HomePod Can I control my Apple TV with a Homepod?

I Need a Drink

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 14, 2013
188
32
I'm thinking of switching out my Echos for HomePods next time there is a deal on them. I Googled some info on them and I read that if I pair the HomePod to the Apple TV to use as an audio source, then I can voice control my Apple TV through it for things like pausing a movie or skipping to a certain time, etc. However, I also read some comments that if I don't use the HomePod as an audio source that I can't use it to voice control the Apple TV. I have a very nice 7.1 setup and I have no plans to use a HomePod for audio when watching TV. So my question is, can I use the HomePod as a ATV remote of sorts if it is not being used as a audio source or not?
 

bbednarz

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2017
1,308
3,262
Chicago
When it is used as an audio source I am not 100% sure, but I do not believe that you can control the TV.

I know for certain that when it is not paired as an audio source that you cannot use it to control the Apple TV.
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
I have no plans to use a HomePod for audio when watching TV. So my question is, can I use the HomePod as a ATV remote of sorts if it is not being used as a audio source or not?
You can select multiple outputs from Apple TV, so you could use HomePod in addition to your current setup and adjust its volume independently. That way you could use voice commands to play, pause, rewind, ff, etc...

Otherwise, you'll have to rely on the Siri remote if you don't want to include HomePod as an output device..
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
The HomePod doesn't need to be the source of the audio to control the AppleTV. You just need to be specific with your directions.

"Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV" will stop my AppleTV 4K in the living room. Since its the only device in the living room that accepts HomeKit play/pause commands than I don't need to add on "AppleTV" (its name in home app). So tell the HomePod "Hey Siri pause the living room" works too. HomePod Siri will respond with "stopping in the living room", "resuming in the living room", etc.

Since the HomePod is for music and a speaker it will fill gaps in your commands with its own functions so you need to just be aware of that. "Hey Siri pause" will be met with "Nothing is playing". You need to say "Hey Siri pause (location) (device)".

There are plenty of other commands that work from the HomePod to control the AppleTV when its being used for video. I often use "Hey Siri rewind X seconds/minutes in the living room" when I get distracted in the kitchen or something.

It should be mentioned this is not a function of the HomePod. This is a function of HomeKit. These are commands that work on any device that accepts Siri commands, iPhones, iPads, Macs (not mine so not sure about Macs), Apple Watch, AppleTV. Often the HomePod doesn't pick up my Hey Siri command for the AppleTV but my iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad (when plugged in) does and it executes the same command the HomePod would have just fine. That is another reason specifics are important with you're commands.

You can even use the AppleTV's Siri remote to control OTHER AppleTV's (ex. from the living room AppleTV remote "Pause guest bedroom AppleTV 4") albeit function is limited its still there.
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
The HomePod doesn't need to be the source of the audio to control the AppleTV. You just need to be specific with your directions.

"Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV" will stop my AppleTV 4K in the living room. Since its the only device in the living room that accepts HomeKit play/pause commands than I don't need to add on "AppleTV" (its name in home app). So tell the HomePod "Hey Siri pause the living room" works too. HomePod Siri will respond with "stopping in the living room", "resuming in the living room", etc.

Since the HomePod is for music and a speaker it will fill gaps in your commands with its own functions so you need to just be aware of that. "Hey Siri pause" will be met with "Nothing is playing". You need to say "Hey Siri pause (location) (device)".

There are plenty of other commands that work from the HomePod to control the AppleTV when its being used for video. I often use "Hey Siri rewind X seconds/minutes in the living room" when I get distracted in the kitchen or something.

It should be mentioned this is not a function of the HomePod. This is a function of HomeKit. These are commands that work on any device that accepts Siri commands, iPhones, iPads, Macs (not mine so not sure about Macs), Apple Watch, AppleTV. Often the HomePod doesn't pick up my Hey Siri command for the AppleTV but my iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad (when plugged in) does and it executes the same command the HomePod would have just fine. That is another reason specifics are important with you're commands.

