How to use the HomePod as an Apple TV speaker

With a little AirPlay magic, you can get the two working together in perfect harmony

How to pair HomePod with Apple TV
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Update October 2020: Great news on the HomePod / TV speaker front... Apple has announced ‘Home Theater with Apple 4K’; whereby the first-gen HomePod can be used to form an immersive surround sound experience, with virtual 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos all available.

You only get that surround sound action when you’re watching shows and movies from your Apple TV 4K; you can’t just plug your HomePod directly into your TV and get Atmos action on everything.

However, with Apple TV now supporting pretty much all the major streaming services - Netflix, Prime, HBO, Disney+, Hulu and more - it’s a pretty compelling offering

For an even better and more natural sound array, you can set up a pair of HomePods as part of the new Home Theater setup.

The new feature is only possible on the original HomePod as it boasts an array of seven beamforming tweeters; the Mini just has two.

The firmware update for the original HomePod is 'coming soon' according to Apple. In the meantime, you'll need to use the method below for setting up your HomePod for your TV sound...

Original article

The HomePod’s greatest strength is its amazing sound quality – so much so that it can also be a worthy speaker for TV and movie viewing, not just music. Got a couple of HomePods? Lucky you, you can pair them up for some stereo magic.

If you own a third-generation Apple TV or later, you can pair the HomePod via AirPlay and use it as your TV speaker.

All that said, there are some things to consider first. Did you already splash your kids’ college funds on an expensive TV Hi-Fi system? If so, stick with it. The HomePod is a great little speaker, but it wasn’t designed for TV use – we just happen to think it works pretty well.

Read this: How to set up HomePod stereo and multi-room modes

But if you’re currently watching your TV with the speakers that come built in, chances are the HomePod is going to do a better job. That may be particularly true if you’re living in a smaller house or apartment with less space for a bigger sound system. If you happen to keep your HomePod close to your TV – and own an Apple TV, of course – we recommend getting them paired up.

How to pair HomePod with your Apple TV

To get the HomePod and Apple TV set up, first ensure they’re both on the same Wi-Fi network. This is because we’re going to be connecting them over Apple’s wireless protocol, AirPlay.

Also make sure that the Apple TV’s AirPlay is on, by heading to Settings and tapping on AirPlay. Here you’ll be able to enable it (if it’s not already) and set network access rules. Next, we want to get the HomePod connected.

  1. On the Apple TV, go to Settings and then Video and Audio.
  2. Scroll down to find Audio Output.
  3. In Audio Output, you should see a list of all the AirPlay speakers on the network. The HomePod will appear here. Select it and it should connect in a second or two.

Now, because AirPlay 2 flies beyond Apple's own walls, you'll be able to pair other speakers to the Apple TV here beyond the HomePod. At the time of writing, only Sonos speakers have this feature, but more are coming. Here’s a list of the best AirPlay 2 speakers on their way.

Smaller, rounder and cheaper: Apple HomePod 2

Another thing to be aware of is that when selecting your speakers in Audio Output, the Apple TV should be listed here and already ticked. As long as it remains ticked, sound will also come out of your TV’s speakers. Bear that in mind when it comes to where you place your HomePod. Having it plonked right next to the TV speakers might create a strange effect, as it did with ours.

There’s a faster way…

If you already know that AirPlay is active on your Apple TV, you can also bring up the audio menu by simply holding down the play/pause button when looking at the home screen. You won’t be able to access other audio settings, but it’s a quick way to pair or unpair a speaker.

More HomePod how-tos

TAGGED    apple home

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