I'm really loving the new AppleTV, but one thing bugged me: the screen saver. If I'm not watching the TV, rather than have a screen saver with random pictures displayed, I just want the screen to go black. There's no option for this, but it's easy enough to accomplish.
Create an image that is just black (or download mine).
In iPhoto, click the File menu and select New Album (I named this album AppleTV Screensaver). Add the black image to this empty album. Next, in iTunes, in the Advanced menu, select Choose Photos To Share. Click on the AppleTV Screensaver album (or whatever you've named yours). Finally, in AppleTV, from the main menu, select Settings and then Screensaver. Next, click Photos. Scroll down to choose your computer. Finally, scroll down to choose the album with your black photo. WHEW! Done.
If you don't have iPhoto, you can also use Flickr. In fact, if you've already set AppleTV up to show your photos, this approach might even be easier. In flickr, create a new photo set and upload only the black image into it. Then, in Apple TV, choose that photo set to be your screen saver.
Now, when your screen saver kicks in, your TV just goes black. That's much better!
Hhhmmmmmmm... Another interesting screen saver might be to create a series of solid color images that are all the same size (instead of just using the one black image). It could be interesting to have AppleTV shuffle them when the screensaver kicks in.
UPDATE: I stopped using this method a long time ago. I ended up buying this converter box from monoprice.com to convert the optical audio output from my Apple TV box into an analog signal I could plug into my old (but still really awesome) stereo. Worked like a charm! Now, when I'm using my Apple TV box strictly for audio, such as when I'm streaming iTunes from my Mac, I can turn the TV off. I do this quite often, actually. Two years after buying my Apple TV box, I still love that little thing.
The problem with this is that the TV is still on. TV screen is not completely turned off.
I wish apple TV introduces this feature where the display is completely turned off.::::: | June 20, 2011 11:03 AM
Apple can't control your TV though. No feature from a connected box, be it an Apple TV box or something else, is going to turn your Television off unless that feature is built into both the box and the TV.
The reason I created this was because, even with the screen saver on and the screen black, as a new song comes on, the small bottom corner info box comes on with the name/title/album cover. For me, the black screen simply looks better. More minimal.::::: | June 20, 2011 11:16 AM
Brilliant. Many thanks.::::: | September 26, 2011 8:03 AM
Very appreciated. Now I can enjoy my music thoroughly.::::: | November 4, 2011 5:07 PM
If you really want to enjoy your music thoroughly, you would have surround sound. With that, you could just shut your TV off and still enjoy the audio. Black screen. Problem solved.::::: | December 4, 2011 8:52 PM
Simple solutions are great, tanks!::::: | June 2, 2012 5:02 AM
First, thanks for posting this.
Question: I followed your instructions and they worked. However, the new song/album/artist notification still comes on.
Do you know how I could turn that off? You said in a comment above that these instructions also prevent the song names from appearing. For me this is not happening for some reason.
Any help will be appreciated. thanks.::::: | October 12, 2012 8:31 PM
Oh, no, I don't believe there is a way to prevent the song titles from coming on.
Also: I stopped using this method a long time ago. I ended up buying this converter box from monoprice.com to convert the optical audio output from my Apple TV box into an analog signal I could plug into my old (but still really awesome) stereo. Worked like a charm! Now, when I'm using my Apple TV box strictly for audio, like when I'm streaming my iTunes, I can just turn the TV off. I should add this tidbit to the original post as an update I suppose.::::: | October 12, 2012 8:56 PM
Great thinking. Thanks!::::: | January 25, 2013 2:22 PM
Under the HDMI protocol, devices like AppleTV should be able to control devices they're connected to via HDMI commands. The limiting factor is whether the AppleTV has the option to send that signal and whether your particular TV actually knows what to do when it receives a signal. i.e. the TV would need to be able to receive a signal saying 'turn the screen off but leave the speakers on so the music keeps playing' and the TV would need to know the re-enable the screen if the HDMI connection to the AppleTV is removed.::::: | March 21, 2013 1:40 PM