New Apple TV 4K owners report frustrating Bluetooth connectivity issue

Mike Wheatley

Owners of the newly released Apple TV 4K streaming device are complaining about a major problem that sees the supplied remote control constantly lose its Bluetooth connection. It happens frequently, users say, and when it does they say the only remedy is to completely unplug the Apple TV box and plug it back in again.


It sounds like a frustrating problem, and it’s one that has been reported on multiple threads on Reddit and elsewhere. The problem doesn’t affect those who use their iPhones to control the TV, as that device relies on Wi-Fi, but for those without such a device there is no alternative but to use a buggy remote.

A report in FlatPanels HD suggests that the problem is due to a buggy Bluetooth function on the latest Apple TV 4K. While it hasn’t seen the remote disconnect by itself, it has had issues with Bluetooth game controllers becoming unstable when the user is seated more than three metres away from the box. Such controllers work fine with older versions of the Apple TV.

The new Apple TV 4K 2022 was announced in October, with its upgraded A15 Bionic chip delivering a 30% increase in terms of GPU performance, leading to greater responsiveness, faster navigation and snappier UI animations, and a superior gaming experience. It also added more storage space and support for the HDR10+ format, though the Siri Remote Control was not updated.

At present, it is not clear what is causing the Bluetooth issues, but FlatPanels HD said it appears to be limited to the new Apple TV 4K 2022’s connection interface. The problems may be due to a failed software update, or alternatively it could be an issue with the box's hardware.

Apple has at least acknowledged the issue and has posted a support document with suggestions on how to fix it. Unfortunately, some users are reporting that this fix doesn’t work. Apple suggests restarting the Siri Remote by holding the TV and volume down buttons simultaneously for about five seconds, in order to perform a hard restart. However, some have complained that not even this helps. They say the only thing that works is to power-cycle the Apple TV 4K box.

It’s not clear if Apple will be able to fix the problem via a firmware update or not, so Apple TV 4K users can only hope and wait. In the meantime, the need to constantly restart the box during the middle of a show or movie is likely to become a growing source of frustration for users.