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While the Apple TV remote does an excellent job at giving you full control, it's not for everyone. Whether your remote malfunctions or you want to make use of voice control, there are ways you can connect Alexa to your Apple TV (at least for some limited features).

Can I Control My Apple TV with Alexa?

Yes and No! You can control Apple TV with Alexa however there is no official way to connect the Amazon Alexa app with your Apple TV. The approaches outlined below won’t let you control everything so are limited. 

For instance, the connection won’t let you make complicated commands like search or fast-forward your content.

Why Is the Process Not Straightforward?

This is because Apple TV and Amazon Alexa are rival manufacturers and are not designed to work together. For the two to be fully compatible, these two different manufacturers would have to collaborate at an engineering level. Therefore, since Apple and Amazon have not yet worked together, connecting the two together gives you access to limited features.

Controlling Apple TV with Alexa/Echo

Option 1: Directly Connect Via Bluetooth

Connecting Alexa to your Apple TV via Bluetooth is the easiest method. The following steps will show you how to do it.

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings, and click on Remotes and Devices > Bluetooth.
  2. Next, on your smartphone, open the Alexa app and go to the Devices tab. Choose All Devices and choose the Alexa device you wish to pair. Once done, choose Bluetooth Devices and Pair a New Device to connect the TV and Alexa device. Once paired, you will also see a prompt on the TV screen asking you to select the Alexa device to pair with via Bluetooth.

While connecting the two devices via Bluetooth maintains excellent sound quality, as expected, you will miss out on several features. Key features you will miss out through this connection include volume control.

In this case, you have to manually increase the volume on the Alexa device or app instead of the Apple TV remote. However, the Bluetooth connectivity allows you to use the Apple TV with Bluetooth headphones via Alexa. Further, you can also use the connection with gaming devices and keyboards. 

Option 2: Connect Via a Cable

If Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t work for you, you can opt for a wired connection. A wired connection established between Apple TV and Alexa allows you to do all the basics, including video and audio streaming.

You can connect the two using an HDMI cable which also helps maintain pictorial, visual, and audio quality. An HDMI cable will transfer audio from Alexa devices but can’t do so from Apple TVs since they lack built-in sound.

In this case, you will need a separate connection for the sound. You can take advantage of Alexa’s 3.5 mm or optical port. But, while Apple TVs don’t transmit audio, Alexa speakers don’t transmit video. So, you will also need to use an optical or digital audio output for video transmission.

Here’s how you pair an Apple TV and Alexa via a wired connection.

  1. On your Apple TV, go to Settings, select Audio and Video, navigate to and tap on Default Audio Option, and pick TV Speakers.
  2. Connect a 3.5 mm cable to the Amazon Alexa device and TV port.
  3. To prevent audio interference or blockage, return to the Apple TV settings and choose the Audio option to switch off the TV speakers.
  4. You also want to ensure your Alexa device isn’t connected to a Bluetooth network to prevent audio interruptions.

Option 3: Using the Harmony Hub

Unfortunately, the Logitech Harmony Hub has since been discontinued. It's still possible to purchase it however it will shortly be no longer supported. Check out this video for another Smart Remote Control that could work for you.

You can also connect Apple TV and Alexa using the Harmony hub. A simple connection between Alexa and Apple TV will only allow the voice control feature to turn on. Therefore, you have to connect the two devices to a hub that allows you to create a task list for Alexa. 

The Harmony hub is a software designed to transform a smart device into a universal remote. In turn, this gives you control over various smart devices in your home. You can use it on your Apple TV, gaming devices, and even household lighting. The Harmony hub is built with ultra uniqueness and versatility. Currently, its design allows you to connect with over 270,000 devices, including Apple TV.

To establish a connection, you first want to invest in the hub. The next step is to set up the connection. Here’s how to do it.

  1. You want to set the hub directly in the line of sight of your Apple TV. Remember, the hub acts as an IR remote, replacing your regular Apple TV remote.
  2. Download the MyHarmony software on your desktop or smartphone.
  3. Open the software where you will notice a list of devices on the Remote Gallery screen.
  4. On the left side of the menu, pick Devices > Add Devices.
  5. On the Add Device option, choose Apple TV. Start by typing Apple, then, your TV’s model number as instructed. Next, enter your Apple TV’s generation type.
  6. For the connection to start working, you will be asked to share your Apple account information.
  7. Now, in this case, connecting your Apple TV with Alexa will simply turn it on and off. However, to fully enjoy the connection, you have to set up a task list for Alexa.
  8. Next, set up an activity with your hub. This includes adding a voice command that turns your Apple TV on. In addition, the activity list should include actions you typically need to be executed. This includes logging into your Apple TV and choosing the audio settings. However, choosing your TV programs still depends on your Apple TV app.

Common Questions Relating to Apple TV Alexa Control

How do I use the voice control feature on my Apple TV?

Using the voice control feature on Apple TV is easy. The option is typically available on Apple TV 4K,  HD, and 3rd Gen with a 4.2 and higher software. You can enjoy voice control via settings, Siri, or the physical TV remote. To activate voice control via the app, go on to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver

To activate it, simply press Turn VoiceOver On.

What if I lost my Apple TV remote? Can I use any Apple remote?

If you lose your Apple TV remote, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch can very easily replace it. These devices typically feature a built-in Apple TV remote you can set up instantly.
 
Alternatively, you can use a Siri remote or any other Apple remote you may have to lie around. If the former options don’t work out, you’ll have to invest in a new Apple TV remote.

How do I control Apple TV from my Mac?

You can control your Apple TV from your Mac via iTunes remote. To do so, you will need an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Either device lets you access iTunes Remote app on your Mac’s Media Library. 

All you have to do is download the iTunes Remote app from the Apple Store. However, before using iTunes, you have to first pair it with your Home Sharing network or Media Library.

The Verdict

While your Apple TV and Amazon Alexa aren’t traditionally built to work together, there still is a way to connect the two. Even though an Apple TV Alexa control may seem limited and useless, it still comes with its perks. 

The most viable part of this connection is perhaps how it integrates with other devices in your home should you own an Apple TV. Plus, you can take advantage of the various connection methods – you don’t have to stick to one!

Sources

support.apple.com

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