You can even use the AppleTV's Siri remote to control OTHER AppleTV's (ex. from the living room AppleTV remote "Pause guest bedroom AppleTV 4") albeit function is limited its still there.
Very interesting. Thanks for pointing that out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bgosh

Bgosh

macrumors member
Nov 17, 2016
37
16
Las Vegas
The HomePod doesn't need to be the source of the audio to control the AppleTV. You just need to be specific with your directions.

"Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV" will stop my AppleTV 4K in the living room. Since its the only device in the living room that accepts HomeKit play/pause commands than I don't need to add on "AppleTV" (its name in home app). So tell the HomePod "Hey Siri pause the living room" works too. HomePod Siri will respond with "stopping in the living room", "resuming in the living room", etc.

Since the HomePod is for music and a speaker it will fill gaps in your commands with its own functions so you need to just be aware of that. "Hey Siri pause" will be met with "Nothing is playing". You need to say "Hey Siri pause (location) (device)".

There are plenty of other commands that work from the HomePod to control the AppleTV when its being used for video. I often use "Hey Siri rewind X seconds/minutes in the living room" when I get distracted in the kitchen or something.

It should be mentioned this is not a function of the HomePod. This is a function of HomeKit. These are commands that work on any device that accepts Siri commands, iPhones, iPads, Macs (not mine so not sure about Macs), Apple Watch, AppleTV. Often the HomePod doesn't pick up my Hey Siri command for the AppleTV but my iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad (when plugged in) does and it executes the same command the HomePod would have just fine. That is another reason specifics are important with you're commands.

You can even use the AppleTV's Siri remote to control OTHER AppleTV's (ex. from the living room AppleTV remote "Pause guest bedroom AppleTV 4") albeit function is limited its still there.
Makes total sense why the broad commands only work when it’s paired to an ATV. I’ve read a lot of articles from reputable sites that haven’t mentioned these tidbits. Thanks for taking the time to point this stuff out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cynics

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
Makes total sense why the broad commands only work when it’s paired to an ATV. I’ve read a lot of articles from reputable sites that haven’t mentioned these tidbits. Thanks for taking the time to point this stuff out.
No problem. I'll often find this stuff out by trying things I feel should work. Since Siri functionality is server based its often updated without our knowledge.

For example when I first started using HomeKit with Siri you could not say "Hey Siri turn on the living room lights and the kitchen lights". Two things would confuse it. You also couldn't say "Hey Siri turn off all the lights except for the living room lights" without confusing Siri. However now both of those commands work just fine although you need to be careful of that last one because ALL the lights include exterior lights you might not be thinking of.
 

tromboneaholic

Suspended
Jun 9, 2004
3,706
3,024
Clearwater, FL
No problem. I'll often find this stuff out by trying things I feel should work. Since Siri functionality is server based its often updated without our knowledge.

For example when I first started using HomeKit with Siri you could not say "Hey Siri turn on the living room lights and the kitchen lights". Two things would confuse it. You also couldn't say "Hey Siri turn off all the lights except for the living room lights" without confusing Siri. However now both of those commands work just fine although you need to be careful of that last one because ALL the lights include exterior lights you might not be thinking of.
This reminds of when I was a kid learning basic programming.

No matter how conversational and casual virtual assistants become for casual users, there will always be another level of conversation we can learn ourselves.

I think you are tapping into something that hasn’t really been discussed yet.

Thanks again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bgosh

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,746
8,374
UK
The HomePod doesn't need to be the source of the audio to control the AppleTV. You just need to be specific with your directions.

"Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV" will stop my AppleTV 4K in the living room. Since its the only device in the living room that accepts HomeKit play/pause commands than I don't need to add on "AppleTV" (its name in home app). So tell the HomePod "Hey Siri pause the living room" works too. HomePod Siri will respond with "stopping in the living room", "resuming in the living room", etc.

Since the HomePod is for music and a speaker it will fill gaps in your commands with its own functions so you need to just be aware of that. "Hey Siri pause" will be met with "Nothing is playing". You need to say "Hey Siri pause (location) (device)".

