Thanks to technology, today’s smart home can be made up of locks, lights, cameras and much more. All of that can help provide an easier daily life.
And if you’re an Apple fan, you can interact with a smart home without even having to get up from your living room couch. We’ll highlight how Apple TV is a seamless way to control all of your devices.
What you’ll need to get started
Obviously, the most important item you’ll need is an Apple TV. There are currently two models available: the Apple TV HD and the Apple TV 4K.
For most people, the Apple TV 4K is the best option. While it’s slightly more expensive than the base model, it’s capable of displaying 4K content, which is the standard for the wide variety of TVs on the market today.
It also supports the Thread wireless protocol, which is a big part of the Matter smart home. Learn more about Thread and how it will bring the future of the smart home together.
An Apple TV can also be used as a home hub. You’ll need a smart home hub, which can also be an iPad, HomePod, or HomePod mini, to control HomeKit-enabled devices while you’re away from home.
A home hub also allows you to give others access to control your smart home devices with an iPhone or iPad.
You don’t need to do anything to activate the home hub functionality, just set up your Apple TV as usual with your Apple ID.
Along with an Apple TV, you’ll also need a HomeKit-enabled smart home device. If you’re new to smart home technology, be sure to read up on what HomeKit is.
There is a wide variety of smart home products available with Apple HomeKit compatibility. Everything from lights to locks to cameras can be part of an Apple-centric smart home.
Once you’ve installed a HomeKit product, you’re ready to control it with an Apple TV.
Get the most out of Apple TV Control Center
For Apple TV users, Control Center is the most important place to view and interact with your smart home devices.
To open Control Center, press and hold the TV button on any of the Siri Remote generations. You can open Control Center from anywhere on your Apple TV. Next, select the HomeKit icon.
At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see all the HomeKit scenes you’ve already created on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Scenes are multiple commands with HomeKit accessories that will run simultaneously.
For example, you can create a Movie Time scene that dims the lights, closes the door, and launches your favorite streaming app with the press of a button. You can create a scene with virtually any smart home device.
Just to note, you can’t create scenes on an Apple TV, just run the existing options.
At the top of the screen are any HomeKit-enabled cameras that you’ve marked as a favorite in the Home app. You can quickly scroll and view more cameras by swiping left.
Select a camera view to bring the video to full screen. At the bottom right of the screen is a set of three different icons. The leftmost icon is Accessories.
Pressing that will show you any other controllable props in the room where the camera is located. So, for example, you can control lights, locks, and other devices while watching live video.
The central icon is the grid view. Select that to see what’s happening with live views from multiple cameras in your home. To return to a full screen view, simply select a single camera.
On the right is the picture-in-picture icon. Choose that and the selected camera view will be played in a small viewer. You can navigate and use other parts of Apple TV while still watching the live camera feed.
That provides a great way to keep an eye on what’s going on in your home while you’re watching a TV show or movie.
Anyone with a HomeKit doorbell camera can also make use of a great feature on Apple TV. When someone rings the doorbell, you’ll get a notification on Apple TV. And if HomeKit recognizes the person from your photo library, you’ll see exactly who it is.
In addition to seeing who’s at your door, you can also see other notifications on your Apple TV screen for other smart home devices. For example, you can see a notification when your Front Door is locked or unlocked.
The power of Siri and the Siri Remote
And there’s another way to control smart home devices that you’re probably familiar with: Siri. Thanks to Siri Remote, Apple’s virtual assistant is just a button away.
On the second generation Siri Remote, the Siri button is located on the top right side of the remote. If you have the first generation model, just select the microphone button in the middle row of buttons on the left.
Keep your finger on the Siri button, and then say your command. You’ll see Siri’s familiar waveform on the screen.
You can use a wide variety of voice control commands. Whether you want to turn on the lights or something else, you can do it with the Siri Remote.
One of the best ways to use Siri Remote is to call up a live view from a video camera. The view will automatically be placed in picture-in-picture view so you can continue to do what you want on Apple TV.
When you interact with Siri on Apple TV, you’ll see the text of your voice command appear on the screen along with Siri’s response. The response will also be heard through your TV speakers.
Smart home control at your fingertips with Apple TV
If you’re already entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and looking to expand your smart home technology, the Apple TV is a great option.
In addition to acting as a hub, you can easily interact with a host of different devices from the streaming device.