How to use Apple TV to control your smart-home gear

Apple HomeKit is a hub which allows all kinds of automation in the home to talk to each other, and to talk to Siri, the virtual AI of Apple, much more easily than they otherwise would. This is the main draw of the HomeKit – it’s a central hub which allows you to control all of your home automation from one area, using voice commands if you choose. The HomeKit does come with one tiny catch, of course: the signals which it receives have to come from the wireless network it is already hooked up to.

If you are using the HomeKit with your smart home, then you can’t activate your automation, actuators or lifts (to know more see special guide) from a remote location. Apple has done this deliberately to keep security as a top priority – you can be sure that the only people who are using and accessing your smart home are the people authorized to do so. If you do want to access things remotely, Apple needs to give you a way to show that your data stream is the one it should pay attention to, which is where Apple TV comes in. Apple TV acts as a security check for your smart home and the associated networks, checking your requests as they come in from remote locations and ensuring that they are authentic before they can get through and affect your systems.

Apple TV is not only the best way to ensure security in your home if you want to move into remote controls and commands, it is also the best way to incorporate Bluetooth use into your smart home. Bluetooth has a very limited range, so Apple TV can be used by homeowners to connect with it as a relay point between you and the equipment you will want to use. The way this works for people is that they can use a Wi-Fi network to connect with Apple TV and relay their commands to it, and Apple TV then uses Bluetooth to connect to the device in question, and tell it what to do. To set Apple Kit up is fortunately something which doesn’t take long at all, particularly if you already have an Apple TV.

Image Credit: Apple Support

The first step is to update your iOS on the device which you want to use for your Apple Kit. Once this is done, you need to choose which HomeKit will suit you the best. This depends on what type of smart home you have, what automation you have, and so on. Once you chosen which one you want, then you need to install the hub itself, which will give you the Apple Kit, and download the app which controls it and allows you to send commands to your home and the home automation within it. It’s important to remember that the app will ask you if it is okay to sync up with your home and the data given out by the home. You should allow this, for the next stage to be possible. When you have the app downloaded, you can then go into settings, and into the HomeKit section, and allow remote access so that you can use it outside of your home network.