tvOS 15.4 lets your Apple TV connect to captive Wi-Fi networks that require additional sign-in steps, like at hotels or dorms

tvOS 15.4 lets your Apple TV join captive Wi-Fi networks, which are networks that require additional sign-in steps like in hotel rooms, with a little help from your iPhone or iPad.

Apple's promotional image depicting a female hand holding the redesigned Siri Remote that ships with the second-generation Apple TV 4K
  • tvOS 15.4 brings support for joining captive wireless networks on Apple TV
  • It requires an iPhone or iPad to go through additional sign-in steps
  • This is also useful for connecting to certain corporate networks

Your Apple TV can now join captive Wi-Fi networks

Captive networks are found at public Wi-Fi hotspots, in hotel and dorm rooms, corporate settings and so on. Before tvOS 15.4, the Apple TV couldn’t join a captive wireless network. If you used your Apple TV as a presentation device, for instance, you could run into issues attempting to connect the media streamer to a captive Wi-Fi.

A captive Wi-Fi typically requires additional sign-in steps. You may have seen this in action if you joined a public Wi-Fi only to be greeted with a login page in Safari that you had to interact with to gain network access. tvOS 15.4 allows your Apple TV to join captive Wi-Fi networks with a little help from your iPhone and iPad, which is used for additional sign-in steps. Read: How to set up your Apple TV the right way

The feature is mentioned in the tvOS 15.4 developer release notes on the Apple website:

Captive Wi-Fi network support on tvOS allows you to use your iPhone or iPad to connect your Apple TV to networks that need additional sign-in steps, like at hotels or dorms.

Other changes in tvOS 15.4 include an updated video player with direct access to the Up Next list, along with a new volume button. Additional tweaks in tvOS 15.4 are highlighted in a Twitter thread by ScreenTimes editor-in-chief Sigmund Judge.

When will tvOS 15.4 launch publicly for all Apple TV users?

This is the first beta of tvOS 15.4.

With several more betas to go, any new features you saw today may change or even stop working entirely in subsequent betas. In other words, don’t take anything for granted until Apple publicly releases tvOS 15.4. As to when that might happen, it will be probably several weeks before the company wraps up developer testing of tvOS 15.4. We’re expecting a public launch sometime around this spring.

Watch this space for any new information as it becomes available.