The original HomePod may have been discontinued by Apple, but that hasn’t stopped the company from adding the ability to play television audio via the all-new Apple TV 4K.
The new set-top box is giving the original HomePod a new lease on life, thanks to the built-in HDMI ARC and EARC technology that enables audio to travel through the set-top box – provided the TV is able to handle those ARC and EARC ( Also supports audio) return channel) tech.
For example, if you own both products, you will be able to use the original HomePod and an Apple TV to play audio coming from the television set, or other TV-connected products, such as the PS5, Xbox Series X, Blu-ray player, or your satellite / cable TV box.
This is a feature that is not supported by the current, more affordable HomePod Mini, so it may be appropriate to choose one or two of the discontinued originals when they become available at a lower price in the coming weeks.
Looking at the original HomePod, Dolby also offers Atmos technology and can be combined for surround sound, with Apple actually throwing a Siri-powered smart speaker a lifeline (after being thrown under the bus).
Even after not testing it, we cannot say how effective this feature is. In the past we have experienced some latency issues when streaming from Apple TV to secondary speakers, but it is possible that Apple has cleared them all.
MacRumors Have tried the feature and posted the following functionality below:
1) On your Apple TV, launch the Settings app.
2) Choose Video and Audio.
3) Choose Default Audio Output. (Under “Default Audio Output”, make sure HomePod is selected.)
4) Under “Audio Return Channel (Beta)”, select Play Television Audio. You will know that ARC or eARC turns on when it is called (ARC) or on (eARC).
Given that the HomePod isn’t going to last much longer (once they’re gone, they’re gone), despite being one of the best smart speakers, it suggests that Apple may have more speakers in the pipeline Easy new feature for those who can use it.