Apple TV Screen Saver: a blank screen or black screen

Santa brought me an Apple TV for Christmas, which was excellent since he also brought me my first TV in about 10 years. I'm all around pleased with how the Apple TV box works with one exception: the screen-saver is fancy and nice, but lacks the only kind of screen saver I actually like: a blank screen.

I was planning to use my TV as a stereo to play music and podcasts. But unless I'm watching TV I don't like to see anything on the screen. It's too distracting for me - and I have a thing against visual noise.

Long story short: do you also just want a blankscreen/blackscreen for your Apple TV screen saver? Here's how to get one.

Part 1 - Using a black image from Flickr as your only screen saver picture

  • From the main menu, choose Settings > Screen Saver > Photos > Flickr > Search
  • Enter "appletvblankscreen" and click Submit
  • A results window with just one image should show up. This is a black 16:9 image I uploaded to Flickr.
  • Go up then right, so you can click on "Screen Saver". Answer "Yes" to using this as your screen saver.

Part 2 - Set the "style" of photo display

  • From the main menu, choose Settings > Screen Saver.
  • Go down into the list of screen saver styles and choose "Classic" (at the bottom) then choose "Fade Through Black". 


When your Apple TV goes to screen saver mode it will think it's being fancy, but it will be doing a "fade to black" with a black picture, so basically your TV image goes away*.

* Just remember, your TV is still ON, so watch for accidental power consumption!