Apple TV in Hand

Is your Apple TV acting up lately? Specifically, is the set-top box exhibiting issues related to Wi-Fi networking? If so, Apple may have a brand new unit for you, free of charge, up to two years after the device’s purchase date.

According to a new report, the iPhone maker has opened a replacement program for owners of the third-generation Apple TVs plagued with problems related to locating or joining Wi-Fi network, dropped connections and more.

Only a small number of units have been affected and Apple has specified which serial number pairs are eligible for the replacement program…

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac has posted the above screenshot depicting an unreleased Apple document, which should apparently go live soon.

It reads:

Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues:

• Cannot locate network
• Unable to join network
• Dropped or intermittent connections

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will replace affected products up to two years from the original date of purchase fre of charge.

A replacement program almost indicates the problem couldn’t be dealt with through a firmware update, which almost certainly points to hardware related issues.

To determine whether your unit is affected , check whether the serial number of your Apple TV is within the specified serial number range.

• The last four letters of the serial number must be DRHN
• The third and fourth alphanumeric characters of the serial number must contain one of these pairs

• H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HM, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, J9

Apple TV WiFi replacement program

Apple released the third-generation Apple TV (model number A1427) in March 2012, bringing out 1080p video output with the the single-core A5 chip, a variant of the dual-core A5 design used for the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

It was revealed in January that Apple recently quietly updated the device with a retooled version of the chip (model number of A1469), optimized for power savings and more importantly designed with lower production costs in mind.

So, is your Apple TV eligible for a replacement?

I’m in the clear as my unit doesn’t appear to be faulty.