Apple TV & AirPods testing

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by spoa94, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. spoa94 macrumors 6502a

    spoa94

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    #1
    So we should all know that the Apple TV (4th gen) does not support the W1 chip for automatic pairing, but it can pair with bluetooth headphones so it is possible to pair. Here is what I experienced:

    You can pair the AirPods to Apple TV using the pairing button on the AirPods case. Just like any other bluetooth headset. While watching a show on my TV I still saw AirPods as an audio option on my iPhone 7. So I decide to start listening to music on my phone. TV then loses connection with AirPods. AirPods no longer listed as audio option in Apple TV. So yes, you can use W1 enabled devices on AppleTV, but you have to re-pair everytime you want to use them.

    Yes, this is sort of a pointless thread because most people should know this, and yeah I expected the outcome. But I thought some forum members would appreciate knowing exactly what will happen when pairing to Apple TV.
     
  2. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    London, UK.
    #2
    I wasn't aware the Apple TV 4 does not support the W1 chip. I thought it worked with all Apple devices running the latest OS. I'm assuming it may just be a case of updating the TV OS to support the W1 chip.
     
  3. spoa94 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spoa94

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    #3
    Seems silly that Apple didn't update TvOS to support the new technology. I hope it is coming soon
     
  4. boston04and07 macrumors 65816

    boston04and07

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    #4
    Thanks for posting this. I was very interested in how they would work with the Apple TV in real life, so this was really helpful. I too hope that true w1 pairing is on its way to the Apple TV. I get that it could in theory be slightly more complicated given that Apple TV's generally are shared devices, but I think it'd work. I'd much rather see my family's w1 paired devices in the audio menu and have access to my own than not have easy access at all.
     
  5. tivoboy macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Shouldn't the AppleTV support your airpod device hearing set up though? I think if one is signed in with the same iCloud account should need automatically add the parent relationship to devices running the latest OS's
     
  6. Mr.C macrumors 601

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    #6
    I would say in theory yes but maybe it's a case of the TV OS not being up to date to support the W1 chip.
     
  7. spoa94 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spoa94

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    #7
    TVOS does not currently support the iCloud pairing feature with the W1 chip. It is essentially no different than any other non-Apple Bluetooth device. Only operating systems that support W1 iCloud pairing is watchOS 3, macOS Sierra, and iOS 10.
     
  8. matthew23 macrumors regular

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    Aug 27, 2010
    #8
    Don't know if it is because it is outdated, but I could not get the airpods to pair with my ATV gen 2 last night. Tried using the button on the charging case (pressing until it blinks white) but ATV just searched and searched....nothing showed up. Anyone now if these work with ATV 2?
     
  9. smharm13 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #9
    I would imagine that TVOS would need to support handoff and continuality functionality that the ipad/iphone/mac have in order for the AirPods to work on them.
     
  10. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #10
    Bluetooth audio support was first added to the 4th gen Apple TV (so no, won't work with the 2nd or 3rd gen Apple TVs).
     
  11. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #11
    I had a different experience when testing this just now.

    I paired them to the Apple TV, as you mentioned as well. But then selected the AirPods on my iPhone to listen to music and they were disconnected from the Apple TV (as expected). While listening to music on my iPhone, I went into the menu on my Apple TV, to remotes & devices, clicked on AirPods (didn't have to repair them), and they connected and the TV audio went back to the AirPods.

    What do you don't have though, is a quick way to choose AirPods as an audio destination. During playback on the Apple TV, you have the slide down menu / overlay, and under Audio you can see AirPlay destinations & connected Bluetooth devices show up, similar to control center on iOS, but the AirPods don't show up here. Would be a nice little addition to have AirPods visible here too.

    Also interesting - After pairing the AirPods with the Apple TV as well, put them in the case (turned them off for a bit), then put them back in. I see them as expected as a destination in control center on iPhone and iPad, and when I go to Settings - Remotes and Devices on Apple TV it shows there as well, as already connected. But its inconsistent, and gets a bit finicky it seems when switching frequently.
     
