Include Apple TV as a HomeKit home hub

Cupertino, February 9, 2024

Apple TV is a wonderful streaming device that offers a superior streaming experience compared to most standalone smart TVs. In addition to this, it can also function as the central hub for your smart home as part of Apple HomeKit. While a HomePod or specific iPads can serve as gateways to your smart home, the Apple TV 4K is a great alternative, especially since you can connect it with an Ethernet cable for additional reliability. We will soon explain how to add Apple TV as a HomeKit home hub, but first, let's discuss what that means and why you might want to do it.

When it comes to Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit, they are all systems that enable you to control all your smart home technology in one place. This could include opening doors, turning on lights, or adjusting the thermostat through Siri or a shortcut on your iPhone with Apple. However, you can only do this if you are on the same network or within Bluetooth range of your HomeKit-enabled smart home technology. This is where a HomeKit home hub comes in. It serves as a static device on your home network that enables you to relay remote instructions. It essentially acts as your permanent representative for your smart home technology. This hub is also necessary if you want to share access to your smart home controls with others or automate certain smart home functions.

All versions of Apple TV 4K are compatible with being used as an Apple HomeKit home hub. If you have a regular Apple TV, you will need a third-generation (2012) or fourth-generation (2015) model. However, the third-generation model has limitations, including not being able to share access to your HomeKit accessories with others or support video streams from cameras.

To set up your Apple TV as a HomeKit home hub, go to the Settings menu, select 'Users and accounts', ensure you are signed in to Apple iCloud with the same Apple ID used in the Home app on your iPhone, go back to Apple TV Settings, select 'AirPlay & HomeKit', choose a room from the list or add a new one, and you're done. If it does not work as expected, make sure your Apple TV is up to date, you are signed in to iCloud as the primary Home app user, iCloud Keychain and 2FA are enabled on your Apple ID, and that your Apple TV is connected to your home WiFi network and turned on.

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