the content and graphics than the screen.)
 


Just to double-check, did you turn off System Preferences > Energy Saver > Battery > Slightly dim the display while on battery power?
Absolutely.
This appears, however, to be a "feature" of your TV that's designed to prevent damage to its OLED screen...
Thanks for digging this tidbit out, Ric. I really wish Sony would have given the end-user control over this feature - people should be given more credit about understanding the consequences of their decisions. In our case, if an on/off switch preference for auto-dimming had been provided, along with a clear explanation of the possible damage, we would have had the chance to try out our presentations with varying minutes of a static image and then determine if burn-in was beginning. But no, Sony knows best and we have no say in the matter.

It has been an ordeal trying to get a straight answer out of them - I would caution others to think long and hard about purchasing Sony OLED TVs because of this "feature."
 



The sales person at the Apple store told me that if I didn't have a 4K TV (I don't), the 4K Apple TV wouldn't work with what I have.
I think that's another example of poor product knowledge at Apple Stores. I have a 4K Apple TV hooked up to a LG LCD TV that is definitely not a 4K TV. Over the last 14 months or so of use, there haven't been any connectivity problems between the Apple TV and the LG TV.
 


BKN

I bought an Apple TV this year, latest generation. The sales person at the Apple store told me that if I didn't have a 4K TV (I don't), the 4K Apple TV wouldn't work with what I have. So, I got the "regular" Apple TV, which works very well with a Samsung "smart" TV.
As RyanEdgecliff noted, that is absolutely incorrect information. I have an Apple TV 4K connected to my 19" Samsung 720p TV, made in 2013. It works very well and I'm happy with it.

It's amazing to me that an Apple Store employee wouldn't be better informed than this.
 


I was pleasantly surprised that my Panasonic TV remote works with Apple TV. Also, don't forget the Apple TV app for IOS. It works nicely and can use the IOS keyboard.
 


I was pleasantly surprised that my Panasonic TV remote works with Apple TV. Also, don't forget the Apple TV app for IOS. It works nicely and can use the IOS keyboard.
You might also want to investigate Apple's Shortcuts (download Shortcuts from Apple Store). There are various Shortcuts that you can use to switch on your Apple TV and your TV at the same time. Great fun!
 


Just to double-check, did you turn off System Preferences > Energy Saver > Battery > Slightly dim the display while on battery power?
This appears, however, to be a "feature" of your TV that's designed to prevent damage to its OLED screen...
As Ric indicated, this appears to be an effort on Sony's part to avoid image retention (commonly known as burn in). Perhaps you could convince Sony to exchange the set for an LED model. Sony's LED sets are great but can suffer from reduced image quality and brightness when viewed at an angle. Sony does make an LED model, the Z9F, that improves upon viewing at an angle, but I haven't seen it in action. That model apparently won't let you turn off simulated HDR on SDR sources from what I've read. Another approach is to check LG's offerings.

One of the problems you may have with any OLED, the way you are using it, is that you will suffer image retention.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Sony's LED sets are great but can suffer from reduced image quality and brightness when viewed at an angle.
I think there may be some IPS TV screens out there. (I buy IPS computer displays for that reason - wide viewing angles.)
 


One of the problems you may have with any OLED, the way you are using it, is that you will suffer image retention.
Maybe I don't understand the technology - are you saying that a presentation of an image that resides on an OLED screen for up to, but no more than 10 minutes is going to cause burn-in? If so, I'm very disappointed to hear that. I could understand a static image perhaps beginning to cause image retention after, say, 30-45 minutes, but 10? Either OLED screens are incredibly fragile and very quickly susceptible to burn-in, or they are at least robust enough to allow for more than the (somewhat arbitrary) limit of three minutes before auto-dimming. Again; Sony has chosen to not give the end-user any control over when dimming will happen, thus angering those of us who had no idea of this limitation.

Anyone want to buy this TV?
 


