HomePod Looking for Home Hub Setup Advice

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,022
18,331
The Misty Mountains
I want to set you something like Alexis using an Apple product since I am more or less vested n the Apple Ecosystem. I have iPhones, iPads, MBP, and and the latest Apple TV box. I want something that sits in the room and can hear me command it to do things with speaking into the phone or iPad. That might be a Honepod, but if the Apple TV box works, I already have one of those. Of note, I have a 6 month old Visio 65” 4K TV, and a couple year old Yamaha sound bar.

Right now we have 5 remotes,
  • 1 for the Visio TV, because that is the only remote that turns it off.
  • Roku remote
  • Apple TV remote
  • Yamaha Sound Bar remote (for sound volume)
  • Sony 4K UHD disk player remote
So questions:
  1. HomePod or HomeKit??
  2. Can the Apple TV (box) work as a hub that be spoken to?
  3. For the Apple HomePod, could it control any of the devices listed above? Is there a technology name other than Bluetooth that would let me know if any of the devices listed above could be controlled by speaking to the Home Pod or Apple TV box?
  4. I assume the HomePod would not control the Roku box by voice?
  5. I assume, but am not certain that the Yamaha sound bar which I believe is just physically connected to the TV would not be controllable with a HomePod. It)# volume control is seperate from the TV, the tV’s speakers are turned off when the sound bar is turned on.
  6. Anything else I need to know, or possible things I overlooked, or suggestions?
Thanks!
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,892
9,604
California
I want to set you something like Alexis using an Apple product since I am more or less vested n the Apple Ecosystem. I have iPhones, iPads, MBP, and and the latest Apple TV box. I want something that sits in the room and can hear me command it to do things with speaking into the phone or iPad. That might be a Honepod, but if the Apple TV box works, I already have one of those. Of note, I have a 6 month old Visio 65” 4K TV, and a couple year old Yamaha sound bar.

Right now we have 5 remotes,
  • 1 for the Visio TV, because that is the only remote that turns it off.
  • Roku remote
  • Apple TV remote
  • Yamaha Sound Bar remote (for sound volume)
  • Sony 4K UHD disk player remote
So questions:
  1. HomePod or HomeKit??
  2. Can the Apple TV (box) work as a hub that be spoken to?
  3. For the Apple HomePod, could it control any of the devices listed above? Is there a technology name other than Bluetooth that would let me know if any of the devices listed above could be controlled by speaking to the Home Pod or Apple TV box?
  4. I assume the HomePod would not control the Roku box by voice?
  5. I assume, but am not certain that the Yamaha sound bar which I believe is just physically connected to the TV would not be controllable with a HomePod. It)# volume control is seperate from the TV, the tV’s speakers are turned off when the sound bar is turned on.
  6. Anything else I need to know, or possible things I overlooked, or suggestions?
Thanks!
Yeebus. Maybe invest in a URC remote to control everything :)

Some answers:

Apple tv cannot be spoken to unless you pick up the remote and press and hold a button. HomePod can answer “hey Siri“ requests.

Homepod can control TVs and speakers that are homekit compatible, or can control an Apple TV which may or may not be able to control your speakers if they are CEC compatible.

HomePod cannot control the Roku

The Apple TV can probably control the volume to the TV, which would then control the soundbar. Probably.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,022
18,331
The Misty Mountains
Yeebus. Maybe invest in a URC remote to control everything :)

Some answers:

Apple tv cannot be spoken to unless you pick up the remote and press and hold a button. HomePod can answer “hey Siri“ requests.

Homepod can control TVs and speakers that are homekit compatible, or can control an Apple TV which may or may not be able to control your speakers if they are CEC compatible.

HomePod cannot control the Roku

The Apple TV can probably control the volume to the TV, which would then control the soundbar. Probably.
Thanks for answering!

My Sound bar was a cheap one, and it has a little skinny wire digital connection. I remember having to select it and turn off the TV’s speakers. At that point the Visio remote had no effect on the sound bar volume which is controlled by it’s own remote.

Would a universal remote be able to control the Roku and Apple TV? Honestly I’m not a fan of minimalist Apple TV remote and the mandatory swiping required.

We have the SlingTV App and most of our channel watching could be on either Apple TV or Roku, via Sling or something like Netflix. The universal remote might be the answer it can handle all or most of the devices mentioned.
 

cmaier

macrumors G5
Jul 25, 2007
14,892
9,604
California
Thanks for answering!

