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5 Easy Steps To Change Input On Apple TV (2022 How-To)

How To Change Input On Apple TV

Changing your TV’s input to Apple TV is extremely easy.

In fact, you can even automize it through the powerful Siri remote.

But how exactly do you do that?

Well, allow me to show you the way.

Continue reading to find out:

  • 5 easy steps to automatically change your TV’s input to Apple TV.
  • What you can and can’t do with regard to changing the input on an Apple TV.
  • How to pair your Apple TV’s Siri remote to your main TV for quicker input switching. 
  • And a lot more…

How to change the input on Apple TV – 5 steps


Before diving into the steps, there’s an important thing that you should know.

You can’t really change the input on an Apple TV.

That’s because this device is a streaming player. It’s not a smart TV

And it’s also just another input option on your television.

So if you’re trying to go from Apple TV to another source like a cable box or a console…

You’ll have to use your TV’s own remote to do that. You just need to press its Input or Source button.

“Is there a way to use my Apple TV’s Siri remote for that, though?”

Unfortunately, that’s not possible. The Siri remote has no buttons or menu options for changing inputs.

However, you can use that remote to control your TV’s power and volume buttons.

And guess what?

When you use your Siri remote to turn on your actual TV…

Your TV’s input source will also automatically change to wherever you plugged your Apple TV.

How the Siri remote can control your TV’s input

Normally, these are the steps to use an Apple TV:

Step #1: Plug the Apple TV into one of your TV’s HDMI ports.

Step #2: Turn on the Apple TV by connecting its adapter to an outlet.

Step #3: Power on your TV.

Step #4: Using your TV’s remote, change the input. Switch it to the port number where you plugged the Apple TV device. It could be HDMI 1, HDMI 2, etc.

Step #5: Using the Siri remote, launch an app to start streaming videos or music.

As you can see, under the usual setup…

You’d need to use your TV remote for steps 3 and 4. And the Siri remote for step 5.

But with the Siri remote paired with your actual TV…

You won’t need your original remote at all. 

You can just use Siri for step 3. And step 4 won’t even be necessary. The changing of input to Apple TV will be automatic.

So the steps below are all about pairing your Apple TV’s Siri remote with your main TV. 

Furthermore, if you want to learn effective troubleshooting fixes for the Siri remote…

There are guides for those in the Bonus section.

And with that, let’s begin. 

#1: Connect your Apple TV to your main TV

Plug the Apple TV into an HDMI port on your TV. And then connect the Apple TV to an outlet to turn it on.

#2: Enable your TV’s HDMI-CEC feature

“What’s HDMI-CEC?”

Well, the CEC there stands for Consumer Electronics Control.

Basically, HDMI-CEC is a feature on modern TVs that allow the remote of one device to control another.

Since you’re trying to use the Apple TV Siri remote to control your main TV…

You’ll need to enable this feature first.

Now, every TV brand has its own term for HDMI-CEC.

On Samsung TVs, it’s called AnyNet+.

Meanwhile, on LG TVs, it’s referred to as SIMPLINK. And on Vizio, it’s known as CEC.

With that, here are the steps for enabling HDMI-CEC on those 3 brands. 

How to enable AnyNet+ on a Samsung TV

  1. Click your remote’s Home button.
  2. Choose the Settings option.
  3. Select External Device Manager.
  4. Highlight and tap AnyNet+ to toggle it on.

How to enable SIMPLINK on an LG TV

  1. Press Home on your remote and click Settings.
  2. Navigate to General and then tap it.
  3. Select SIMPLINK.
  4. Choose the option to activate SIMPLINK.
  5. Turn on the Auto Power Sync option.

How to enable CEC on a Vizio TV

  1. Click your remote’s Menu button.
  2. Choose System.
  3. Highlight the CEC option.
  4. Use your remote’s arrow button to enable CEC.

If you’re using another TV brand, don’t worry. The process of enabling HDMI-CEC should be more or less the same for other manufacturers.

Just refer to your user manual or the company’s website on how to do it.

And if you want to know more about HDMI-CEC and how it works…

Watch this video below:

#3: Manually change your TV’s input to Apple TV

Remember the HDMI port where you connected your Apple TV?

Now, you need to change your TV’s input to that.

And since your Siri remote isn’t paired with your TV yet…

You’ll have to use your main TV’s actual remote for now.