Maybe I don't understand the technology - are you saying that a presentation of an image that resides on an OLED screen for up to, but no more than 10 minutes is going to cause burn-in? If so, I'm very disappointed to hear that. I could understand a static image perhaps beginning to cause image retention after, say, 30-45 minutes, but 10? Either OLED screens are incredibly fragile and very quickly susceptible to burn-in, or they are at least robust enough to allow for more than the (somewhat arbitrary) limit of three minutes before auto-dimming. Again; Sony has chosen to not give the end-user any control over when dimming will happen, thus angering those of us who had no idea of this limitation.
Anyone want to buy this TV?
I can't give you a timeline, but OLED and plasma TVs are subject to image retention. It's the nature of the beast, at least at this point of development. Ric has a great idea. Take a look at IPS TV screens. They do better when viewed at an angle. Their downside is black level. Some Sony's have had IPS panels, but I'm not sure if any of the current models do. LG is the major proponent of IPS panels for TV. You should be able to find an appropriate model in the LG line.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
LG is the major proponent of IPS panels for TV. You should be able to find an appropriate model in the LG line.
LG's "Nano Cell" panels (e.g. on LG Electronics 65SK8000 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV) use IPS-type technology:
LG Electronics said:
Nano Cell Technology
... the use of Nano Cell Technology in the LG IPS panel enables this broad spectrum of colour to be seen at much wider viewing angles (even as far as 60-degrees), so you don't have to battle it out for the best seat in the house
 


I find the iPhone Remote app for Apple TV very useful. Except for one deal killer: it times out quickly and disappears. After I had activated the app, watched a bit of TV, the app quickly shut off. So to adjust the sound or change a channel I had to start up the Remote app, again. What am I doing wrong?
 


... I just had an experience with my Apple TV 3 that deserves to be shared. I woke up this morning, launched Apple TV and found there was a new icon: Apple TV. Guess what? It doesn't work; just the spinning wheel forever. The Computer icon was nowhere to be seen. Here is the short answer: the update from 7.2 to 7.3 should have never happened. Apple TV 3 is no longer supported or updated. Well, this update was pushed, even with automatic update turned off.

So where did the Computer icon go? To the bottom as the very last icon. It took me 20 minutes to think to look there. Whoever decided to push this update did not think it through.
 



I updated my Apple TV 3 last night. Downloaded quickly but took forever to finish, but once done and finally restarted, came up with all icons lined up exactly where they were before. Only issue is one mentioned by me here a few weeks ago. I'm asked for my Apple ID/password for access to the Apple Store (which I don't use with this device). Having to use the remote and the onscreen grid is a real PITA and always takes 3 or 4 tries as my password has mixed upper/lower case and numbers, and I supposedly have to get an auth code to enter for 2FA. After all that, I see that I probably have next to zero use for the TV app.
 


If someone did carefully think through moving the Computers icon completely out of sight, that's worse than if it was just sloppiness. I would interpret such a "thought-through" decision as hostile to users who have been seeing the Computers icon for years in its place in the top row. In my case it wasn't even located at the very bottom of the pages and pages of icons where I might notice it, but in a random place about three-quarters of the way down. I finally found it hours after sitting down with friends to watch a recorded TV show, seeing that the icon was nowhere to be found, hustling to set up an alternative way to watch the show via my computer screen, and being angry at Apple the whole evening for destroying my Apple TV without even a by-your-leave.
 


I updated my Apple TV 3 last night. Downloaded quickly but took forever to finish, but once done and finally restarted, came up with all icons lined up exactly where they were before. Only issue is one mentioned by me here a few weeks ago. I'm asked for my Apple ID/password for access to the Apple Store (which I don't use with this device). Having to use the remote and the onscreen grid is a real PITA and always takes 3 or 4 tries as my password has mixed upper/lower case and numbers, and I supposedly have to get an auth code to enter for 2FA. After all that, I see that I probably have next to zero use for the TV app.
I agree that the Apple TV Remote is a PITA when a password for App Store is needed (e.g. when I want to rent a movie), and I now have a Logitech remote instead.

But what I do is, I use my Remote app on the iPhone along with my 1Password. I copy the Apple ID password from the 1Password app on the phone in the login on the Remote app (Apple TV selected). No stupid hunt/peck with the pathetic Apple TV remote. Or use the Logitech, which is better for navigating, other device control, and volume/channel/inputs.
(TimCook, people eat snacks and watch your Apple TV movies/shows... and that remote is a POS. God help you when trying to navigate YouTube channels with it.)
 


I agree that the Apple TV Remote is a PITA when a password for App Store is needed (e.g. when I want to rent a movie), and I now have a Logitech remote instead. But what I do is, I use my Remote app on the iPhone along with my 1Password. I copy the Apple ID password from the 1Password app on the phone in the login on the Remote app (Apple TV selected). No stupid hunt/peck with the pathetic Apple TV remote.
It's a little less of a PITA but you can dictate the letters of your password: "capital A, p, p, l, e, 0, f, o, r, &, 2".

