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The new second-generation Apple TV 4K is capable of relaying audio from a compatible TV to a HomePod – even when you're not using your Apple TV. This allows you to stream audio from a TV-connected game console or other set-top box straight to Apple's smart speakers. Keep reading to learn more and how to set it up.

PS5-AppleTV-and-HomePod-Feature.jpg

The new Apple TV 4K supports two additional connection standards, called ARC and eARC. ARC (Audio Return Channel) is a feature of HDMI 1.4 that enables audio from a device to be sent to a compatible TV and relayed through its HDMI port to a separate audio receiver, speaker, or sound bar. eARC (enhanced ARC) meanwhile adds support for the passthrough of higher bandwidth audio like Dolby Atmos, as well as 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.

For Apple TV 4K, ARC and eARC support effectively allows a HomePod or stereo-paired Homepods in a Home Theater Audio setup to play audio from other TV-connected devices like a cable box, PS5, or Xbox Series X. The following steps show you how to get it set up.

Note that the feature only works with the original, discontinued HomePod – the newer HomePod mini is not supported at this time. Also, make sure that your TV supports ARC or eARC. You can check if it does by seeing if there's an ARC label next to your HDMI port, or try contacting the TV manufacturer.
  1. On your Apple TV, launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Video and Audio.
  3. Select Default Audio Output. (Under "Default Audio Output," make sure HomePod is selected.)
  4. Under "Audio Return Channel (Beta)," select Play Television Audio. You'll know ARC or eARC is turned on when it says On (ARC) or On (eARC).
tvos14-settings-video-audio-default-audio-output-homepod-selected.jpg

If ARC or eARC doesn't work for you after following the above steps, check whether you need to turn on ARC, eARC, or HDMI-CEC in the settings of your TV.

Article Link: Apple TV 4K: How to Stream Audio From Your TV's Inputs to HomePod (eARC)
 
Last edited:

hagar

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
1,388
3,023
Apple made such a horrible mess of their home strategy. They should have kept the HomePod until a successor was ready. Even if it takes some years. Because the current situation is just embarrassing.

They could even have taken action to drive up sales like lowering the price and adding new features such as this one. I’m sure this would convince some users to use dual Homepods for their TV’s. Spatial Audio could have been another boost.
 

jimbobb24

macrumors 68020
Jun 6, 2005
2,097
3,269
If it’s like the current set up with the HomePod playing the audio from Apple TV expect frequent disconnections, the HomePod to instead play random music that was on your iPhone a few weeks ago, randomly switch off the AppleTV music, etc. with fiddling you can always get it to work. Just remember never use the HomePod for anything else or it will take another 5 minutes to get it reconnected. Usually it will only take 3.
 

cjbryce

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2008
523
240
London
This is great news. It'd be even better if HomePod hadn't been discontinued or Apple had announced HomePod 2.

As it is I'm likely moving to a smaller house so I may consider selling my Denon/B&W/KEF kit and just going full eArc/HomePod.

Yes, yes I know it'll be no comparison but size might just matter?
 

02275629

Cancelled
Apr 6, 2016
100
124
I’m confused, if someone could help me out. Did the Apple TV 4K Gen 1 support ARC? if no, how was I able to get the audio from my Apple TV 4K Gen 1, which was connected to my 4K TV, to play on my A/V receiver which was also connected to my tv. (in case someone is confused, I did not have the Apple TV connected directly into the A/V receiver)
 

vc2020

macrumors regular
Nov 15, 2014
164
51
I’m confused, if someone could help me out. Did the Apple TV 4K Gen 1 support ARC? if no, how was I able to get the audio from my Apple TV 4K Gen 1, which was connected to my 4K TV, to play on my A/V receiver which was also connected to my tv. (in case someone is confused, I did not have the Apple TV connected directly into the A/V receiver)
ARC is audio return channel and eARC is the enhanced version of it. So essentially the Apple TV can now function as your A/V receiver so if you have a console or other device connected to your tv, it will send the audio to HomePod's connected to the Apple TV 4K
 

ScrumpyDaniel

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2019
194
209
Damn... This is gonna make me have to upgrade mine from the 4K model now for my HomePods. My remote has only arrived today haha.
 
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Scipster

macrumors regular
Aug 13, 2020
230
592
I’m confused, if someone could help me out. Did the Apple TV 4K Gen 1 support ARC? if no, how was I able to get the audio from my Apple TV 4K Gen 1, which was connected to my 4K TV, to play on my A/V receiver which was also connected to my tv. (in case someone is confused, I did not have the Apple TV connected directly into the A/V receiver)
I was wondering the exact same thing, as my Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K can also play to my A/V receiver.

I think what this article is trying to say is that the Apple TV itself can be the A/V receiver for PS5/Xbox/Switch etc through eARC.
 

Nozgog

macrumors member
Oct 26, 2019
55
28
Thanks to Macrumors for pointing this out. This is a game changer.

New AppleTV 4K 2nd Gen just arrived and now I will also be able to hear the TV sound on Stereo HomePods!!

All that is left for Apple to do now, is to be able to add multiple HomePod minis all around the room for even greater sound! Please!!
 

meihcydna

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2009
147
3
I’m confused, if someone could help me out. Did the Apple TV 4K Gen 1 support ARC? if no, how was I able to get the audio from my Apple TV 4K Gen 1, which was connected to my 4K TV, to play on my A/V receiver which was also connected to my tv. (in case someone is confused, I did not have the Apple TV connected directly into the A/V receiver)
Your A/V receiver is probably plugged into the HDMI ARC/eARC or optical port on your TV to relay audio from other sources.
 

somnolentsurfer

macrumors regular
Dec 28, 2008
117
157
I’m confused, if someone could help me out. Did the Apple TV 4K Gen 1 support ARC? if no, how was I able to get the audio from my Apple TV 4K Gen 1, which was connected to my 4K TV, to play on my A/V receiver which was also connected to my tv. (in case someone is confused, I did not have the Apple TV connected directly into the A/V receiver)
Presumably, because your gen 1 was just sending sound output to your TV which did support ARC, and the TV was relaying to your receiver which also supported it. The gen 2 can now work the other way around, and receive audio input from other devices connected to your TV and relay that to a HomePod (or two).
 

Antes

macrumors regular
Nov 12, 2014
124
277
I might just get one to test this out with my OG homepod pair to use with my PS5.
I’m thinking latency might be a problem. Sometimes they go out of sync when watching YouTube tv and I skip forward too much.
 
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02275629

Cancelled
Apr 6, 2016
100
124
So correct me if I’m wrong, the whole purpose of this new arc/eArc support is to get other devices to play audio on a HomePod, correct? Nothing to do with plying audio on an A/V receiver, correct?
 
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EedyBeedyBeeps

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2013
57
13
USA
This is all very new to me, and I think I must be misunderstanding something. I have a stereo pair of original HomePods. If I follow the instructions here, would I be able to use the stereo pair of HomePods as speakers for a connected TiVo? Also, if that were to work, would the stereo pair of HomePods still function as "normal" when not being used as speakers for the TV, responding to Hey Siri, playing music, etc?
 

Topfry

macrumors regular
Apr 19, 2011
166
66
Does this mean that you can use both homepods and tv speakers for regular broadcast tv (in sync) or do you have to choose one or the other?
 
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