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I am trying to watch television shows that I just purchased through the iTunes store on my Apple TV. Every time I try to play any purchased shows on my Apple TV, it gives me the error message

Authorization is required. To play this content on your Apple TV, choose Authorize This Computer from the Store menu in iTunes on your computer, then enter the Apple ID and password used for the purchase.

I have done this. I have restarted the Apple TV. I have deauthorized and reauthorized my computer. It still gives me this error message. I have tried signing out of and back into the Apple TV, and that doesn't work either. This is the first time I've seen this message in the year + I have had this Apple TV. Also, it was playing purchased content just fine last week. Something has apparently changed since then, and I can't figure out what.

How do I get my Apple TV to recognize this purchased content again?

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Does the content play through iTunes on your computer? –  benzado Oct 1 '11 at 17:32
    
This happens with my Apple TV from time to time as well. –  Mahnax Oct 1 '11 at 18:14
    
@benzado Yes it does. –  Brett White Oct 1 '11 at 19:29
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The explanation I got from Apple is there is some maintenance being performed on an iTunes server this weekend, which is affecting AppleTV's ability to authorize content. Even if you are streaming directly from your PC/MAC to the AppleTV, there is still some validation with the iTunes store that occurs.

In the meantime, you can use Airplay to continue to stream content to your AppleTV. More info on using Airplay can be found here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4437.

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Did you speak with an Apple representative, or can you provide a link to where you heard about this? Any idea when the issue will be fixed? –  Abby T. Miller Oct 2 '11 at 22:12
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I spoke with an Apple representative, who knew of the server work and the original time frame of 24 hrs starting on Friday. Sounds like the maintenance just ended up taking longer than expected. Appears my AppleTV is now working, so I imagine the issue has been resolved. –  eee Oct 5 '11 at 0:44
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TUAW is reporting that this is a known issue affecting many Apple TV users, and it does not have a fix yet.

Users report error messages preventing them from accessing and playing back content: "Authorization is required. To play this content on your Apple TV, choose Authorize This Computer from the Store menu in iTunes on your computer, then enter the Apple ID and password used for the purchase."

If your Apple TV unit is affected, you are not alone. TUAW has received many user complaints and links to sites where frustrated customers have gathered. Apple's KB support posts do not appear to be helping customers resolve these issues.

Sounds like we'll have to wait on some kind of statement or solution from Apple.

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Play the same content on your computer too - sometimes that can loose the authorization, then when you play it through the AppleTV, that isn't authorized either.

Basically, make sure both ATV, and Computer are reauthorized.

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