Sync a Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard with Apple TV
You can now sync a Bluetooth keyboard with the Apple TV and use it to navigate and search on the device. This nice little bonus feature arrived along with the iOS 6.1 update, though it’s technically labeled for the Apple TV as 5.2 update, but regardless of the versioning and naming convention it’s an appreciated feature and finally brings the Apple TV in line with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad for supporting wireless keyboards. It’s not going to function as a workstation (yet at least), but it does offer another way to navigate Apple TV.
As we mentioned, you’ll need the newest Apple TV system software installed to sync keyboards. If you’ve never done that before, it’s not complicated.
Update to the Newest Apple TV OS
Updating Apple TV is done either by connecting it physically to iTunes, downloading the IPSW and manually updating, or, what is typically the fastest and certainly the easiest, by using Over-The-Air update:
- On the Apple TV, go to “Settings” and then “General”
- Choose “Update Software” then “Download and Install”
- Let the update install and the Apple TV reboot
Now that you’re on the appropriate OS version, here’s what you’ll need to do to sync a wireless keyboard with the Apple TV.
Connect a Wireless Keyboard to the Apple TV
We’ll use the Apple Wireless Keyboard as the example because it’s common, but this should work the same on any other compatible bluetooth keyboard:
- Open “Settings” again and then go to “General” followed by “Bluetooth”
- Place the wireless keyboard into pairing mode, on the Apple Wireless Keyboard this is done by holding the power button
- Wait for the Bluetooth keyboard to pop up on the Apple TV screen and go through the brief setup procedure, entering the pairing code to confirm the proper keyboard will be connected
With that done you can now use a bluetooth keyboard as the primary input device on the Apple TV, which can make searching media and entering text quite a bit easier.
Three cheers to Macgasm for pointing this out.