There are plenty of other commands that work from the HomePod to control the AppleTV when its being used for video. I often use "Hey Siri rewind X seconds/minutes in the living room" when I get distracted in the kitchen or something.

It should be mentioned this is not a function of the HomePod. This is a function of HomeKit. These are commands that work on any device that accepts Siri commands, iPhones, iPads, Macs (not mine so not sure about Macs), Apple Watch, AppleTV. Often the HomePod doesn't pick up my Hey Siri command for the AppleTV but my iPhone, Apple Watch or iPad (when plugged in) does and it executes the same command the HomePod would have just fine. That is another reason specifics are important with you're commands.

You can even use the AppleTV's Siri remote to control OTHER AppleTV's (ex. from the living room AppleTV remote "Pause guest bedroom AppleTV 4") albeit function is limited its still there.
If I’ve set the audio output of my Apple TV 4 to my HomePod stereo pair and something is playing on the TV then I can indeed say hey Siri pause and it will pause.
 
  • Like
Reactions: yass31

Mercury7

macrumors 6502
Oct 31, 2007
441
31
As of the latest update, although HomePod Siri can not open apps, it now can open the music app, you no longer get the confusion when you ask her to play music, she knows to connect through appletv instead of her built in WiFi
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,746
8,374
UK
As of the latest update, although HomePod Siri can not open apps, it now can open the music app, you no longer get the confusion when you ask her to play music, she knows to connect through appletv instead of her built in WiFi
The latest update allows you to use Siri to playback shows on the Apple TV via your iPad or iPhone. It doesn’t work with the HomePod though which is silly. Hopefully they will bring that feature to HomePod soon. Unfortunately my HomePods are next to my Tv so when I say hey Siri play X show on living room TV the HomePod picks up the command instead of my phone or one of my iPads.
 

se99jmk

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2012
100
15
The latest update allows you to use Siri to playback shows on the Apple TV via your iPad or iPhone. It doesn’t work with the HomePod though which is silly. Hopefully they will bring that feature to HomePod soon. Unfortunately my HomePods are next to my Tv so when I say hey Siri play X show on living room TV the HomePod picks up the command instead of my phone or one of my iPads.
I was really confused by this! (Raised a separate post)

12.2 - “control video on your  TV using Siri” - sweet!!

Doesn’t work on the HomePod (works from iPhone) = missed opportunity...
 

BlankStar

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2004
652
427
Belgium
I can only imagine this feature will work on the HomePod in the near future. When at home "hey Siri" is 99% of the time picked up by the HomePods. Can't even understand it wasn't included in their 12.2 update for starters...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shanghaichica

se99jmk

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2012
100
15
I can only imagine this feature will work on the HomePod in the near future. When at home "hey Siri" is 99% of the time picked up by the HomePods. Can't even understand it wasn't included in their 12.2 update for starters...
Right?! Seems like such an obvious use case... surely this’ll be in there soon...
 
  • Like
Reactions: BlankStar

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
This is an AirPlay (2) feature so the source device needs to be able to do the task without the receiving device before AirPlay can be established. Imagine this next bit without Hey Siri, so you are just tapping buttons on the phone.

If the source device (iPhone) and the receiver (AppleTV) both have the app being used the stream is handed off and the source device (iPhone) becomes a glorified remote, as do the rest of your iOS devices if they are AirPlay 2.

If the source device (iPhone) has the app but the receiver (AppleTV) doest then the streamed directly from the source (iPhone) aka AirPlay Mirroring and the rest of your devices can be used as remotes (play pause etc).

And if the source device (iPhone) doesn't have the video or access to it then you can't AirPlay it because you can't play it to begin with. This is the case of the HomePod, it can't play a movie so it can't stream one.

Keep in mind the HomePod can still be used as a remote in the first two examples (Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV) (Hey Siri fast forward 10 minutes on the living room AppleTV) (etc) but it will need to be the source or receiving from a source.