Not always perfect, but it usually worked for me.
 


Based on the above posts, I decided not to update to 7.3. Now, Apple pops up a screen, several times a day, nagging me to update my ATV3...sometimes covering whatever I'm watching at the time. This is beyond obnoxious. I suspect some financial benefit to Apple is involved.

It's much ruder than the relentless reminders that I could update my iMac if I wanted to lose the use of $1000 of Adobe CS3 apps.
 


I have a 4K Apple TV with a 2016 Samsung 55" QLED TV. Recently I got a prompt on the Apple TV to enable Airplay 2. I thought it was already enabled, but I went ahead anyway. After that my Samsung TV no longer recognizes the device as an Apple TV. I can still use it as an "unknown" device, but I cannot use the Samsung remote to control it, which is a PITA. I tried resetting the TV and rebooting the Apple TV but no luck. Any suggestions?
 


If someone did carefully think through moving the Computers icon completely out of sight, that's worse than if it was just sloppiness...In my case it wasn't even located at the very bottom of the pages and pages of icons where I might notice it, but in a random place about three-quarters of the way down...
I have two older AppleTVs with the old (non-touch) remote. The update on one hid Computers ¾ of the way down, the other as the last icon on the bottom row. In any case, were you aware that you can hold the center button down (on the old remote) until the icons start wiggling, then re-position the icon? It won't let you put it on the top row where it was, but I've moved it to first position in the 2nd row. Not as convenient, but not too annoying.
 


I have two older AppleTVs with the old (non-touch) remote. The update on one hid Computers ¾ of the way down, the other as the last icon on the bottom row. In any case, were you aware that you can hold the center button down (on the old remote) until the icons start wiggling, then re-position the icon? It won't let you put it on the top row where it was, but I've moved it to first position in the 2nd row. Not as convenient, but not too annoying.
Apple Support was not aware of this, but my hardware friend knew about this option.
 


I, too, was surprised when my Apple TV updated and automatically reorganized the already horrible UI in an attempt to hide the "Computers" icon from unsuspecting users. This is yet another poorly though-out attempt by Apple's staff to monetize owners of their hardware and make it difficult to enjoy your "owned" (actually in most cases, licensed) content stored locally.

Yes, streaming (a.k.a. "services") is Apple's latest revenue play, but at what expense? They have maintained tight integration in the Apple ecosystem but lack compatibility in many cases with third-party devices. In the past, Apple required a license for every proprietary connector or ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) required to talk with their devices via wired interfaces, and a license for AirPlay in wireless devices. Following such a path to a completely proprietary hardware model will eventually fail, because things change.

Change is the only constant in the universe.

An additional limitation that you may not know is the inability for any Apple TV to play video content from a computer when the Apple TV has no connection to the routed Internet. This is a lazy way of implementing DRM (Digital Rights Management) for video content. Try this. Turn on a computer with iTunes, and Home Sharing enabled, disconnect your external router from your Internet service provider (the WAN port), and try to access either personal or licensed video content from your local iTunes library. I'll bet it does not work. If you try to access locally stored music from the iTunes library, without the Internet connection, that is allowed.

Personally, I adopted PLEX several years ago, because they looked promising and built their content model around open systems and standards. I don't believe that PLEX enforces video replay restrictions when a PLEX server cannot reach the routable Internet....
 


An additional limitation that you may not know is the inability for any Apple TV to play video content from a computer when the Apple TV has no connection to the routed Internet. This is a lazy way of implementing DRM (Digital Rights Management) for video content. Try this. Turn on a computer with iTunes, and Home Sharing enabled, disconnect your external router from your Internet service provider (the WAN port), and try to access either personal or licensed video content from your local iTunes library. I'll bet it does not work. If you try to access locally stored music from the iTunes library, without the Internet connection, that is allowed.
I just disconnected myself from the internet as you described. I was able to play all my downloaded videos, both personal and the ones I had purchased from Apple on my iMac (High Sierra). I was able to play all my Handbrake-generated personal videos on my Apple TV 4, though I was no longer able to play downloaded purchased iTunes videos.

I could mirror my Mac to my Apple TV and play the purchased vids that way.

I also tried this with my MacBook Air running Mojave. Same result.
 


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