Siri has always been one of the best features of the Apple TV. On a fourth-generation Apple TV or Apple TV 4K, the speech assistant can quickly start video & tune to live TV channels and provide search results for specific genres.
But until recently Apple did not offer hands-free ways to use Siri on an Apple TV, such as Amazon offers with Fire TV and Alexa, or like Google offers with Chromecast, Android TV and Google Assistant. If you wanted to control the Apple TV, you had to take the remote control.
That changed with iOS 12.2, which allows you to use hands-free Siri voice commands via an iPhone or iPad. If everything is set up, you can say things like "Hey Siri, tune into ESPN on Apple TV" or "Hey Siri, watch Game of Thrones season eight, episode four on living room TV," And Apple takes care of the rest.
Here is a complete guide to be situated with hands-free Siri voice commands:
Step 1: Enable "Hey Siri" in iOS
By hands-free Siri on your Turning on iPhone or iPad, you can start viewing things on Apple TV with just voice commands, even if your device is locked.
To set this up, go to Settings on your iOS device, select "Siri & search" and then enable "Listen to & # 39; Hey Siri & # 39;" You must read several sample commands to teach Siri your voice After you have done that, make sure that & # 39; Allow Siri When Locked & # 39; is also switched on.
Repeat this step for all other iPhones or iPads that you want to use with the Apple TV.
Step 2: Signing in iCloud on iOS and Apple TV
Go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and look for an option & # 39; Sign up & # 39; at the top of the screen and then log in to your iCloud account. If you only see your name instead of a sign-in option, you are ready to go.
You must also sign in to the same iCloud account on the Apple TV. Go to Settings> Accounts> iCloud and then select & # 39; Log in & # 39 ;. (We will soon discuss how you can enable Apple TV voice commands for other users with separate iCloud accounts.)
Step 3: Enable AirPlay 2 on Apple TV
If you To receive commands from an iOS device, AirPlay 2 must be enabled on your Apple TV. Go to Apple TV, go to Settings> AirPlay and make sure that there are & # 39; On & # 39; state. Then scroll down and select & # 39; Room & # 39; in the same menu.
You will now see a prompt & # 39; Start using AirPlay 2 & # 39; on TV. As indicated, unlock your iOS device, turn on Bluetooth and keep it close to the Apple TV and then press "Connect" when prompted on your iOS device to complete the pairing. (If this prompt does not appear, try locking and unlocking your device again.) Finally, select the room where your Apple TV is located. You can later refer to this space with your voice commands by means of your name.
Step 4: Install compatible apps
Since this writing, more than 80 Apple TV apps support universal search with Siri, and most of them can launch videos directly in response to voice commands. Make sure that the app you want to use appears in the Apple TV support list and that you are already signed in to the app. (We will deal with specific voice commands in the following section.)
If you are subscribed to PlayStation Vue, FuboTV or DirecTV Now, you can use voice commands to watch every live TV channel included with those services.  If a compatible video app is installed on your iPhone or iPad, but not on Apple TV, the video is started instead using the Apple AirPlay protocol. However, this requires that you unlock your iOS device and prevent you from using other apps that require video or audio. You better install the TV app.
Step 5: Enable HDMI-CEC
With HDMI-CEC enabled on both Apple TV and your television, Siri can switch on the TV before a video is played. On Apple TV, go to Settings> Remote controls and devices and make sure that "Control TVs and Receivers" is set to "On"
Next, look for a "CEC" option in your TV settings and switch it on in. As Apple indicates, the exact name of this option may differ for some TVs, so look for a setting with "Link" or "Sync" in the name, such as Aquos Link or Bravia Sync, if a CEC option does not is displayed specifically.
Optional: Inviting Others to Use Voice Commands
If you have other users at home with separate iCloud accounts, you can invite them to control Apple TV from their own iPhones or iPads. Open the Home app on your iOS device, press the home icon in the upper left corner, and then select & # 39; Invite … & # 39; under the People section. Finally, enter the email address associated with the iCloud account of the person you want to invite.
The other person then receives an invitation message on his iOS device. After acceptance, they can operate Apple TV with their own iPhones and iPads.
Step 5: view some voice commands
You are finally ready to operate your Apple TV hands-free. Here are some voice commands to view:
- ”Hey Siri, play Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Apple TV"
- "Hey Siri, watch Red Oaks in the living room- TV. "
- " Hey Siri, watch Game of Thrones season eight, episode four on the TV in the living room. "
- " Hey Siri, rewind one minute on Apple TV. "
- " Hey Siri, fast forward five minutes on Apple TV. "
- " Hey Siri, turn on subtitles on Apple TV.
Limitations and w Orkarounds
Although hands-free Siri control is nice to have on Apple TV, it is far from perfect. Here are some of the issues you may encounter:
In particular, Netflix does not allow you to start a video with voice commands directly. To complete the process, you must grab a remote control – or open the virtual Apple TV remote in the Control Center on iOS – and press select to start playback.
Similar frustration can occur if the Apple TV tries to send you to the wrong app for a certain program. For example, after signing up for HBO via Apple TV channels, Apple may ask you to install HBO Go instead of launching programs directly. If this happens, grab the remote control and scroll down while viewing the show info page until you see the & # 39; How to view & # 39; see. Select your preferred source and Apple TV should remember this in the future.
It is possible that even after following the above installation instructions, you may still encounter problems making voice commands work, including an error where Siri says, "I could not find any TV & # 39; s nearby. Make sure you are on the same WiFi. "In this case, try disabling iCloud and AirPlay 2 support and then reinstalling. In the worst case, you may have to perform a factory reset on the Apple TV (Settings> System> Reset) to make things work
In general, Siri is better at responding to & # 39; Play & # 39; then on & # 39; Look & # 39; when you try to start a certain show. (For the latter, the assistant ha tends to hear & # 39; What & # 39; instead of & # 39; Look & # 39 ;, resulting in a failed search attempt.)
When asking for a To play a certain program or channel, Siri must automatically select the correct streaming service, such as Hulu or PlayStation Vue; If this is not the case, you can include the service name in your voice command.
Do you have questions about Apple TV, Siri and hands-free voice commands? Send me an e-mail or contact Twitter .