How to configure the fourth-generation Apple TV as a HomeKit Hub

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 10
A HomeKit installation needs an always-on hub to allow you to control your compatible appliances from outside the home -- AppleInsider shows you how to configure the Apple TV to act as the hub of the system.




Assuming that you've got all your pre-requisites complete, setting up your Apple TV for HomeKit remote management couldn't be easier. But, its sometimes the easiest things that trip up the setup.

First: Turn on two-factor authentication for your Apple ID.

Crucially, turn off two-step verification, if its on.

Then, turn on Two-factor Authentication.

On your Mac:

  • In System Preferences, open up iCloud
  • Select "Account Details"
  • Click "Security"
  • Click "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication"

Or on an iOS device:

  • Open Settings
  • Tap on your iCloud account
  • Tap on "Password and Security"
  • Tap "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication"

Regardless of which device you configure it on...

  • Turn on the iCloud Keychain

On the Apple TV

  • Open "Settings"
  • Open "Accounts," and make sure that you're signed into the same iCloud account
  • The Apple TV automatically sets itself up as a HomeKit hub!

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    MacProMacPro Posts: 16,067member
    What we need is the 5th generation TV, I haven't bought one for at least a year! ;)
    edited January 10 stantheman
  • Reply 2 of 17
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,149member
    "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication" Why? Is it necessary for HomeKit to run?
  • Reply 3 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,597member
    mike1 said:
    "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication" Why? Is it necessary for HomeKit to run?
    Yes, it is required. It is also required for the Watch to unlock your Mac. And remember that Two-Factor Authentication is different from Two-Step Authentication. Lots of users got stymied because of this. In my own case I had set up Two-Step when it first arrived. Apple then decided that Two-Factor was the way they wanted go forward with. So I first had to disable Two-Step and then set up Two-Factor for my ATV4 to become a HomeKit hub. Some people also found they had to logout of their ATV4 and then log back in to activate the hub. Way too complicated in my opinion but this is probably due to the security protocols of HomeKit mentioned in another AI article. I’m hoping future updates make the process more transparent to the user. By the way my ATV4 hub works pretty much flawlessly and I can control connected devices with my iPhone from anywhere I happen to be.
    edited January 10 damn_its_hotkudu
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Do I need to prevent my Apple TV from going to sleep also? I have an Ecobee3 thermostat which usually can't be seen using HomeKit. I've been hesitant to do anything else with HomeKit because the connectivity with my one device is so terrible.
  • Reply 5 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,597member
    Personally I would like to see more “how-to” articles from AI. Not totally like iMore has chosen to do, but less of the rumor and politically charged crap that passes for news and more of the informative and useful tips. There is a lot of misinformation, voodoo, FUD, and useless incantations out there to confuse the common user. Good, useful information on how to accomplish tasks with Apple products is in short supply. And it might attract more users for AI, the types looking for help instead of getting involved in some arcane rants about hardware specs or software performance issues.
    edited January 10 wigginstantheman
  • Reply 6 of 17
    mike1 said:
    "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication" Why? Is it necessary for HomeKit to run?
    If you want to turn on/off your lights or check home status from any connected place in the world, you need 2 factor authentication. Everyone should start using 2 factor authentication anyway. It makes your iCloud so much more secure and once you get use to it, it's a breeze.
    kudu
  • Reply 7 of 17
    An elevated AppleCare representative admitted there's a preliminary step that is a little strange if you're a logical English speaker (AppleTV is called a "home hub") ...

    I spent 3 hours resetting passwords, toggling iCloud Keychain, etc. because I incorrectly concluded that the AppleTV -- the HomeKit "hub" -- should probably indicate it is setup and connected before I add other HomeKit accessories.

