zinacef

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Original poster
Dec 26, 2018
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Seeing as the HomePod is now on sale for Christmas at BestBuy, I wanted to get some opinions/advice on whether I can use the HomePod like a soundbar for my Apple TV & TV. I mainly use the Apple TV to watch Netflix, iTunes movie rentals, and Apple TV+ and that's about it.
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
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You can and I do. However, it’s not ideal. HomePod isn’t designed for it. It’s an AirPlay speaker so it works the way AirPlay was designed to work. Meaning you have to connect to the tv every time you want to use it if at any point you do something that breaks the connection. That means connecting to your HomePod and then disconnecting from tv if you want to be able to change the volume with your remote. HomePods do not have a center channel for dialogue. So when music and dialogue are playing at once the music takes priority and the dialogue can be muffled. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a family situation where everyone may not be on the same technological level.

Now with that said I love using my HomePods with my tv. In fact I have disabled the internal speakers in my TV. I can pretty much control almost everything with just my voice. I’ve made shortcuts that allow me to to launch every app without touching my remote. The only thing I can’t do is say, “Hey Siri, what did they say?” Other than that everything works.

fceb9dc5d6514452e84d4ad910e46a7c.png


Overall, I just wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice. I do it because I already had the HomePods and when I got them I had a TV with good internal speakers so I never wanted/needed a sound bar. Fast forward a year later and I now have a super thin 4K TV with crappy internal speakers. I don’t want a sound bar now because I have these HomePods and I’m cheap. I’m not trying to spend more money because if I did I’d buy a Sonos Beam. Those aren’t cheap. I got my Mom one for her tv because there’s no way she’s be able to deal with the finicky-ness of AirPlaying tv to HomePod.

If you you decide to do it I suggest getting two. You’ll want a pair for stereo.
 
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waw74

macrumors 601
May 27, 2008
4,085
596
you will not be able to send sound from the TV, only the appletv

unless you've bought a television in the last year or 2, and it supports airplay2.

I have the sonos beam, it's a great sounding bar, connects via HDMI (your TV needs to support ARC) so you can control volume using the aTV remote (and maybe your TV remote)
it supports airplay2, so you can send audio to it from any apple device.
it has alexa, and ok google (no siri now, or probably in the future, thanks apple)
and you're able to connect pretty much any music streaming service, and play music directly on the sound bar without it having to go through your phone (there's computer and phone apps to control, and you can use the voice assistant also)
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
529
you will not be able to send sound from the TV, only the appletv

unless you've bought a television in the last year or 2, and it supports airplay2.

Nice catch. tv is only thing plugged into my tv. I don’t have satellite anymore so using my HomePods only works for me.
 
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Itinj24

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2017
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New York
You can also create a Shortcut to send the audio to the HomePod and at a specific volume level to bypass having to enter it in the Airplay screen. I have a Shortcut for the kids called “It’s Disney Time.” Opens the Living Room ATV remote app on my iPhone, turns on the TV and awakens the ATV (HDMI CEC required), Opens the Disney+ app on my ATV, Airplays to my Living Room HomePods at 75% volume.
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
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You can also create a Shortcut to send the audio to the HomePod and at a specific volume level to bypass having to enter it in the Airplay screen. I have a Shortcut for the kids called “It’s Disney Time.” Opens the Living Room ATV remote app on my iPhone, turns on the TV and awakens the ATV (HDMI CEC required), Opens the Disney+ app on my ATV, Airplays to my Living Room HomePods at 75% volume.

Me too. But mine is part of my Good Morning and Good Night scenes.
250cea282b98f3db72a8131832d535f5.png
38fb4186eecb54a0f15ba2928fe5ea9e.png
 
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DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
687
371
You can and I do. However, it’s not ideal. HomePod isn’t designed for it. It’s an AirPlay speaker so it works the way AirPlay was designed to work. Meaning you have to connect to the tv every time you want to use it if at any point you do something that breaks the connection. That means connecting to your HomePod and then disconnecting from tv if you want to be able to change the volume with your remote. HomePods do not have a center channel for dialogue. So when music and dialogue are playing at once the music takes priority and the dialogue can be muffled. I wouldn’t recommend using it in a family situation where everyone may not be on the same technological level.

Now with that said I love using my HomePods with my tv. In fact I have disabled the internal speakers in my TV. I can pretty much control almost everything with just my voice. I’ve made shortcuts that allow me to to launch every app without touching my remote. The only thing I can’t do is say, “Hey Siri, what did they say?” Other than that everything works.

fceb9dc5d6514452e84d4ad910e46a7c.png


Overall, I just wouldn’t recommend this as a first choice. I do it because I already had the HomePods and when I got them I had a TV with good internal speakers so I never wanted/needed a sound bar. Fast forward a year later and I now have a super thin 4K TV with crappy internal speakers. I don’t want a sound bar now because I have these HomePods and I’m cheap. I’m not trying to spend more money because if I did I’d buy a Sonos Beam. Those aren’t cheap. I got my Mom one for her tv because there’s no way she’s be able to deal with the finicky-ness of AirPlaying tv to HomePod.