Just click the Source or Input button and switch it to the Apple TV’s HDMI port number.

#4: Configure the Siri remote to control your main TV

Step #1: Click the gear icon to launch the Settings menu on your Apple TV.

Step #2: Navigate to Remotes and Devices and select it.

Step #3: Highlight Turn On Your TV with Your Remote. And then toggle it on.

Step #4: Scroll down and select Volume Control.

Step #5: Choose Auto.

#5: Check if your Siri remote can now control your TV

At this point, your Apple TV’s Siri remote should now be able to control your TV. To check, press its power button.

Did both your Apple TV and main TV turn off?

If they did, then the pairing was successful.

Now, press the Siri remote’s power button again. It should turn both devices back on. And your TV’s input should automatically change to where you plugged your Apple TV.

With the successful pairing…

The next time you use your Apple TV, you won’t even need your main TV remote.

Bonus: How to troubleshoot your Apple TV’s Siri remote

While the steps to pair the Siri remote with your actual TV are easy…

It won’t always work the first time you try doing it.

This is because the Siri remote can also malfunction at times.

That’s why I’ll walk you through the fixes you can do for that.

#1: Charge the Siri remote

The most common reason for a Siri remote’s malfunction is a low battery charge.

Now, unlike the usual TV remotes…

Siri has a rechargeable battery. 

And one of the reasons why an Apple TV comes with Lightning cable

Is so you can charge the Siri remote.

Using the cable, you can connect the remote to a laptop. Or you can plug it into an outlet via a power adapter.

It only takes about half an hour to charge. And you won’t need to do it again until about 3 to 5 months later.

#2: Perform a power cycle on your Apple TV

Perform A Power Cycle On Your Apple TV

The Siri remote’s malfunction may also be due to a glitch on your Apple TV device.

So to solve that, you should also power cycle or restart the streaming player. Here’s how:

Step #1: Unplug the Apple TV from the outlet.

Step #2: Disconnect the Apple TV from your main TV.

Step #3: Wait for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Step #4: Reconnect the Apple TV to one of your TV’s HDMI ports.

Step #5: Turn it back on by replugging it into its power source.

#3: Restart the Siri remote

If power cycling the Apple TV didn’t fix the issue…

Another easy fix you can try is to restart the Siri remote itself. Just follow these steps:

Step #1: Press and hold the remote’s TV and Volume Down button.

Step #2: Wait for the Apple TV’s indicator light to turn off and then back on. Release the buttons afterward.

Step #3: You’ll see an alert on your Apple TV screen saying, “Connection Lost.” 

This is because the remote is in the process of restarting. So just wait for 5 to 10 seconds.

Step #4: When a note saying “Connected” appears on the screen, try using the Siri remote again. Just press any buttons to check if it’s now working.

And if it is, you may try pairing it with your main TV again.

#4: Re-pair the remote with your Apple TV

As an alternative to restarting the Siri remote…

You may also unpair and re-pair it with your Apple TV. Here’s how:

Step #1: Bring the Siri remote to within 3 inches (7.62 cm) of your Apple TV. Make sure it’s pointing directly at the streaming player.

Step #2: Press and hold the remote’s Back and Volume Up buttons for 5 seconds. This should unpair the Siri remote with your Apple TV.

Step #3: A note should appear on the screen. It’ll ask you to place the Siri remote directly on top of the Apple TV. Follow it to re-pair.

#5: Take your Siri remote to an Apple Service Center

Is your Siri remote still not working properly after doing all the fixes?

If so, then it might be a hardware defect. 

So I’m recommending that you take it to your nearest Apple Service Center for repair.

But if you’re not sure where that is…

You may contact Apple’s customer care team for information.

Their hotline number is 1-800–275–2273. And they operate 24/7.

You might also like: How Long Do Apple TVs Last? 5 Surprising Facts

Where is input on Apple TV?

There is no input on Apple TV. It’s a streaming player. So you won’t be able to use it or its remote to change your main TV’s input source. You can only use your Apple TV’s Siri remote to control your TV’s power and volume. And for auto switching your main TV’s input to Apple TV.

Many users have been requesting a Siri remote enhancement. They want it to also be able to change a TV’s input dynamically.

By that, I mean using Siri to switch from Apple TV to a cable box, console, or antenna. And vice versa.

However, no such feature exists as of yet. So your only option for changing inputs back and forth is via your TV’s main remote.