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Free Apple TVs offered as replacements for boxes with busted Wi-Fi

Apple TV owners having trouble connecting to their network may be eligible for a replacement device.

In an internal Apple memo (see image, top) obtained by 9to5 Mac, Apple said that a handful of third-gen machines are having Wi-Fi issues, and will be replaced.

"Apple has determined that a very small number of Apple TV (3rd generation) products might experience one of these Wi-Fi related connectivity issues: Cannot locate network; Unable to join network; Dropped or intermittent connection," the memo said.

Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will replace the affected products, if eligible, for up to two years from the original purchase date — free of charge.

Those machines affected must fit a specified serial number range, according to the memo. Its last four letters must be DRHN, and the third and fourth alphanumeric characters must contain one of the following pairs: H9, HC, HD, HF, HG, HH, HJ, HK, HL, HM, HN, HP, HQ, HR, HT, HV, HW, HX, J1, J2, J3, J4, J5, J6, J7, J8, J9.

If your device doesn't fit those criteria, don't expect to trade it in for a new model. Those who do, however, can bring their Apple TV to the nearest Apple Store for professional troubleshooting, after which, if the symptoms persist, the Cupertino-based company will replace the product at no charge, the memo said.

9to5 Mac pointed to a tweaked version of the third-gen Apple TV, which shipped quietly earlier this year with new Broadcom wireless chips, as the culprit.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.