Video: How to connect your HomePod to your Apple TV or Mac

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2018
If you own Apple's HomePod and are looking for ways to get more out of the smart speaker, besides using its built-in service integrations, consider using it with other Apple devices. AppleInsider shows how to use the HomePod to play audio from a Mac and from an Apple TV.





Using an Apple TV or a Mac as an audio source for the HomePod is a handy way to improve the sound quality for media, if audio from the devices is usually piped through lower-quality speakers or headphones. For example, the HomePod is much louder and produces a richer sound when compared to the built-in speaker of the Mac mini.

Streaming from Mac

First, make sure that your HomePod and Mac are connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Click the speaker icon in the menu bar on the Mac, and select the HomePod from the list of connected devices.

Once selected, all music and other audio on the Mac should start streaming to your HomePod.




It is possible to stream to two HomePods from a Mac at the same time, using the iTunes app. Click the AirPlay icon and tick the checkboxes next to each HomePod.

An alternative method is to use the AirFoil app, which performs a similar task but with more options for customization. This also enables the use of the AirFoil "Satellite" app, which allows you to stream to two HomePods from the iPhone.

Streaming from Apple TV

Connecting the HomePod to an Apple TV works best using a fourth-generation Apple TV supporting tvOS 11. While the third-generation Apple TV will work, it will have limited connectivity in comparison to the newer Apple TV models.

On the third-generation Apple TV, head into the Settings, go to Audio, and choose the HomePod as your output.

For fourth-generation models, including the Apple TV 4K, swipe down on the Apple TV remote while playing content to reveal the Info panel. Slide over to Audio, and select your HomePod.

If you have tvOS 11 installed, there's a new shortcut that makes it easy to make the connection, straight from the Home screen. Hold down the pause button on the Siri Remote to bring up the AirPlay menu, and enable the HomePod via this menu.

Extra notes

There are a few Siri voice controls that you can use with the HomePod to manage content playback on a connected device verbally, but they are limited to a few commands. So far this list of commands includes skipping forward and backward during playback, play and pause, and volume adjustments.

There are also a few issues with the implementation of AirPlay preventing this setup from being a good alternative to a traditional home entertainment system. For example, the Apple TV will automatically pause the image to synchronize playback with HomePod, causing a delay whenever you pause and play content.

AirPlay also requires you to manually reconnect to HomePod every time the speaker plays from a different source, including its built-in Apple Music functionality.

These issues, and others, should be fixed once AirPlay 2 is released later this year.

AirPlay 2's introduction will also allow users to pair two HomePods in a stereo setup that can be connected to an Apple TV. Considering the HomePod's incredible sound reproduction, a pair of HomePods used in this fashion may be more usable as a home stereo system replacement once AirPlay 2 ships.

For more videos, subscribe to AppleInsider on YouTube.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    EphEph Posts: 8member
    I carried my HomePod with me to a hotel in Santiago, Chile. Since the HomePod must be on the same network as the source, it might be necessary to ascertain the MAC address of the HomePod and manually add it to the hotel wifi network. There was another way, which I used. Connect my MacBook Pro to the ethernet for the hotel network. Next, share the ethernet connection from the MacBook Pro to WiFi in the immediate area. Connect my iPhone to the WiFi connection from the MacBook Pro, rather than the hotel WiFi. After resetting the HomePod, it is easy to set it up using the iPhone. This allows the HomePod to also use the MacBook Pro WiFi connection. and the HomePod performs as expected.
    macxpress
  • Reply 2 of 7
    dv8ordv8or Posts: 24member
    Till there is a way of connecting to my tv to play everything through it I wont be giving up the Sonos...
    williamlondonJonInAtl
  • Reply 3 of 7
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 581member
    dv8or said:
    Till there is a way of connecting to my tv to play everything through it I wont be giving up the Sonos...
    Personally I use appletv for everything , movies , PlayStation Vue for tv service etc... You are obviously using either an older sonos play model or playbar both of which have an optical connection. So there is a way to play everything at least in my case ; it’s more of a point of do you want to switch away from the optical connections with Sonos. 

    HomePod isn’t meant to take the place of a sound bar and sub set up or a 5.1/7.1 system. Yet people keep comparing these systems to HomePod and scoff at the HomePod for not having the ability to take their place ?  In a small apartment set up , or with a computer the HomePod is capable. As a sound bar and sub or 5.1 system replacement no way. I don’t think that is the point of the HomePod anyway to be honest. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    I find the Apple TV 4 won't stay connected to my HomePod.  After sleeping it always reverts to my surround sound system and I have to reselect the HomePod.  Any tips?
  • Reply 5 of 7
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,681member
    jcs2305 said:
    dv8or said:
    Till there is a way of connecting to my tv to play everything through it I wont be giving up the Sonos...
    Personally I use appletv for everything , movies , PlayStation Vue for tv service etc... You are obviously using either an older sonos play model or playbar both of which have an optical connection. So there is a way to play everything at least in my case ; it’s more of a point of do you want to switch away from the optical connections with Sonos. 

