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How to pair Apple TV (2nd gen) without a remote and without home sharing turned on?

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I was going to say you can use the remote.app but I think you need home sharing already on –  markhunte Jan 7 at 11:12
Figured out a way, see my answer :-) –  waka-waka Jan 7 at 17:05
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I decided to answer my own question after 2 hours of figuring out ways around the problem that "If home sharing is not turned on, apple TV cannot be controlled with an ios device".

Note that I am talking about a 2nd gen apple TV. A 3rd gen can be worked around by http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5900?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US

You actually can get the 2nd gen synced with your ios, a little sneaky but it is easily managable.

Here is what you do...

  1. Connect the apple TV to your laptop and reset to factory settings on the apple TV (I did this to get a clean box + latest software update).
  2. Now when apple TV powers up (just hook the HDMI to the TV and the power up the apple TV) it will ask you for a bluetooth keyboard pairing if needed (if you have one, rest is straight forward, if not go to step 3 else step 5). New versions of apple TV software ask you for this pairing, hence the restore to factory + software update on the apple TV.
  3. I do not own a bluetooth keyboard so I downloaded 1keyboard app from the app store for free (I own a mac, something like this should be doable for windows too).
  4. Using 1Keyboard I could emulate a bluetooth keyboard functionality from my mac.
  5. Once I had the keyboard connected to the apple TV, use up down etc. keys to navigate and setup your apple TV. Then go to settings and pair your ios Remote App.
  6. Save 20$ by not buying the remote :-)

    Hope this helps someone.

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It seems to be impossible. You might need to borrow one or buy one.

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You can restore it easily, but I don't think you can control it without setting up with a remote first. A third generation can, not a second generation one. –  Shane Hsu Jan 7 at 16:20
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