How To Turn Your HDTV Into An Apple TV

Dave Zatz —  April 6, 2012 — 16 Comments

As our digital streamers have shrunk in size, placement options have increased. And I stumbled upon this clever little mount for my Apple TV.

The Innovelis Total Mount ($20) can be positioned in three ways – either bolted to your wall with included screws, Velcro strapped to a HDTV wall mount, or hung from your HDTV by clipping into the television vents. I opted for the vent mount, and I imagine most investing in this solution will do likewise. Innovelis kindly includes clips for various vent style (vertical, horizontal, circular) and I picked up a 1ft HDMI cable via ebay for $2.98, shipped.

appletv-hdtv-mount1

As you can see from the pics and video, the solution nicely cleans up the (minimal) clutter. I don’t have any overheating concerns and my Apple TV actually responds better this location as the remote IR bounces off the walls or ceiling en route to the set-top.

Based on my success with the Apple TV mount, I’ll be picking up a second… as Innovelis also produces one for the similarly shaped Roku 2. But my second 1′ HDMI cable won’t be sufficient, given the proximity of HDMI ports to preferred vent location on our larger living room television and I’ll be ordering a 1.5′ or 2′ replacement.

16 responses to How To Turn Your HDTV Into An Apple TV

  1. What are you doing about the remote? Going iPhone/iPad only?

  2. The remote actually works better with the Apple TV behind the HDTV than under it in my setup. The IR signal is bouncing off the walls or ceiling to get to it. Haven’t had any problems. Which is good as I dislike Apple’s iOS app even more than I dislike Apple’s physical remote. We’ll see if I have similar luck with the plasma and Roku in the living room.

  3. when I moved my ATV, i didn’t think about the line of sight for the remote to work, but fortunately universal remotes can learn the codes and that solved my problem.

  4. How are you dealing with sound? I’m not aware of any TV that will pass AC3 from HDMI back out to a receiver.

  5. This is the bedroom TV, no surround or receiver (which is probably why you see me trying to plug the power cable into the optical jack in the video). Although usually it’s the Roku 2 in the bedroom and the Apple TV in the living room. (And our second Roku is a floater with the Google TV packed up in the closet.)

  6. That looks just like the mount I saw marketed for the Roku 2.

  7. An easy and even less expensive solution are velcro strips. I have had a couple Rokus mounted this way for more than a year. As with this product, you can use the velcro to mount the device to the back of the TV or on the wall behind the TV. Like you, Dave, I found the remote actually works quite well if I point the remote toward the upper wall/ceiling.

  8. “An easy and even less expensive solution are velcro strips.”

    Not as easy or cheap as Krazy Glue.

  9. Also, Apple Legal would like you to takedown this post. It’s not only a violation of your warranty, but if you look closely at page 263 of the iTunes EULA you clicked that you agreed to, you’ll see that this post clearly violates those terms.

    If you have any questions, just shoot off an email to iTunes support.

  10. I guess you saw my tweets regarding the Jawbone takedown notice… I’m having a hard time identifying a specific POC to discuss the matter. It’s a little bit odd – I’d have expected an informal phone conversation so we can come to a mutually acceptable resolution or a letter from an attorney. Instead, they’re communicating through an anonymous company email account and seem to want to keep it that way.

    Anyway, I just unpublished the post. It’s more efficient to comply than to pay an attorney to politely decline on grounds of fair use and that I wouldn’t knowingly enter into an agreement that limits my ability to communicate given what we do here documenting our personal journeys in tech.

    Also cheaper than the attorney’s hourly rate – a video setting my Jambox on fire. Stay tuned. ;)

  11. I have an ATV2 still in the box, but I decided to leave it in there and add a net-top (w/ HDMI out) instead.

    For about twice the price (on sale) of an ATV2 I’ve got access to 7MC and free video websites like Hulu out of the box (no jailbreaking required)

    Since all my computers are Macs I never thought I’d pick this option but it has proved far more flexible than any box (Tivo, Roku, Revue, etc.) I’ve tried so far.

  12. “Also cheaper than the attorney’s hourly rate – a video setting my Jambox on fire. Stay tuned.”

    I believe Jambox will just swoop down on your home, apprehend you, and send you to Guantanamo if you do that.

  13. “For about twice the price (on sale) of an ATV2 I’ve got access to 7MC and free video websites like Hulu out of the box”

    I fully agree that a WMC or OS X box is the best second HDMI input for a TV.

    Personally, I do love my Mac Mini running Plex, Sofa Control, and other apps via a 10 ft interface, but WMC is certainly the cheaper way to go.

  14. I’m waiting on an Raspberry Pi. There’s already XBMC and OpenELEC builds for it along with several general Linux distros available for it. On top of that Plex has a Linux build in development. It’s only $35. I can’t imagine a more economical solution. I too have an ATV2 that has never left the box as well as an ATV1 that I’ll dust off and try OpenELEC on.

  15. Is there something like this for something larger, like a cable set top box?

  16. I know this is an old post but I picked up one of these recently and figured I’d share in case someone went searching for info on it.

    On my TV none of the hooks worked. The holes on the back of my TV are all just too small. I didn’t want to mount it to the wall as that’s just more holes I have to fill when I move.

    I tried some 3M Dual Lock strips which I’ve had really good luck with in the past for mounting most anything anywhere and being able to cleanly remove it later. The Dual Lock and the Total Mount only stuck together for a few hours before giving up.

    I then tried some of the 3M wall mounting strips. These are the strips that are used for their white/clear hooks/etc. when you want to mount them to the wall but want to cleanly remove it later without having to deal with holes. It’s been a day now and it seems to be holding quite well to the back of my TV.

    So, there’s an alternative way to mount (well, one that doesn’t work and one that does).

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