Screensaver is a feature often found on a device with a display screen. For those who don’t know, screensavers were originally used to prevent text or images from burning into CRT or plasma monitors. Fortunately, modern screens usually don’t have this issue. That being said, people still use screensavers for adding an extra layer of security and as something fun to look at.

Apple TV Screensaver

Apple TV allows you to do a bunch of things to control its screensavers, making it its own special feature. Additionally, generation 4 Apple TV users are pretty much spoiled by the Aerial Screensaver. The Aerial Screensaver glides through drone and helicopter footage of landscapes and cities from a bird’s-eye view.

There are other options for Apple TV screensavers that you can choose from. So why not continue your viewing experience even when you’re technically not watching TV?

Changing the Type of Screensaver

To start things off, let’s take a look at how you can change the kind of screensaver you want to activate.

  1. From the TV’s home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Next, choose Screen Saver, followed by Type.

The TV menu will present you with a list of different types of available screensavers. Here’s the breakdown for each one of them.

  • Aerial: Footage of landscapes and cities from a bird’s-eye perspective provided by Apple. New dynamic views are introduced periodically.
  • Apple Photos: Collection of beautiful photos also supplied by Apple.
  • My Photos: Photos taken from your own library.
  • Home Sharing: Images taken from all connected and compatible devices on your local network.
  • My Music: Music’s album cover artwork.

Once you pick your preferred type of screensaver, you may be presented with additional options for further customization.

  • Aerial: When you pick Aerial as the screensaver, you can tweak the download frequency of new footage. You can have the footage update daily, weekly, monthly, or not at all. Note: Your Apple TV can only store a specific amount of data, so older videos may be removed in exchange for the new ones.
  • Apple Photos: This screensaver type is mostly filled with nature-related photos. If you select this option, there are five specific categories to choose from: Landscapes, Nature, Animals, Flowers, and Shot on iPhone.
  • My Photos: This option lets you select images and photos taken from your Apple devices. These devices must have iCloud Photo Sharing or My PhotoStream enabled in order to be used as a screensaver source.
  • Home Sharing: Similar to My Photos, Home Sharing lets you take contents from other devices to appear as screensavers. These devices must be on the same network location, however. You can also opt to use anyone’s Apple ID as long as it’s connected to the local network.
  • My Music: With this option, you will be able to make a screensaver out of album covers taken from iTunes.

Modify Screensaver Transition

With the exception of the Aerial screensaver, you will have the option to modify how screensaver images transition from one to the other. This will affect how the images look when changing and how they look in general. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. From the TV’s home screen, go to Settings.
  2. Then choose General.
  3. From there, select Screen Saver.
  4. Scroll down until you find the Transition option.

There, you’ll see a list of different kinds of transitions for your screensavers. These include Cascade, Flip-Up, Origami, Random, and more. You can try each one of them to see how they behave individually. Should you choose the Random option, you’ll get to see a different transition each time the screensaver starts. This keeps things interesting.

Decide When the Screensaver Should Start

This function is always provided for any device that includes the screensaver feature, including Apple TV. It allows you to decide how quickly the screensaver will begin after remaining idle for some time. “Idle,” in this context, means the Apple TV screen is not being used. Setting this timer all depends on your preferences.

  1. As usual, go to Settings —> General —> Screen Saver.
  2. Pick the Start After option.
  3. Adjust the time the screensaver should launch after a period of inactivity (e.g. 2, 5, 10, 15, or 30 minutes).
  4. If you want to effectively disable screen saver, pick Never.


Watching the screensaver nowadays can be just as entertaining as watching television. Apple TV offers some great options to customize its screensaver and with that Aerial view and option to scroll though personal photos, you’re sure to find it a great conversation starter as well.

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