If you you decide to do it I suggest getting two. You’ll want a pair for stereo.

Thanks for the explanation. I was wondering why I always had to reset my Apple TV settings to output to my HomePod. I have over the air TV and and AppleTV connected to my tv and it is a nice combination.
 
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DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
687
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Well, I gave in and picked up a second HomePod for the bedroom tv. Nice to have great sound for watching movies on winter nights.
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
529
Well, I gave in and picked up a second HomePod for the bedroom tv. Nice to have great sound for watching movies on winter nights.
Awesome! Next week Will be a year for my first. And I got my 2nd one a month later. I do not regret paying full price for the 2nd. It was worth it! It may not be ideal but I love the way they sound when watch tv/movies.
 
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theinstructor

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2007
159
114
Took all four of mine back as they wouldn’t stay connected and it became a real effort trying to fix it every time. Too bad they sounded great.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors G3
May 30, 2002
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3,474
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Awesome! Next week Will be a year for my first. And I got my 2nd one a month later. I do not regret paying full price for the 2nd. It was worth it! It may not be ideal but I love the way they sound when watch tv/movies.

Non-smart TV user here. When I had my HomePod (I’m coming back btw), the volume from Netflix seems very very low. Anyone else experience this?
 
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iBague

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2020
4
2
Now with that said I love using my HomePods with my tv. In fact I have disabled the internal speakers in my TV. I can pretty much control almost everything with just my voice. I’ve made shortcuts that allow me to to launch every app without touching my remote. The only thing I can’t do is say, “Hey Siri, what did they say?” Other than that everything works.

We’ve had our Apple TV hooked up to a stereo pair since they pushed out the stereo option and we LOVE it. The biggest pain in the butt is the HomePod constantly disconnecting. I love that you have shortcuts for everything and maybe you can help me. I have searched high and low for a shortcut to reconnect the homepods to the Apple TV easily. It’s not that hard to manually do it but it is so frequent that it sucks! It seems like it should be easy to do a shortcut to reconnect but for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure it out, any ideas?
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
529
We’ve had our Apple TV hooked up to a stereo pair since they pushed out the stereo option and we LOVE it. The biggest pain in the butt is the HomePod constantly disconnecting. I love that you have shortcuts for everything and maybe you can help me. I have searched high and low for a shortcut to reconnect the homepods to the Apple TV easily. It’s not that hard to manually do it but it is so frequent that it sucks! It seems like it should be easy to do a shortcut to reconnect but for the life of me I haven’t been able to figure it out, any ideas?

You can’t make a shortcut for that.
 
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iBague

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2020
4
2
So weird, it seems like it would be simple enough but there aren’t any app actions for the Apple TV. I have tried reconnecting the speakers by using Siri and it’s worked once or twice but I have yet to figure out a consistent way of doing it. I keep thinking it’s my imagination but I then get it to work again!
 
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JBaby

macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2015
761
529
So weird, it seems like it would be simple enough but there aren’t any app actions for the Apple TV. I have tried reconnecting the speakers by using Siri and it’s worked once or twice but I have yet to figure out a consistent way of doing it. I keep thinking it’s my imagination but I then get it to work again!

How did you get Siri to do it?
 
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iBague

macrumors newbie
Sep 21, 2020
4
2
I just started flinging commands like “Connect Livingroom speakers to Apple TV”. At first it didn’t work so I kept changing the wording over and over and finally one of them worked but by that time I had said so many variations tI couldn’t remember which one worked! I’ve been able to repeat it but just once so I am continuing to figure out what I said.
 
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Dave 123

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2018
10
3
Please post back if you figure out a reliable command for swapping AppleTV to play via HomePod. So annoying having to do this manually each watching session.
 
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Itinj24

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2017
2,088
886
New York
Siri Shortcuts can do this. If you type Airplay into the search field, there will be an option for “Set Playback Destination” or “Handoff playback from”. I have to play around with it. I’m not home right now but it’s possible.
 
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Itinj24

macrumors 68020
Nov 8, 2017
2,088
886
New York
Ok so I got home played with it. Here are two shortcuts I created. One has more steps to start up the TV and open the remote on my phone and and an app on the ATV etc... The other one just highlights the action used to have the HomePod play the audio. I named it “Kitchen TV” for simplicity sake. I tested it and it works. I turned the TV on without the HomePod playing the audio and I said, “Hey, Siri, Kitchen TV” and the HomePod picked up the audio after confirmation.

On a side note, iOS/TVOS 14 is supposed to remember the Airplay (e.g. HomePod) audio source for the ATV. It works for me at least. If I had the HomePod playing the ATV audio previously, it remains that way when I turn the TV on again.


C048F628-0CF5-4EC6-AF80-5A08A1F8ED8D.png BAB5FE2D-F3B0-4832-AA5B-8BB4B01D50A4.png
 
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