In recent months Apple has issued two software updates to the Apple TV. Unfortunately some users have been finding that their Apple TV units are rendered inoperable by the updates.
Apple issued Apple TV Update 5.1.1 last week, but it appears the update has caused some Apple TV units to fail to boot.
This latest update adds to the woes of Apple TV users. An Apple TV version 5.1 update came in late September, however a thread on the AppleSupport site shows that a number of Apple TV units were rendered useless by the update. The thread continued to grow, with a post on 20 November claiming: "The 5.1 update did irreversible damage to the hardware".
Apparently the best way to restore a bricked Apple TV is to restore it by plugging it into a computer via USB and following the restore instructions on Apple's site.
The original issue, and the new problems, appear to be connected to networking. An Apple representative from Cupertino was looking into the issue back in September when it first arose. Roy B from Cupertino wrote: "I would like to find out some more information about this issue. If you got this issue (black screen and blinking LED while Ethernet is connected, WiFi networks not found) after updating to Apple TV 5.1, can you please email me with the answers to these questions".
He asks: "What does your network look like? For example, what is your router and how is it connected to the Internet? Is your Apple TV getting a DHCP-assigned IP address or is it statically assigned? Do you have any other custom network settings that might be a factor?"
We have contacted Apple to find out whether they have any feedback on the investigation.
As one forum post from 1 December suggests: "For some people on this thread, the network completely stopped working with version 5.1 and the only solution was to revert back to version 5.0.2. For some of them, it seems like version 5.1.1 fixed the problem so all good for those," however: "for those people like you who actually upgraded to version 5.1 without any issue, it seems that upgrading to version 5.1.1 might cause the network to stop working."
Users had hoped that the 5.1.1 update would solve the networking issues. However, the 5.1.1 update seems to have merely added Up Next support, bringing the Apple TV into line with the newly launched iTunes 11. Users of the Apple forum are questioning why the problems experienced since the 5.1 update haven't been solved. "I can't believe that the Ethernet problem wasn't fixed in 5.1.1", says one.