    HomePod isn’t meant to take the place of a sound bar and sub set up or a 5.1/7.1 system. Yet people keep comparing these systems to HomePod and scoff at the HomePod for not having the ability to take their place ?  In a small apartment set up , or with a computer the HomePod is capable. As a sound bar and sub or 5.1 system replacement no way. I don’t think that is the point of the HomePod anyway to be honest. 
    I don't know if many people understand the point of HomePod yet...It boggles my mind that some things its a competitor to the Amazon Echo. This is a premium speaker that competes in the high-end speaker market where at this point, really isn't a lot of competition. Its meant to be wireless, not tethered to a single device. It's not Apple's fault some people want to stick to old technology and wire everything in, or try to make HomePod out to be something it never was meant to be. Shame on Apple for pushing forward with technology and forcing the rest of the world to do the same! If they don't do it, who will? 
    edited March 2018
  • Reply 6 of 7
    jcs2305jcs2305 Posts: 581member
    MacPro said:
    I find the Apple TV 4 won't stay connected to my HomePod.  After sleeping it always reverts to my surround sound system and I have to reselect the HomePod.  Any tips?
    I think airplay just isn't as insistent as bluetooth. What I mean is depending on the device it will just take over the previous device that is connected. Airplay isn't like that. If you stop playing something via airplay it will give up the connection.  One of the reasons I started to look at other speakers is because of an issue I had with my previous bluetooth speaker. It was by a company called Soundfreaq and It served me well for years. Sound was fantastic for bluetooth and it was small and fit into my room nicely. It was made using custom-engineered and Kevlar-reinforced balanced drivers, acoustically tuned dual-port chamber and UQ3 spatial enhancement processor. It was impressive.. I had it for years and then when I started to get other BT devices is when the problems started. I could go out back with BT headphones on and after a few minutes the sound would stop? I would close out the music app start it again and the same would happen?  Finally after being frustrated and thinking something was up with my iphone 7 plus I returned the phone under warranty and they swapped it out for me. Came home with the repalcement and same thing?  I would have the phone connected to the Polk soundbar in my bedroom.. it would play fine for a while then start to skip a bit and then BOOM stop playing? I could see it was playing on my phone but again no sound.

    Finally a looked at the bluetooth setting on my phone and the Soundfreaq was connected? I disconnected and went back to my soundbar.. 2 mins later sound stopped again, and wouldn't you know the SF was connected again? I went downstairs to see if it was turned on and it was on standby?? It wasn't even powered on and it was reconnecting over other devices. I Had never seen anything like it. There are several iphones in my house and whatever the last device was would automatically start playing when the speaker was turned on? It was the strangest behavior I have ever seen from a BT speaker. Finally if I didn't want my other connections to be taken over I had to fully unplug the speaker and the other devices would stay connected and play fine, as soon as I plugged it back in again it connected IMMEDIATELY to the last device if it was in the house, or not play at all because it was acting as though it was connected even if the phone wasn't in range. I would have to re-pair again and again to connect. It was maddening hahaha sheesh!

    Unfortunately I don't have a tip.. Unpair from your surround sound and repair when you need it, or unplug it if that is reasonable for you. I don't know of a way to keep an airplay device always connected, which is what I think you are looking for..Like I said earlier airplay will give up the connection once you disconnect from the device.




  • Reply 7 of 7
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    jcs2305 said:
    MacPro said:
    I find the Apple TV 4 won't stay connected to my HomePod.  After sleeping it always reverts to my surround sound system and I have to reselect the HomePod.  Any tips?
    I think airplay just isn't as insistent as bluetooth. What I mean is depending on the device it will just take over the previous device that is connected. Airplay isn't like that. If you stop playing something via airplay it will give up the connection.  One of the reasons I started to look at other speakers is because of an issue I had with my previous bluetooth speaker. It was by a company called Soundfreaq and It served me well for years. Sound was fantastic for bluetooth and it was small and fit into my room nicely. It was made using custom-engineered and Kevlar-reinforced balanced drivers, acoustically tuned dual-port chamber and UQ3 spatial enhancement processor. It was impressive.. I had it for years and then when I started to get other BT devices is when the problems started. I could go out back with BT headphones on and after a few minutes the sound would stop? I would close out the music app start it again and the same would happen?  Finally after being frustrated and thinking something was up with my iphone 7 plus I returned the phone under warranty and they swapped it out for me. Came home with the repalcement and same thing?  I would have the phone connected to the Polk soundbar in my bedroom.. it would play fine for a while then start to skip a bit and then BOOM stop playing? I could see it was playing on my phone but again no sound.

    Finally a looked at the bluetooth setting on my phone and the Soundfreaq was connected? I disconnected and went back to my soundbar.. 2 mins later sound stopped again, and wouldn't you know the SF was connected again? I went downstairs to see if it was turned on and it was on standby?? It wasn't even powered on and it was reconnecting over other devices. I Had never seen anything like it. There are several iphones in my house and whatever the last device was would automatically start playing when the speaker was turned on? It was the strangest behavior I have ever seen from a BT speaker. Finally if I didn't want my other connections to be taken over I had to fully unplug the speaker and the other devices would stay connected and play fine, as soon as I plugged it back in again it connected IMMEDIATELY to the last device if it was in the house, or not play at all because it was acting as though it was connected even if the phone wasn't in range. I would have to re-pair again and again to connect. It was maddening hahaha sheesh!

    Unfortunately I don't have a tip.. Unpair from your surround sound and repair when you need it, or unplug it if that is reasonable for you. I don't know of a way to keep an airplay device always connected, which is what I think you are looking for..Like I said earlier airplay will give up the connection once you disconnect from the device.




    Thanks for the tip, makes total sense it. Tomorrow I will try simply switching the surround system off and see if the HomePod stays connected.  I should have thought of that!  If this is the case then there needs to be some thought on Apple's part about giving more options to connection hierarchy in their devices you can set regardless of protocol.
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