1st Gen Apple TV Owners Lose iTunes Store Access

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First generation Apple TV owners can't connect to the iTunes Store any more, and it isn't clear if the issue is temporary, or if Apple is leaving those users behind. The problem started late last week, and so far there hasn't been any resolution.

First gen Apple TV owners lose iTunes Store accessFirst gen Apple TV owners lose iTunes Store access

A discussion about the issue first appeared on Apple's own forums last Thursday, and TMO readers contacted us about the problem over the weekend. The issue seems to affect all first generation Apple TV models, but send and third generation units are fine.

The device can still access the Internet, which means services like YouTube work, but any content from the iTunes Store is no longer available.

"Both of my 1st gen Apple TVs are having problems, the video and audio are pausing and jumping during playback. They both worked find a few days ago, but they simultaneously developed this same problem," a first gen Apple TV owner and TMO reader Wayne told us. "Funny thing is, when I disconnect them from the internet, they work just fine."

That seems to be a common theme among Apple TV owners on Apple's forums. "The Trailers option flickers off when selected but if I am quick enough I can access it. The trailers will stutter, pause and lag," said Apple forum member georgevargas. "No access to the iTunes Store at all for movies, tv shows, or podcast. Youtube works without a problem."

Some Apple TV owners are speculating that the issue is somehow related to the heartbleed bug in OpenSSL, which could be an indicator that Apple updated backend software and security certificates to help protect from potential hackers. Heartbleed is a code flaw that gives hackers the ability to request random memory fragments from Internet servers, which could ultimately give them the private security keys to decrypt secure communications between users and servers.

If Apple has changed backend software, then it'll most likely need to issue a software update for the first generation Apple TV that recognized the new security keys. Considering Apple stopped selling that model in 2010, there may not be much incentive for the company to issue a new software update now.

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It seems likely that Apple has made some backend changes that leave first generation Apple TV owners in the dust. The company does, after all, leave products behind when it doesn't see any value in continued support.

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I have a first gen Apple TV and I like it, except for the lack of full HD.  The local storage is nice and so I don’t feel like upgrading to a new Apple TV.  I wouldn’t mind so much if they had just broken the store but whatever happened makes video unwatchable for content that’s already purchased unless the Apple TV is not connected to the Internet.  I live overseas and I use Apple TV to watch US shows that I like.  I like that I can use it without having my Mac online and without streaming across the internet.

For everyone who will chime in with “It’s an obsolete product, what do you expect?” - it’s OK that it’s out of warranty, it’s OK that there’s not new software updates, it would even be OK if there’s no new content.  However, don’t do things that reach out and break my working systems.

Mike Mountain

I have a 1st gen Apple TV and have used it since it’s release without any problems until now. I have experienced all of the issues with the iTunes Store and video playback and originally thought my device was now faulty so I was searching around for a replacement non-apple device but I struggled to find a current product that offers the same features of my Apple TV. It is clear internal storage & streaming while connected via HDMI is old news these days and I am not interested in the current Apple TV due to not having the internal storage.
With one last attempt to find an answer to this problem I have finally sorted it after hours of trying different things.

For anyone reading with a 1st gen Apple TV then try this to ensure you can still use it-
1. Run the diagnostics to ensure there are no faults before you continue, do this by holding menu and -down together for 6 seconds for this menu to come up. (More details by searching this on google, that’s how I found the instructions)
2. If everything is fine then do a factory restore which is found by holding the same buttons as earlier or it is found in the normal menus under ‘reset settings’
3. Once the Apple TV is restored, connect the wireless network and itunes as normal but then DO NOT UPDATE THE SOFTWARE and press ‘update later’.
By simply keeping the software in the original version this keeps everything running as normal with no problems at all with video playback and I am able to use it as freely as before. However this will not sort the iTunes Store issue and it will still not connect, this is clearly something Apple have controlled and users cannot remedy. All my music, videos and photos work without any problems while still connected to the wi if network and it also still syncs with iTunes over the network.
Hope that helps someone with this same issue.


I am writing to correct some facts in the above posts about the new problems with the 1st gen. ATV.

First off, there is quite a bit on the Apple Discussion List about this. There are over 5300 folks watching this as we all are suffering from the same problem waiting for Apple to fix it.

Yes, my 1st Gen. ATV still connects to my dedicated Mac Mini running iTunes that is paired with it, but any internet connection, with the exception of YouTube. has ceased working. Apple did something 3/26/14 to not only stop the 1st gen. ATV from accessing the iTunes Store, it also completely disabled access to Internet Radio. That problem seems to affect not only 1st ten, but also 2nd ten. ATV according to the List.

Further, some (Not all) 1st gen. users have found they can build an iTunes Internet Radio Playlist which either shows up in your “Shared Music” playlists in ATV, or at the main ATV home screen under (Now) Internet/Radio, but I can’t get either to function.

I strongly encourage any Gen. 1 ATV owner to call Apple Support and create a case # that will help convince Apple that although ATV, 1st Gen. was last sold in 2010, it is still VERY MUCH IN USE all over the world.

For Apple to sell me a product with stated features, and then take that usefulness away, particularly without notice, is a bad business move!

I personally have spoken to several Apple Support 2nd and 3rd tier support personal, and have been assured that Apple IS working on it. I sure hope so.

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