black screen

I was trying to boot up my jailbroken Apple TV a few days ago when I suddenly got hit by the Black Screen of Death. It’s something I had seen mentioned online before, but not experienced myself, so I was a little taken aback.

Conveniently enough, since I was communicating with nitoTV developer Kevin Bradley for the purpose of our podcast, I asked him if he had a quick fix for the issue, which he kindly offered.

Causes & Symptoms

Kevin admitted that although this is something he is well aware of, he still hasn’t found a way to prevent it, but hopefully this is something he can figure out in the near future.

If you’ve been hit by the Black Screen of Death, then you know all about it. At boot up, your Apple TV simply stays stuck on a black screen, and after a few minutes, it will switch to a white screen, then revert back to a completely black screen. I have also noticed that besides force restarting my Apple TV, the device didn’t seem to register any of my activity from the Siri remote.

Fixing the black screen issue

The fix for this issue is actually pretty simple and won’t even require you to unplug your Apple TV to plug it in your computer.

1) On your Mac, open the Terminal app and SSH into your Apple TV by typing this command:

ssh root@Apple-TV.local

Note that your default password is alpine, unless of course you have changed it.

2) Once you are connected to your Apple TV, type in or copy/paste the following command and hit Enter:

 wget ; chmod +x 

Your Apple TV should now boot up fine and take you to your Home screen.

Until nitoTV developer Kevin Bradley updates the installer, it seems this is the only workaround for getting passed that black screen.

  • Innes

    Possibly the most boring screen grab ever used in an article Sebastian!

    • Yup, it is. Kind of on purpose too 🙂

  • Rowan09

    Honestly this was posted late. I used the tutorial to install Nito TV only to find I had this issue. I found out the fix from Nito TV’s Twitter account. Since you’re doing tutorials, it would be nice to at least mention the what ifs.

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    The problem with this fix is that once it’s applied, the usb is disabled..

  • geraldshields

    And that’s why I don’t hack my Apple TV! Another article that details a fix that wouldn’t had happened if folks hacked their stuff! Activating flame shields . . .

  • Bouchon TheFrenchie

    My USB is disabled now… anyone?

  • Sid

    Really looking for help from someone:

    I am in a bit of a conundrum. Due to having NitoTV on my ATV4 I am now
    dealing with the black/white screens of death. I know this fix is bound to work, but am unable to SSH successfully into my ATV4. I am not sure what I am doing wrong here.

    Alternatively, I am willing to put the ATV4 into DFU mode and upgrade
    to the latest tvOS. However, there seems to be an issue with doing
    that, most likely attributed to the black/white screens of death.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with this?? I would GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!! Thank you in advance.

    • DHunter

      I’m having the same issue and cant SSH into my ATV4. Any help or ideas would be great.

  • luis

    hi i have the same problem and i try to do this steps but still wont work is there another way to fix it?

    • andre

      I also have the BSOD but cannot ssh into atv 4- keep getting connection refused