Using Airplay "Play media" in scenes works "irregularly"

Cupertino, October 26, 2020

Hi all,

I am addressing the community because I need help and advice on how to troubleshoot the following. First, here's my setup:

* 1 AppleTV 4k, connected to a Marantz AV receiver, itself connected to a Samsung TV in the living room
* 1 AppleTV gen 3, connected to a Pioneer receiver, itself connected to a bedroom projector
* A Libratone Zipp in the kitchen
* and a Libratone Zipp Mini in the bathroom
* A Netgear ORBI wireless system with 1 router and 2 satellites (very good overall Wifi performance throughout the house)
* 35+ Philips Hue lights / strips / sockets connected to a Hue bridge - they all work very well, I just put them here for reference and completeness

Now to the problem. We have set up a scene called "Good Morning" which should turn on different lights in the morning and start playing a selected radio station on both Libratone Encryptions (for the curious of you, who? RTBF Classic 21 in Belgium). The lighting works smoothly, as does the media playback until a few weeks ago (probably until the latest iOS / tvOS updates?), But now the media playback "errors" and the scene "fails".

What I notice is that Homekit is trying to start playing media using AppleTV 4k in the living room as a source, transmitting to the two Libratone zips. So, the scene is powered on AppleTV 4k (which in turn is powered on the Marantz AV receiver and Samsung TV ...), but I have to run the scene 2-3 times before the media starts playing. Then, after a certain timeout, "a device" of either the AppleTV 4k, the Marantz receiver or the Samsung TV shuts down due to inactivity, which in turn puts the AppleTV 4k to rest and stops playing audio again? All these are assumptions ...

I noticed other "weird things" with Airplay and AppleTV in the living room. For example, when I use the "remote control" on my iPhone to turn on AppleTV, everything works fine in the sense that all connected devices (AV receiver, TV) also turn on, but the AppleTV output is set to play sound on one of the two zips. Libratone instead of using the AV receiver (listed in AppleTV as "TV speakers"). If I want to watch Netflix via AppleTV, I always have to manually deselect Libratone Zipp as a playback device and select "TV speakers".

I understand from my writing that it is a text wall with a lot of information, so beforehand, I thank everyone for taking the time to read it :-). If you have any advice on how I can start troubleshooting / fixing problems, I would be very happy. In short, the two problems I would like to solve are:

1. Make my "Good Morning" scene constantly start playing audio on my two Libratones on the first try - this worked until a few weeks ago!
2. Set the "TV speakers" as the default sound destination when I turn on the AppleTV remotely.

Thanks!

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