For many, the Apple TV is just a digital streaming and entertainment product. But there is no shortage of use cases in a professional context.
What is Apple TV?
The Apple TV is a small media gateway that plugs into a TV or other display – HD or 4K – that has an HDMI input. Its most common use is streaming video content, like movies, over a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
There have been six generations of Apple TV. The two models currently on sale are the fourth-generation Apple TV HD, at 159 euros, and the Apple TV 4K, from 199 euros.
This small device is less than 10 centimeters wide and 35 mm high. The latest model is powered by an Apple A12 Bionic processor, the same found in 2020’s iPad Pro.
During the Apple TV setup process, the device password is the same as the corporate Apple ID. In some SMB setups, a personal Apple ID may be easier than creating a new corporate Apple Account. Admins can require an on-screen passcode for AirPlay-enabled devices, like Apple TV, in Settings.
Use cases of Apple TV in a professional environment
Although the predominant use of Apple TV is for entertainment, the gateway can do much more than stream videos and music from a streaming provider. The device’s tvOS operating system incorporates mobile device management (MDM) features that give fleet administrators some control over Apple TV.
The system can support multiple business tasks, such as running custom applications on kiosk-like displays and sharing business presentations. The device supports Apple AirPlay, allowing admins to stream content from computers and other devices to Apple TV devices over a wireless connection.
Fleet administrators should familiarize themselves with the various enterprise functions they can assign to Apple TV for business use cases.
Posting professional content
One of the notable uses of Apple TV in a professional context is to use the terminal to display documents, presentations and slideshows on different screens in a meeting room. This applies to all kinds of environments, from SMEs to large enterprises.
In companies with remote workers, IT can configure Apple TV to display video meeting participants on a large-screen TV. Users of this configuration can still manage presentation materials using a laptop.
Kiosk apps in single app mode
Administrators can turn an Apple TV into a single-use device with multiple use cases. With the appropriate MDM configurations, it is possible to run a single application on the device. Options such as volume control and image resolution can be pre-configured.
This is very useful for a company that needs to set up a screen to act as a kiosk, serving up information about a specific area or application.
Apple TV is a popular digital signage platform. Apple’s MDM APIs make it easy to deploy digital information panels in a variety of environments, including enterprise, education, medical, hospitality, and travel. Digital maps, conference guides, menus and advertising are all well suited to Apple TV.
An IT department can set up an automatic configuration for Apple TV devices, as long as they have a connection to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. This means devices can be shipped from a retailer to the final location and then run any type of display an organization needs without IT having to touch it.
This can significantly reduce an organization’s shipping costs when deploying a digital signage system. All IT needs is the Apple TV box and a screen to display content.