How to record the Apple TV screen

If you would like to record the screen or record a video of your new Apple TV, please don’t film your TV set, just follow this guide and you’ll be all set in no time.

The Wonderful USB-C Port

If you want to capture an image or video of your Apple TV screen for a demo or for a review, as I will be doing in a couple of days time, the USB-C port on the back of the box is there to help.


The interesting feature with the new Apple TV is being able to see a video output on both the TV screen and on a Macbook at the same time.

Don’t get any bright ideas such as recording Netflix content, as anything protected by DRM ends up as a black screen if you try to record it.

As mentioned above, you will need to use the USB-C port of the Apple TV and as such you will need either a USB-C to USB or a straight USB-C cable if you want to record anything. If you don’t have such cables then you won’t be able to record anything and should probably stop reading here.

Is this thing on ?

To record a video, it’s actually ridiculously simple (thanks Apple). You might remember this article a while back on how to record your iPhone screen? Well it’s pretty much the same.


Open QuickTime on your Macbook and select File → New Movie Recording. A window will most probably open up using FaceTime as the source with a small box towards the bottom of the screen.

Click on the small arrow next to the red record button and select Apple TV under the Camera and Microphone headings.

You then simply have to click the red record button and you will have a lovely recorded image directly on your Macbook without having to film your screen.


Weirdly, it is actually more difficult to take a native screenshot, which I will explain below. Or you could actually make life easier for yourself and take a screenshot on your Macbook of the QuickTime app (to master screenshots on OS X, see here)


For a cleaner, native screenshot it’s slightly more long-winded. On top of a USB-C cable, you will need to download Xcode on the App Store before connecting the Apple TV to your mac.

Open Xcode and click Window in the menu bar, select Devices (or use the shortcut ⇧⌘2) and the choose Apple TV in the left panel before clicking the Take Screenshot button.

You should then find a lovely 1920 x 1080 PNG file on your desktop (unless you have changed the OS X defaults) such as the one below.




Peter Fields

My name is Peter, I currently live in the UK but love to travel with my wife Claire. This blog is my journey through life with Technology.

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One Comment

  1. Very informative! Thanks for showing clearly how to record Apple TV screen. I always use acethinker screen recorder to capture Apple TV screen on my macbook pro, free and works like a charm. Quicktime is a good free choice, but it recorded video in very big size.

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