  12. cgriffis753 macrumors regular

    cgriffis753

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    #12
    One thing I do like is when paired to the Apple TV. Removing an earbud still pauses
     
  13. spoa94 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    spoa94

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    #13
    Yes sorry this was my experience too. What I meant was how in the quick swipe down menu AirPods will not always be listed. You have to keep going into Settings to pair them again. I think iCloud is what keeps them always available on your iPhone. But the Apple TV does not.
     
  14. jclardy macrumors 68040

    jclardy

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    #14
    I think it isn't a hardware issue, it is an iCloud thing. My iPad Pro doesn't have "w1 compatible" hardware, but it connects to AirPods because iCloud syncs the pairing information across all devices. My Mac is the same way. The Apple TV could be the same but they just haven't implemented it yet (or just thought it would be something people wouldn't use.)
     
  15. profets macrumors 68040

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    Mar 18, 2009
    #15
    Careful with the wording of pairing again (I know I'm nitpicking) but they are still paired, and just need to be connected to again - similar to how you connect to them from an iOS device in control centre.

    iCloud I believe is just being used initially to pair them to all devices, and then possibly again if you ever unpair them. I bet there's some continuity type of stuff happening over bluetooth when you have the AirPods connected and playing to one device and then you connect to them from another.

    You're right though - it would definitely be nice for the AirPods to show up in that drop down menu during playback. My other bluetooth headphones show up there (when they're turned on and connected).

    Actually weirdly last night, while watching TV (content actually playing) I put my AirPods on (didn't interact with the phone or anything else), and the Apple TV switched audio playback to them on the fly (similar to how it does with other bluetooth headsets that are paired when they turn on).
     
  16. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    Jul 17, 2008
    #16
    I'm thinking it's something along the lines of they didn't think people would use it. I mean, in a family situation, the Apple TV could be signed into one iCloud account, say, a parent's, and if the kids had their own AirPods attached to *their* iCloud account, then their AirPods wouldn't automatically connect to the Apple TV, even if Apple TV synced AirPods over iCloud. It's just a more complicated situation than with iOS devices and Apple Watch, which are individual-use devices.
     
  17. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

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  18. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #18
    I don't believe the Apple TV 3 has Bluetooth.
     
  19. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

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    Sep 22, 2012
    #19
    Yes it does but not sure if AirPods could work with it
     
  20. profets macrumors 68040

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    #20
    I guess you guys missed earlier posts in this thread. Bluetooth audio and the ability to pair bluetooth headsets was added to the 4th gen Apple TV.
     
  21. LordQ Suspended

    LordQ

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    #21
    Indeed we did. Thanks man!
     
  22. Pupi, Dec 22, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016

    Pupi macrumors regular

    Pupi

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    #22
    You don’t need to re-pair them every time, but you need to re-connect them every time.

    It might seem a technicality, but there’s a difference, and it’s not that small. You don’t need to press the button on the case to put the AirPods in discovery mode and wait for them to show up and then pair them, every time.

    You just click on their name and connect to them again. They stayed paired all the time.

    It’s still less convenient than being able to connect to them from the dropdown shade, as it should be, but it’s not nearly as inconvenient as having to re-pair them all the time (which actually is something that needs to be done with certain bluetooth devices that have a very small number of simultaneous pairings allowed, if at all).

    edit: sorry, profets had already said the exact same thing in fewer words.
     
  23. Traverse macrumors 604

    Traverse

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    #23

    Actually that is a big difference. I thought, just from a quick glance of this thread, that you'd have to go through the entire pairing process again. Thanks for the tip.
     
  24. profets macrumors 68040

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    #24
    Lol - I don't think it was fewer words. And you shouldn't apologize, it's a good post with clear info regardless :)
     
  25. biosci macrumors 6502a

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    Chicagoland, IL
    #25
    Wow, how many devices can AirPods pair with in total?
     

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