    Not so much.  AppleTV won't indicate it is the hub (under Settings > Accounts) unless one HomeKit accessory is already connected. Oh, Apple.
    edited January 10 kruegduderepressthis
  • Reply 8 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    Personally I would like to see more “how-to” articles from AI. Not totally like iMore has chosen to do, but less of the rumor and politically charged crap that passes for news and more of the informative and useful tips. There is a lot of misinformation, voodoo, FUD, and useless incantations out there to confuse the common user. Good, useful information on how to accomplish tasks with Apple products is in short supply. And it might attract more users for AI, the types looking for help instead of getting involved in some arcane rants about hardware specs or software performance issues.
    Well, you're in luck, then!
    repressthis
  • Reply 9 of 17
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,149member
    lkrupp said:
    mike1 said:
    "Turn on Two-Factor Authentication" Why? Is it necessary for HomeKit to run?
    Yes, it is required. It is also required for the Watch to unlock your Mac. And remember that Two-Factor Authentication is different from Two-Step Authentication. Lots of users got stymied because of this. In my own case I had set up Two-Step when it first arrived. Apple then decided that Two-Factor was the way they wanted go forward with. So I first had to disable Two-Step and then set up Two-Factor for my ATV4 to become a HomeKit hub. Some people also found they had to logout of their ATV4 and then log back in to activate the hub. Way too complicated in my opinion but this is probably due to the security protocols of HomeKit mentioned in another AI article. I’m hoping future updates make the process more transparent to the user. By the way my ATV4 hub works pretty much flawlessly and I can control connected devices with my iPhone from anywhere I happen to be.
    Thanks. I didn't realize two-step Authentication was a one-time thing per device (unless logged out). I thought that it was going to require a code every time I wanted to do something.
    repressthis
  • Reply 10 of 17
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,597member
    Do I need to prevent my Apple TV from going to sleep also? I have an Ecobee3 thermostat which usually can't be seen using HomeKit. I've been hesitant to do anything else with HomeKit because the connectivity with my one device is so terrible.
    No, the ATV4 does not need to be awake for it to work as a HomeKit hub. Make sure both your ATV4 and your mobile devices are on the latest software. The latest updates cleared up a number glitches for me, especially for my Watch which I now use as my primary HomeKit controller. 
    kudu
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Hmm.. I didn't know that two step should be turned off and two factor turned on. So, I followed the instructions in this article and made the change. 

    The only thing is... I've been using HomeKit with about 10 or 12 devices for over a year now. 

    How could it be working all this time if I had two step enabled instead of two factor?

    Now that I'm on two factor will anything change? Will it maybe be improved in some way?
  • Reply 12 of 17
    calicali Posts: 2,900member
    What a nightmare. I tried for an hour to set it up and then concluded that it just wasn't possible.

    I'll try again if I get keychain working.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    lkrupp said:
    Do I need to prevent my Apple TV from going to sleep also? I have an Ecobee3 thermostat which usually can't be seen using HomeKit. I've been hesitant to do anything else with HomeKit because the connectivity with my one device is so terrible.
    No, the ATV4 does not need to be awake for it to work as a HomeKit hub. Make sure both your ATV4 and your mobile devices are on the latest software. The latest updates cleared up a number glitches for me, especially for my Watch which I now use as my primary HomeKit controller. 
    I'm definitely on the latest OS versions on all my devices. Will try logging out of my iCloud account on AppleTV and logging back in to see if that resolves it.
  • Reply 14 of 17
    cali said:
    What a nightmare. I tried for an hour to set it up and then concluded that it just wasn't possible.

    I'll try again if I get keychain working.
    Apple's suggestions on iCloud Keychain:

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203783

    I'll delve into it a bit, see if I can't figure out some magic step someplace.
  • Reply 15 of 17
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,108member
    I battled with this yesterday. I followed all of the things I could find online but the ATV4 would not come up with the home kit stuff in the iCloud menu as it should do. I even pulled the power from it but it didn't work. Eventually I restarted it through the ATV menu and it suddenly appeared and started working.
    kudu
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Does anyone have experience where multiple appleTV's are in play in the same house?  Should only one be configured for HomeKit or can all of them participate?  Also, my appleTV's are hard lines into my network. Do they need to be on wireless in order to support integration. 
  • Reply 17 of 17
    An elevated AppleCare representative admitted there's a preliminary step that is a little strange if you're a logical English speaker (AppleTV is called a "home hub") ...

    I spent 3 hours resetting passwords, toggling iCloud Keychain, etc. because I incorrectly concluded that the AppleTV -- the HomeKit "hub" -- should probably indicate it is setup and connected before I add other HomeKit accessories.

    Not so much.  AppleTV won't indicate it is the hub (under Settings > Accounts) unless one HomeKit accessory is already connected. Oh, Apple.
    Funny, I had the exact same problem. Even sent traces to Apple development just to find out I needed an accessory defined. Of course nothing is simple. I was trying to figure out why my Ecobee 3 wasn't allowing it to be added to HomeKit so the lack of HomeKit display on the Apple TV made me think it was an Apple issue. 
Sign In or Register to comment.