My wife and I ended up away from home for a prolonged period. We have a netflix account which we enjoy quite a bit and decided it would be nice to watch on the hotel TV rather than the laptop.
Enter apple TV.
I recognize that apple TV is not the only solution to this problem. It would have been much simpler to go and buy a cable to hook the laptop/ipad to the TV but I liked the versatility of apple TV - especially as far as future utility is concerned.
Little did I know the problems I would encounter with this process. I will point out that I'm using apple tv from 2011 (the black one). The problem arises from the need to satisfy the hotel's wifi splash screen...
Here are a few things I learned:
1. I tried hooking up my laptop via ethernet and internet share with ad-hoc connection - - Apple TV will not connect to ad-hoc networks (not sure about the original ATV)
2. Like wise internet sharing from wifi to ethernet (ATV2 hooked into macbook ethernet) didn't work for me. At one point the menus changed as if it was working but I never actually managed to watch anything.
SOLUTION: MAC ADDRESS CLONING.
If you want to use your Apple TV 2 with your hotel's internet connection MAC address cloning seems to be the most effective method. Here are the steps:
1. Hook up your apple TV and go to network settings. Take down the MAC address.
2. Change your laptop or other devices MAC address to be the same as the Apple TV. On a macbook this can be achieved with terminal. Use the command: ifconfig en0 | grep ether to check the current mac address. Change the address with the command sudo ifconfig en0 ether xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx
Use en1 to change the address of airport on the macbook.
3. Plug hotel ethernet cable into laptop. Then open an internet browser on the laptop and accept the agreement on your hotel's wifi splash screen.
4. Take down the computers ip, subnet, router, dns information from system preferences.
5. Now plug the ethernet cable into apple TV. In network settings enter the information you took down from your laptop.
6. Hope this worked! Worked for me.