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Can You Use Apple TV with Cellular Data?

Can You Use Apple TV with Cellular Data?

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The Apple TV is one of the most famous portable entertainment devices today. 

Aside from it being an Apple device, it boasts so many functions that make the price worth it.

You can stream content from online sites and applications, play on Xbox, listen to music, and even manage your home with the use of a remote.

Since most, if not all, of these services are enabled online, you will need a stable internet connection.

Connecting to Wi-Fi is usually our go-to action. But what if it’s slow, unreliable, and or worse – not available in your location?

The alternative is to switch to your cellular data and use your Apple TV with the help of hotspots. 

If you choose to connect to your cellular data, keep in mind that the media won’t play at the same speed and quality using stable Wi-Fi. But at least you can stream anywhere without interruptions!

Let us share a quick guide on how to set it up.

How to Connect Using Regular Hotspot

regular hotspot

Just to be clear – what does “regular hotspot” mean?

This means you’re using your mobile phone’s cellular data to act as the Wi-Fi coming from a router.

Connecting to a hotspot for your Apple TV is similar to how you connect your other devices to your hotspot.

Here are the steps:

Step 1. Turn on your mobile’s cellular data and enable a personal hotspot. Choose the one that says “Via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.”

Step 2. Connect your Apple TV to the television set via HDMI and scan for all the available networks.

Step 3. Locate your hotspot in the list and select it once available. It will ask you for its password, so make sure to prepare it beforehand.

Step 4. Use the remote to input the password, wait until it loads and says it’s connected.

Step 5. Once connected, you can now browse through the apps and watch shows on the internet.

I Can’t Seem to Connect to My Hotspot, What Should I Do?

Connect to my hotspot

If your phone is not appearing in the list of available networks, try the following actions below.

  1. Turn off and turn on your Bluetooth data again. Repeat multiple times until the connection is reflected.
  2. Move to a place where there is a better signal. Look at the bars at the top right of your screen.
  3. Check if your phone is using the latest operating system. Update if needed.
  4. Grab your Ethernet cable and plug it to both your Apple TV and your router or modem.

Will My Apple TV Detect the Hotspot Even if I’m Using an Android Phone?

Yes, your Apple TV does not discriminate on sources of data! 

Similar to an iPhone, you just need to enable mobile hotspot from Settings or the Notifications Tab, and connect your Apple TV to your phone.

What Are the Disadvantages of Mobile Tethering?

It’s relatively easy to connect to your cellular data, but there are a few downsides you may encounter.

The first is the slower speed. Since the hotspot is wired from your phone and you have several apps in use and running in the background, chances are they’re all fighting for one connection.

Phone Tethering as Fast As Possible

Consequently, you will see the quality reduced since the connection is slow and unstable. It won’t pause your streaming, but you’ll notice the display’s grade and brightness decreased.

The next red flag is higher data bills. Keep in mind that everything you do using your data is also getting charged. 

Playing videos generally requires more data than simple browsing on the web. Try to moderate usage if you don’t want to overspend!

Last is phone and hotspot restrictions. Double check if your phone’s settings and plan inclusions allow usage and sharing of data in this manner. 

Tips on How to Save on Data While Using Apple TV

Expensive bills sound scary and are discouraging, but we’ve got you! 

Here are some workarounds we swear by to lessen the cost without compromising on your streaming experience.

  1. Plan the content you want to watch and download beforehand.
    An upside in Apple TVs is that it has free storage for your app downloads. Before you head outside, download your movies and series and make them available offline. This way, you can still access them even without the internet.
  2. Select the content you play while using data.
    Since we know that watching videos burns a hole in your wallet faster, opt to play them only when you have Wi-Fi. Instead, you can stream music or listen to audio podcasts.
  3. Check your data plans and rewards.
    Some providers have flexible plans wherein you can increase your data availability or exchange rebates for a few GB of data. You can maximize these offers so you won’t have to shell out more cash in the end!
  4. Only install updates when Wi-Fi is available.
    Software updates are heavy and they take several minutes up to hours. Don’t accept notifications to download system changes if you can!
  5. Change resolution and other settings of your streaming applications.
    Each streaming application has a default resolution setting and it’s usually at the highest one – 4K Video or UHD. We all know that the clearer it is, the higher the data it uses. 

Display Resolution

Instead of the 4K setting, we recommend that you decrease it to 720p or to the middle range of the streaming platform.

  • Youtube: Set to 720p or less
  • Amazon Prime Video: Set to HD or SD
  • Netflix: Set to Medium
  • Crave: Set to 720p or less
  • Fibe TV: Set to Better or Low
  • iTunes Movies: Set to Better or Good


Your Apple TV will function even if you use your cellular data.

As you’ve seen above, the steps are simple and easy to follow. We’re sure that you can set it up and make it work without a hitch!

If you’re slightly worried about data consumption, you can still find ways to lower the bill with the hacks we’ve mentioned.

We hope you found these steps helpful. Happy streaming ahead!

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