Managing Apple TVs

Valued Contributor II

I currently have 25 gen 3 Apple TVs in production. The number of Apple TVs we have will likely grow in 2016.

We use our Apple TVs for 100% Conference Room Mode. I hide all apps. They are connected via Ethernet. All Apple TVs get IPs via DHCP on their respective native VLAN for the geographical area that they are located in (i.e.; they are not on a dedicated VLAN).

Our Apple TVs are basically "magic wireless projectors" for conference rooms and offices. We use AirParrot on Windows as needed.

I manually configure my Apple TVs with a local loopback address for DNS, which prevents the devices from routing to the Internet and connecting to iTunes, Netflix, etc.

Im not managing them with MDM yet, but I likely will be begin managing them in 2016. Waiting to see what the the next Apple TV will look like at the fall 2016 Apple Event.

We currently use a single Cisco Wireless LAN Controller (a WLC5508 running 8.0.1 code).

A few questions for you:

1) How many Apple TVs can be displayed on Mac OS X or iOS clients? Is there a maximum number of devices that can be discovered?

2) How many Apple TVs do you have? Anyone out there have hundreds or thousands of Apple TVs?

3) Can you offer best practice guidelines for managing Apple TVs en mass? Tips and tricks regarding topology, DHCP, VLAN, DNS? Getting them to show up and be discoverable is sometimes tricky (and mysterious) in terms of how mDNS works. The behavior of how local clients cache Apple TV hosts is interesting, too.

4) Does anyone use ad-hoc point-to-point AirPlay on their Apple TVs (Bluetooth/Wi-Fi)? Thoughts, comments, opinions?

5) Do you use MDM to manage your Apple TVs? What type of polices are you using? What is your main reasons/goals for using MDM? I have Meraki for iPhones & iPads currently, but am looking at other MDM options this year (mainly AirWatch and JAMF). I have played with Apple Configurator via USB, but there aren't any Apple TV-specifc policies, the generic config options are not compelling to me for my environment.


Valued Contributor

There are no over the air MDM options available for Apple TVs. You can configure them with Apple Configurator though.

I don't think there's a way to tell an Apple TV not to use point-to-point but we much prefer it over using the network. Less work and tweaking means it performs better. If you're managing a lot of Apple TVs, it also means the Mac will more likely display the Apple TV the person is next to rather than not. I would wire your Apple TVs as much as possible, just makes more sense.

Hoping the new Apple TV includes some "business" features, It has to be a huge chunk of Apple TV sales to begin with.

Honored Contributor

There's some good information in our iOS Deployment Reference