Deploying TrilbyTV via MDM

Mobile Device Management servers are popular tools for managing large numbers of iOS and tvOS based devices, like iPads and AppleTV’s. When combined with DEP, it becomes a streamlined tool for deploying apps to your devices, including TrilbyTV apps. This could be deploying our iPad app to classroom devices, or deploying our TrilbyTV Player app to AppleTV’s around your sites.

Device Enrolment

The first step is to ensure your devices are enrolled in Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager, from there you will have access to Device Enrolment (formally the Device Enrollment Program). This can be done through your Apple Authorised Reseller or Apple Solutions Expert and the Apple School Manager website, and when you purchase new devices they will be automatically added to your Apple School Manager account. Once you are registered here, and your Apple School Manager and MDM systems are synced up (refer to your MDM support for specific instructions), you can begin your deployment utilising Device Enrolment. With Device Enrolment you will be able to enrol devices to your MDM server. If you already have AppleTV’s, you can manually add them to your Apple School Manager account through the Apple Configurator 2 application, available for free via the Mac App Store.

There is more information about Device Enrolment here and the manual process to add devices to Apple School Manager. Also check out the Apple Education Support Page.

Enrolling AppleTV in DEP with Apple Configurator

  1. Connect your AppleTV via USB-C or Ethernet
  2. Launch Apple Configurator, pair your selected device and click Prepare
  3. Select the option to Supervise your device and proceed through the setup
  4. During the setup steps, you will be prompted for your DEP login account details. Enter these when prompted
  5. Continue through the setup assistant until complete

More information can be found on Apple’s support page.

Installing Apps

Installing TrilbyTV for iPad on your devices is easy. First you need to use Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager and the Apps and Books section (or if you still use the Volume Purchase Program)  to request free licenses for the TrilbyTV and/or TrilbyTV Player app. Once that is complete, and your MDM has synced your available licenses, you should be able to use your MDM tool to allocate a licence for each app the the devices that need them, or allocate them to specific enrolled users. You may want to use Smart Groups to organise your iPads and AppleTV’s to make this step easier.

Setting up TrilbyTV Player

iOS and tvOS support a feature called Single App Mode. This enforces a single application to run on a device full screen, stopping it from being quit, and forcing it to start when a device is powered on. This makes it ideal for kiosks that may be in public areas, mounted in hard to reach areas, or even those that are within reach of individuals. For example, you could install TrilbyTV Player on an iPad in a small podium, or you may have an AppleTV attached to a TV mounted high on a wall.

Single App Mode settings as seen in ZuluDesk

MDM Configuration Options

Within your MDM software, locate the Device Settings feature, and create a setting for Single App Mode for a chosen device or group of devices. From the list of Apps to select, select the TrilbyTV Player app and apply the settings. After a few minutes, the device(s) will update their settings and automatically launch TrilbyTV Player. Once the app is running, take note of the unique 8 character Player Code shown on screen. You will need this to connect that copy of the TrilbyTV Player app to your system.

Managed App Configuration

TrilbyTV Player for AppleTV now supports Managed App Configuration. This allows you to perform a zero-touch deployment of AppleTV’s.

Once you have enrolled your AppleTV’s in DEP and they are in your MDM…

  • Allocate VPP licenses to your devices to allow the app to be automatically installed.
  • Then use a Profile to assign Single App Mode to launch the app immediately on startup.
  • Finally, use the Managed App Configuration settings in your MDM to upload your specific MDM config for your system.

To access your MDM config, download the Config File from the Players page on TrilbyTV.

Depending on your specific MDM, you will either need to upload that file, copy and paste the contents into your MDM, or manually create the Key/Value pair required for the app. To find this, open the downloaded file in a plain text editor, like Notepad, Atom or SublimeText, and enter the key name systemid and copy and paste the and string value (the random letters and numbers) from the file into your MDM.
* Note: Managed App Config requires TrilbyTV Player for AppleTV v4.1.3 or higher

Sample Managed App Configuration in ZuluDesk

You must make sure you have not added the Player via the player code in order for this to work.

Setting Up TrilbyTV for iPad

Unlike the TrilbyTV Player app, it is unlikely you will want to set up Single App Mode on your iPads. There is no other additional configuration needed for TrilbyTV for iPad. Simply launch and log in with your account details. The TrilbyTV app can be deployed to end user iPads like any other app.