Seeing a ‘this content can’t be played on this Apple TV’ error when watching your purchased Apple TV shows?
So you rented a new movie from Apple TV for the weekend. Unfortunately, you’re greeted by an error message upon playing the show on your device.
Since rented shows are only available for a certain period, it can be frustrating if they won’t play on your Apple TV.
Today, we’re going to show you how to fix this problem on your device.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Restart Your Apple TV.
Before doing anything, try restarting your Apple TV if you can’t watch movies or TV shows.
This should reload your system resources, eliminating temporary bugs and errors that may have occurred during use.
With Siri Remote / Apple TV Remote (2nd generation or later):
- Hold down the Back + TV/Control Center buttons on your Apple TV Remote.
- Let go of the buttons once the light on your Apple TV flashes.
If you’re using a Siri Remote / Apple TV Remote (1st generation):
- Hold down the Menu + TV/Control Center buttons on your remote.
- Release the buttons once the light indicator on your Apple TV flashes.
For Apple Remote (aluminum or white):
- Press and hold the Menu + Down buttons on your remote.
- Let go of the buttons once the light on your device flashes.
Go back to the Apple TV app to see if you can now watch movies and TV shows.
2. Check Apple TV Status.
If you’re trying to stream content online, there’s a chance that Apple TV’s services are unavailable.
To confirm this, you can visit Apple’s system status page to see if there are problems with Apple TV and related services.
Unfortunately, server-related problems can’t be resolved on your end. If the servers are down, the only option you have is to wait it out.
Make sure to check in from time to time so you’d know once the issue is resolved.
On the other hand, you can head to the next solution if the servers are online.
3. Check Wireless Connection.
Apple TV needs stable internet to function properly. If you can’t watch rented or owned shows from the service, your device might not be connected to your network.
You can go to Settings > Network to check if your device is connected to WiFi. Make sure that your Apple TV is getting enough signal from your wireless network.
If your signal strength is below 3 bars, consider moving your Apple TV closer to your router or use a WiFi extender to improve reception.
4. Refresh Your Network.
A slow or unstable network can also cause Apple TV to malfunction.
To confirm this, perform a speed test on your network to see if you’re getting the correct speed indicated on your monthly plan.
If not, try power cycling your modem to re-establish the connection with your provider.
- Locate the power cable of your router and unplug it.
- Wait for at least 10 seconds.
- Plug back in the power cable and wait for your router to initialize.
Perform another speed test afterward and check if the problem is solved.
If the issue persists, report the problem to your service provider and let them handle the situation.
5. Turn Off Quick Start.
Quick Start is a feature that instantly starts any video that you stream in the best resolution available. However, this is not advisable for slow network connections.
If you encounter the ‘this content can’t be played on this Apple TV’ error, disable Quick Start from settings.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Go to Settings on your Apple TV.
- Now, click on Apps.
- Look for iTunes Movies and TV Shows and access it.
- Find the Quick Start option and disable it.
Once done, go back to the movie or show you’re watching to check if the problem is solved.
6. Lower Apple TV Resolution.
If you can’t watch shows from your Apple TV, check your resolution settings and match it according to your network speed.
Streaming movies at 4K can put a lot of load on your network and your bandwidth may not be enough to handle it.
See the steps below to lower your Apple TV resolution:
- Open Settings on your Apple TV.
- Go to Video and Audio.
- Click on Resolution.
- Select a lower resolution from the options.
Try streaming a movie or show to check if the problem is solved.
7. Re-Login Apple TV Account.
Refreshing your account data might also help resolve the streaming issue on Apple TV.
Removing your Apple ID and adding it back again should prompt your device to update your account information.
This should clear any issues related to your account data.
Follow the steps below to sign out your Apple ID:
- First, open Settings on your Apple TV.
- Go to User and Accounts and click on your profile.
- Now, click on your Apple ID.
- Choose Sign Out and follow the prompts.
- After five minutes, re-login to your account.
Go back to Apple TV afterward and check if you can now stream movies and TV shows.
8. Update Your Apple TV.
A problem with your Apple TV’s software can also cause playback issues with the Apple TV app.
To rule this out, we recommend updating your device to the latest software available.
See the steps below to update your Apple TV:
- Access Settings on your Apple TV.
- Now, go to System > Software Updates.
- Click on Update Software.
- If there’s an available update, click on Download and Install.
- Wait for the update to complete.
Try watching another movie or show to check if the problem is solved.
9. Reset Apple TV Settings.
If there’s a conflict with your settings, it may be difficult to trace it. In this case, we recommend that you just reset your configurations.
Here’s how you can reset your Apple TV:
- Open Settings on your Apple TV.
- Now, go to General > Reset.
- Choose Reset All Settings to roll back any changes with your configurations.
Set up your Apple TV like it’s new and see if you’ll still encounter the error.
10. Contact Apple.
At this point, we recommend that you report the issue to Apple. There might be a problem with your account or there’s an unreported issue with Apple TV.
Visit Apple’s support page and get in touch with their team to ask for assistance regarding the error message you’re seeing when watching movies and shows.
Make sure to provide these information to make it easier for Apple to resolve the problem:
- Your account information (Apple ID)
- Model of your Apple TV
- Show or movie you encounter the error.
That ends our guide on how to fix the ‘this content can’t be played on this Apple TV’ error. If you have other concerns, please drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer them.