The Apple TV is a small £99 devices that makes it easy to stream music, movies and photos from an iPad or iPhone to the television.

Some people are waiting for Apple to make a £1,000 television without realising that for a tenth of that price they could already have superb iTunes powered television today. As well as streaming content from your iOS or Mac OS  X devices the Apple TV has a range of popular built-in services like Netflix, Sky News, YouTube and Vimeo as well as enabling you to rent movies from the iTunes Store and stream music from iTunes Match. In short: it’s pretty brilliant.

See: What is Apple TV and New Apple TV coming in October

Home Sharing

iOS 7 and Apple TV

Setting up an Apple TV is a fairly straightforward process of attaching it to your high definition television and home network. but using it with an iOS 7 device, like an iPhone or iPad can make the whole process much easier. This is because the Apple TV ships with an Apple Remote, which offers a direction pad and just three buttons.

The Apple Remote is great for navigating the menu, choosing items and playing and pausing video and music. Where you could perhaps use a little more flexibility is entering text, which is where the iPad comes in. It’s easy to link the iPad or iPhone to the Apple TV using the free Remote App. This enables you to scan around the Apple Tv using your iPad or iPhone, and you can enter search terms, or your Apple ID and Password using the iPad or iPhone’s on-screen keyboard.

An Apple TV and iPad make a pretty powerful television experience that’s much easier to use, and much more versatile than any set top box you’re used to.

Download Remote App

The first thing you should do is head to the Apple STore and get the Remote App. Click here to download Remote from iTunes and install it on your iOS 7 device.

Setting up the Apple TV

Once you’ve got the Remote App you can start to set up your Apple TV. Connect it to your mains supply and to the television using the HDMI cable. Switch on the Apple TV by tapping the Select button (in the middle of the four way pad on the Apple Remote.

Tip! The Apple Remote is the gray physical remote supplied with the Apple TV. The Remote app (or just Remote) is the application that you download from the Apple store. it can be confusing but mostly because they do the same sort of thing.

You’ll need to connect your Apple TV to the home network, but first you should set it up. following these steps:

1. Click English (or choose your language) using the Select button (in the middle of

the four arrows on the Apple Remote).

2. Use the Apple Remote to choose your Wi-Fi connect and use the on screen keyboard and click Select.

3. Click OK or No Thanks to Apple’s request to gather data about usage from the device.

Set up Home Sharing in iTunes on your Mac

Home sharing is a technology by Apple that uses your Apple ID to seamlessly connect devices on the same network - such as in your home - to each other. You use your Apple ID to inform each device that you own it, and then they can start sharing content (movies, music, photos, and so on) with each other.

If you have a Mac computer with iTunes then open it up and click on File > Home Sharing > Turn on Home Sharing. Enter your Apple ID and Password and click Turn On Home Sharing.

See: Home Sharing Secrets and How to use AirDrop and AirPlay

Set  up Home Sharing in iOS 7

Setting up Home Sharing on the iPad or iPhone is easy enough. Just do the following

1. Tap Settings > Music.

2. Scroll down to Home Sharing and enter your Apple ID and Password. (Note: make sure you using the same Apple ID as you did in iTunes).

3. Tap Done.

Once Home Sharing is set up on your iPad and you iTunes you can start to share content between the two. You can test this by opening Videos and tapping the Shared icon at the top. This should display all the videos from  iTunes on your Mac. These can now be streamed across the network to your iOS device.

Home Sharing iOS 7

Next comes the Apple TV.

Set up Home Sharing on Apple TV

Surprisingly Home Sharing and the Apple ID isn’t something that Apple requests during the apple TV setup process. So you’ll need to enter it manually:

1. Choose Settings from the Apple TV Home Screen.

2. Choose Computers and Turn On Home Sharing

3. Now use the Apple Remote to enter your Apple ID and Password. It’s a laborious process but you only need to do it once. Click Submit when you’re done.

Tip! Use the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. If you have an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard. Click Settings > General > Bluetooth and turn on the keyboard pressing the Power button no the Apple keyboard. Choose it from the screen of the Apple TV and type the four digit passcode on the Apple Keyboard. This makes it much easier to enter the Apple ID and Passcode. If you’ve taken it from your computer don’t forget to resync it with that afterwards.

Home Sharing on Apple TV

Link Remote app to Home Sharing

Open the Remote app on the iPad click on Turn On Home Sharing. Now enter the same Apple ID and Password that you used in iTunes and in iOS Settings and click Done and Done again. (Yes, it is a bit odd that you have to enter it in iOS settings and again in an iOS app.)

You should now see a display with Apple TV and your iTunes Library (in this case ours is called Mac Pro Library, your might say something more personal).

You can use this app to control the media in both devices

Tip! The remote app isn’t used to play media from the Apple TV or iTunes on your Mac on your iPad. You use the Music, Videos and Photos apps for that. It is used purely to control the other devices.

To start music playing on your Mac. Tap the Mac in REmote to view the iTunes Library. You can choose between Music, Films, TV Programmes and so on using the Mac Pro button in the bottom-left. Choose an item and hit play and it should start playing on your Mac.

Home Sharing Remote Library

Use Remote to control the iPad

You can use the Remote app to control the Apple TV. Tap the Apple TV in the window and the Remote icon . You can now use gestures on the iPad or iPhone to control the navigation on the Apple TV. Swipe up, down, left and right to move the selection box around. Tap the screen to choose an iTem. At the bottom of the display are icons for Menu and Play/Pause. This directly replaces the Apple Remote .

We find it often easier and more convenient to reach for the iPhone and Remote app thn to find the actual Apple Remote.

Where Apple remote comes into its own, however, is when you enter a text box. Test this out by selecting the YouTube app and clicking Search. Entering a search term using the Apple Remote is a pain, but do this with the Remote app linked to the Apple TV and all you have to do is use the on-screen keyboard.