How to use Apple TV in your office

Apple TV earned its reputation as an easy-to-use and compact residential set-top box, but the device adds convenience and functionality in corporate environments, too. Here's how to configure and use Apple TV within an office.

First, join the Apple TV device to the organization's secure wireless network. Confirm the network to which Apple TV is connected by going to Settings and selecting Network. The connected network name appears within the Connection section within the Wi-Fi entry. To change networks, click the Wi-Fi Network. Apple TV will scan for additional networks. Select the network you wish to join, should you need to change the connection, then enter the corresponding passkey to join.

Next, make Apple TV available to other Apple users. As long as other users are connected to the same wireless network as Apple TV, they should be able to use the corresponding connected monitor to display the document, spreadsheet, presentation, or application from their iOS device or macOS computer. The feature proves surprisingly helpful in conference rooms and offices.

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To enable other Apple users to connect to Apple TV, click Settings on the Apple TV device, select AirPlay and HomeKit, and ensure that AirPlay is enabled. Then, specify Anyone On The Same Network within the Allow Access section (Figure A).

Figure A

Allow others to connect

I recommend locking down permissions to ensure only authorized users can access Apple TV's connected display. Prevent unauthorized users from accessing the corresponding display by setting Require Password to On, which will reveal a preset numeric code the user must enter to access Apple TV and the connected display.

If you wish to simplify connecting to Apple TV via AirPlay for guests, such as in dedicated meeting spaces, from the AirPlay and HomeKit menu set Conference Room Display to On. When enabled, the setting displays the Apple TV device's name and wireless network to assist others in connecting.

In offices and conference rooms in which HomePod speakers are present, connect the HomePods to the Apple TV device. You can configure and confirm Apple TV HomePod configuration by going to Settings, Video and Audio and scrolling to the Audio Output settings within the Audio section. Select the HomePod or HomePods to connect (Figure B), at which point any Apple TV audio will be broadcast to the speaker or speakers, assuming the HomePods are connected to the same wireless network.

Figure B

Why Apple TV useful at the office

In my office, I've been using the Apple TV-and-HomePod combination for a year. The two work well together and make it easy to review training videos, instructional webinars, tutorials, application data, spreadsheets, documents, presentations, and proprietary programs. Multiple attendees, with the corresponding password, can even take control of the display using AirPlay. The feature has come in handy many times, as attendees often wish to display email messages, files present only on their laptops, and similar content to others in the same meeting. The fact the steps can be completed in moments without having to exchange HDMI cables and switch seating positions helps the team stay focused and produce results without becoming sidetracked.

While I have my Apple TV's screen saver set to display a variety of photos-from work-related images to family travel shots and favorite artworks seen in museums-you can also easily configure an Apple TV to rotate through a series of product images, logos, and other common marketing elements. Just set up a Photos folder in iCloud and connect Apple TV to the same iCloud account. Then, from the Settings' General menu, select Screen Saver, set Type to My Photos, and select the My Photos folder you wish Apple TV to display. Having office monitors display the corresponding images requires only a minute to configure and adds a professional touch to meetings and assemblies.

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