The function of just telling the HomePod to play a movie on the AppleTV might sound trivial but there is a lot more to it than that due to its focus being a music device. My example was when I first tested this, I told the HomePod to play "Ghost in the Shell" in the living room, I tried a couple other movies before I found it obvious that a lot of movies had sound tracks and a lot of movie names had song names as well.

Honestly its a round about way of accomplishing this task anyway IMO. The AppleTV itself needs Hey Siri with a method of distinguishing which device you are Hey Siri'ing, ie Hey TV.
 

se99jmk

macrumors regular
Jun 11, 2012
100
15
Right now, if I activate Siri on iPhone with the power button, I can say “Play Paw Patrol on the TV” - Apple TV turns on, tv turns on, Paw Patrol starts playing.

Using the same phrase with HomePod - including the destination - doesn’t work.

Nothing to do with AirPlay, or whether the source device has the content - this just seems like a missed opportunity that I hope they resolve soon...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shanghaichica

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,746
8,374
UK
This is an AirPlay (2) feature so the source device needs to be able to do the task without the receiving device before AirPlay can be established. Imagine this next bit without Hey Siri, so you are just tapping buttons on the phone.

If the source device (iPhone) and the receiver (AppleTV) both have the app being used the stream is handed off and the source device (iPhone) becomes a glorified remote, as do the rest of your iOS devices if they are AirPlay 2.

If the source device (iPhone) has the app but the receiver (AppleTV) doest then the streamed directly from the source (iPhone) aka AirPlay Mirroring and the rest of your devices can be used as remotes (play pause etc).

And if the source device (iPhone) doesn't have the video or access to it then you can't AirPlay it because you can't play it to begin with. This is the case of the HomePod, it can't play a movie so it can't stream one.

Keep in mind the HomePod can still be used as a remote in the first two examples (Hey Siri pause the living room AppleTV) (Hey Siri fast forward 10 minutes on the living room AppleTV) (etc) but it will need to be the source or receiving from a source.

The function of just telling the HomePod to play a movie on the AppleTV might sound trivial but there is a lot more to it than that due to its focus being a music device. My example was when I first tested this, I told the HomePod to play "Ghost in the Shell" in the living room, I tried a couple other movies before I found it obvious that a lot of movies had sound tracks and a lot of movie names had song names as well.

Honestly its a round about way of accomplishing this task anyway IMO. The AppleTV itself needs Hey Siri with a method of distinguishing which device you are Hey Siri'ing, ie Hey TV.
Did you find a movie that did not have a soundtrack? Did it play on the Apple TV via the HomePod?
[doublepost=1554274630][/doublepost]
Right now, if I activate Siri on iPhone with the power button, I can say “Play Paw Patrol on the TV” - Apple TV turns on, tv turns on, Paw Patrol starts playing.

Using the same phrase with HomePod - including the destination - doesn’t work.

Nothing to do with AirPlay, or whether the source device has the content - this just seems like a missed opportunity that I hope they resolve soon...
The problem for me is that my HomePods are next to my TV so they always pick up the command even if my iPhone or iPads are in the same room.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,554
1,871
Did you find a movie that did not have a soundtrack? Did it play on the Apple TV via the HomePod?
[doublepost=1554274630][/doublepost]
The problem for me is that my HomePods are next to my TV so they always pick up the command even if my iPhone or iPads are in the same room.
I did and no it did not.

The HomePod takes point over other devices most of the time.

You could try just turning Hey Siri off on the HomePod and when you goto play music just saying Play xxxx on HomePod so one of your other devices starts. Don't know if that works for you or not, just an idea
 

Shanghaichica

macrumors G4
Apr 8, 2013
11,746
8,374
UK
I did and no it did not.

The HomePod takes point over other devices most of the time.

You could try just turning Hey Siri off on the HomePod and when you goto play music just saying Play xxxx on HomePod so one of your other devices starts. Don't know if that works for you or not, just an idea
I’ve tried that and it works. However it means I’d had to keep switching hey Siri on and off on the HomePod when I want to use it.
 

Similar threads

  • saxman211
6
Replies
6
Views
327
  • PhoenixDown
5
Replies
5
Views
882
Replies
10
Views
893
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.