Apple TV Installation: Potential Quagmire?
Apple has earned a reputation for easy-to-use products that work fine the first time you try them, but that certainly wasn’t the case in our experience with Apple TV. A visit to the Apple TV bulletin boards confirmed we weren’t alone; many early adopters seemingly also are having difficulties.
Everything started off well enough. Since Apple TV requires at least one networked computer to have iTunes installed with content to copy or stream, our first order of business was getting iTunes installed on our Compaq laptop. We downloaded an episode of Showtime’s Weeds that we’d already seen in both HD and standard-def via digital cable. The download of the 30-minute program took about 10 minutes using cable-modem broadband.
The installation of the Apple TV unit itself was problem-free, except for its recessed RCA component video connectors, whose holes weren’t wide enough for our “fat” RCA plugs to fit; we had to scrounge up different cables with standard-size RCA plugs. Once powered up, you select language and output video resolution to match your display; the rest is automatic. The unit quickly established an internet connection and appeared ready to roll. It displayed a five-digit number to enter into iTunes on our PC to allow the content to be copied/synced.
Delighted with this quick pace, we went to iTunes on the PC only to discover that not only wasn’t there a place to enter the code number, but no trace of recognition of the Apple TV unit. We went through the troubleshooting guide about a half-dozen times, repeatedly rebooting everything, including the network, and even creating special exceptions for specified port numbers and UDP multicast numbers (arcane enough for you?). Still, we had no success. We turned Windows Firewall off completely, as it seemed to be getting much of the blame in Apple’s troubleshooting guide—still no success.