Ron Guest

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A tale about when the Murphy principle strikes your AppleTV on update day... with a happy ending, I think πŸ€”

We have a lot of Apple devices including a couple of AppleTVs and I’ve been anxiously awaiting today’s updates. I started the updates on several of the devices which all went well until I turned on the AppleTV in our den to trigger the tvOS update. Everything turned on correctly and I grabbed the remote to tell it to open Settings and nothing. The ATV didn’t react to the remote at all. Fortunately I had a universal remote which I could use to restart the ATV. That didn’t help, the remote was still n/c.

I noticed in the Settings app it was telling me I needed to use an iDevice to reauthorize my account. This is normally instant as you just have to hold the iDevice near the ATV box. But it turned into a fussy affair. It didn’t stick the first two times I used my iPhone. So I grabbed my iPad and used that - twice - and after restarting the ATV I finally got that to work. But still no joy on the remote. I have no idea if these were related (and this was the only one of our ATV’s that asked me to re-auth).

I next unpaired the ATV remote and then tried to re-pair it. The ATV noticed and told me to move closer but I had the remote on top of the ATV and there was no way to get it closer. Next idea was to charge the remote even though it had been charged recently. This didn’t help either. After scrounging up an pre-ATV4K remote I decided to try to pair the failed remote as if it were a plain Bluetooth device. Voila. The remote showed up as a regular device and I could pair it that way. And it is fully functional now even though paired as a generic device (this mainly means voice control works). Hopefully this is a one-off thing.

I’m really glad this problem crept up before I updated the ATV else I likely would have gone down a rathole thinking the update was at fault.

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