March 24, 2012, 7:47 AM — The second- and third-generation Apple TV were designed with simplicity in mind but they don't always work as expected. Where do you turn when your Apple TV acts up? The next several paragraphs are a good place to start. Check out our symptoms and solutions for common Apple TV issues.
When I use the Apple Remote with my Apple TV, that remote starts controlling my MacBook across the room. Is there any way to stop it from doing that?
Yes, but you have to manage it with your MacBook rather than the Apple TV. To do so, launch System Preferences on the MacBook and select the Security & Privacy (Lion) or Security (Snow Leopard) preference and click the General tab. Click the Lock icon and enter your administrator's name and password and click Unlock. At the bottom of the window enable the Disable Remote Control Infrared Receiver option.
If you have a spare remote around, you can pair it with your MacBook and it will work only with that MacBook, not the Apple TV. To do that, return to that same system preference and click the Pair button. You'll be prompted to hold the remote in from of the IR port and press and hold Menu and Next. After a few seconds a Paired icon will appear on the screen. That remote is now paired with your MacBook and capable of controlling it. At this point, only that remote will work with it.
I have a couple of Apple Remotes and I sometimes try to use the one that's not paired with the Apple TV and it doesn't work. Is there any way I can configure the Apple TV so they each work with it?
You can, but it's not entirely intuitive. Locate the Apple Remote that's currently paired with the Apple TV and do one of the following: Point the Apple Remote at the Apple TV and press and hold Menu and Previous for about six seconds. An Unpairing icon should appear on the screen. Alternatively, on the Apple TV navigate to Settings -> General -> Remotes, select Unpair Apple Remote, and press the Select button.
This would seem to make this remote unusable with the Apple TV, but that's not the case. When you pair a remote with the Apple TV what you're really doing is instructing it to ignore any other hardware remotes (it will still work with Apple's Remote app). This is why your other Apple Remote can't control it. When you unpair it, it can still control your Apple TV, but so can other remotes you use—an Apple Remote or a universal remote configured to work with it.
I'm glad that my new Apple TV can stream 1080p videos, but it takes forever for a movie to start playing. Is there anything I can do to speed it up?