My Sound bar was a cheap one, and it has a little skinny wire digital connection. I remember having to select it and turn off the TV’s speakers. At that point the Visio remote had no effect on the soul bar volume which controlled by it’s own remote.

Would a universal remote be able to control the Roku and Apple TV? Honestly I’m not a fan of minimalist Apple TV remote and the mandatory swiping required.

We have the SlingTV App and most of our channel watching could be on either ApplecTV or Roku, via Sling or something like Netflix.
I’m not an expert on Roku [edited. iPad won’t let me type Roku :)], but I believe Rokus work with IR remotes except for the stick rokus. I have a URC universal remote that controls Apple TVs, A projector, an LG tv, a receiver, etc. But that costs a lot of money and you need a professional to program it. But a harmony remote should work fine.
 
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waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,243
235
the aTV 4 has an IR receiver, and will respond to the the "old" apple codes that have been around forever, and are in most universal remote's built in libraries.
You can also program custom commands in the aTV, so you can use any IR remote. (It will ask you to press "up" on the remote, you can hit any button, but that will now be up. You just need to make sure you're not controlling any other devices at the same time. so pick a remote that's not used)

If you can't control other devices over HDMI, You can program the aTV remote to control the power and volume of your other devices using IR.
The aTV can determine the model of your TV over HDMI, and will then download the appropriate codes.
If the aTV can't figure out what's connected, it can learn the commands for your devices.
To learn commands, it uses the IR receiver in the aTV box, and sends them over bluetooth to the remote.
For both the learned and automatic download commands, it will use the IR blaster on the front of the remote to control your devices.
To learn codes or select the automatic ones, go into the "remote" settings on the aTV.

If your TV can be controlled over HDMI, i'd recommend that for power. With IR, if the command doesn't turn off the tv, you have to wake the aTV up again, to get it to go back to sleep
You might have to enable HDMI-CEC, manufacturers call it different name, but i believe Vizio calls it "HDMI-CEC"
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,022
18,331
The Misty Mountains
the aTV 4 has an IR receiver, and will respond to the the "old" apple codes that have been around forever, and are in most universal remote's built in libraries.
You can also program custom commands in the aTV, so you can use any IR remote. (It will ask you to press "up" on the remote, you can hit any button, but that will now be up. You just need to make sure you're not controlling any other devices at the same time. so pick a remote that's not used)

If you can't control other devices over HDMI, You can program the aTV remote to control the power and volume of your other devices using IR.
The aTV can determine the model of your TV over HDMI, and will then download the appropriate codes.
If the aTV can't figure out what's connected, it can learn the commands for your devices.
To learn commands, it uses the IR receiver in the aTV box, and sends them over bluetooth to the remote.
For both the learned and automatic download commands, it will use the IR blaster on the front of the remote to control your devices.
To learn codes or select the automatic ones, go into the "remote" settings on the aTV.

If your TV can be controlled over HDMI, i'd recommend that for power. With IR, if the command doesn't turn off the tv, you have to wake the aTV up again, to get it to go back to sleep
You might have to enable HDMI-CEC, manufacturers call it different name, but i believe Vizio calls it "HDMI-CEC"
This is what I imagine as verbal commands:
  • “Netflix”
  • ”Apple TV, Netflix” or “Roku, Prime Video”.
  • ”Volume Up”
  • ”Roku, Sling TV, Turner Classic Movies” or “Sling TV, Guide, Up/Down, select“
  • ”TV on/off”- usually if I push a button on a remote, the TV auto comes on, but only the TV remote turns it off On command. If there is no signal, the tv will eventually turn itself off.
  • With a movie playing on a streaming service or on the BlueRay “Pause”, “reverse”, “fast forward“.
I’d buy a HomePod when I have confidence the above can be accomplished which I suspect it can. I‘ll look around for an online guide. Any guide suggestions?
Thanks! :)
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
18,022
18,331
The Misty Mountains
I’ve purchased a GE universal remote which is compatible with my Visio 4k TV, Yamaha Sound bar, Roku, AppleTV, Sony Bluray Player. That’s great!

Now, for voice commands without having to talk into my phone or iPad. I read online that Homepod does not work with Roku so I’m wondering which has more compatibility:
Alexis or Homepod with Roku, AppleTV, Vizio TV, Yamaha sound bar.