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Can Alexa Control Apple TV? DIY How-To Guide 2023

Can Alexa Control Apple TV

Do you want to be able to control your Apple TV with your voice? 

It can be a challenge.

Many users are getting frustrated trying to overcome it.

Well, good news because…

This DIY guide has got you! 

Read on to find out:

  • You can connect Alexa to your Apple TV via Bluetooth.
  • 5 quick steps to pair Echo device to Apple TV using Bluetooth.
  • 7 ways to connect your hub-based Harmony remote to Apple TV.
  • And much more…

Can Alexa control Apple TV?

Alexa can control your Apple TV, but there is no direct integration between the two devices. You can command Alexa to enable the Bluetooth to connect them using a hub remote. You can also let Alexa control your Apple TV using a wired connection and IR remote.

How to connect Alexa to Apple TV? 5 ways

#1: Connect through Bluetooth

Pairing your Echo device with the Apple TV is easy. You can connect it wirelessly or through Bluetooth, and both options will give you excellent sound quality.

What are features missing from the Apple TV if you connect it using Bluetooth?

The volume control for smart speakers doesn’t work seamlessly with these types of connections.

The Apple TV is Bluetooth-enabled and you can use it for your keyboards, gaming controllers, and so on.

To enable Bluetooth on the speaker, give Alexa a command to turn it on. Go to Apple TV settings and connect with your Echo speaker.   

Your Apple TV can handle many Bluetooth connections simultaneously. This includes your Alexa and gaming devices. The Echo, for example, allows you to connect to Bluetooth headphones.

Using Bluetooth connectivity, here are the steps to pair the Echo device with your Apple TV.

Using the Apple TV:

Connect Alexa Through Bluetooth Using The Apple TV
  1. Go to Apple TV settings
  2. Tap on “Remotes and Devices”.
  3. Click on “Bluetooth”.

Using the Alexa app:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your mobile devices.
  2. Open the “Devices” tab.
  3. Press “All Devices”.
  4. Look for your Alexa device to pair and click on that. 
  5. Choose the option that says “Bluetooth Devices” and then tap “Pair and New Device.”

Your Apple TV is now paired with your Alexa device.

Then you’ll see an option to select the Alexa device in the Bluetooth settings screen on your Apple TV.

When using a wireless connection, some devices may induce latency. Apple has a built-in option to adjust audio from various audio sources if this occurs.

Go to the Apple TV settings, choose “Audio and Video”, and follow the “Wireless Audio Sync” steps. 

Note: The Apple TV remote will not adjust the volume when using the Echo speaker as an audio source. You’ll have to change the volume on the Echo device itself. Use Alexa or the Alexa app to do so.

#2: Connect through a wired connection

You can play videos and audio on your Apple TV using a wired connection. The HDMI cable transmits both audio and video from your Alexa device. The Apple TV doesn’t have a built-in sound, so you’ll need a speaker for the audio.

Your Alexa device comes with a 3.5mm/optical line-in port or Mini-TOSLINK to send digital audio signals. 

But there’s a catch!

Your Echo device doesn’t send video compared to an HDMI. 

To set up a wired connection, you will need the following.

  • The Apple TV.
  • Amazon Echo Studio.
  • Optical cable Mini-TOSLINK to TOSLINK.
  • TV with an Optical/Digital Audio Out port.

Warning: Connecting your Apple TV and Echo device requires that you go through the setup procedures for both devices.

Here’s how to connect an Apple TV to your Echo device using a cable:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your Apple TV and select Audio and Video within this category. 
  2. Scroll down and click on Default Audio Option. 
  3. Choose TV Speakers.
  4. Connect the Mini-TOSLINK cable to the Echo device and your TV pot.
  5. Proceed to your TV settings and look for the Audio option.
  6. Switch off the TV’s speakers. Check your user guide if you need assistance.
  7. See to it that there is no Bluetooth device already linked to the Echo device. This might cause problems with the wired connection. 

Note: Echo Studio supports Dolby Atmos sound and only applies to a Fire TV device

#3: Set up Equipment for Hub remote

You can use a home hub controller to let Alexa execute various tasks. This includes turning on your television, changing the input to the Apple TV, and linking up with your audio system. 

To do this, you’ll need the following types of equipment:

  • Apple TV. 
  • A Wi-Fi enabled home network. 
  • Amazon Echo or Amazon Echo Dot. 
  • Your smartphone that supports your Apple TV. 
  • A flat-screen television with HDMI connections. 
  • A hub remote, like the Logitech Harmony Hub Remote.

Here’s how to set up your Harmony Hub:

  1. Place the hub in a position where it can see your television, gaming systems, and other Wi-Fi enabled devices. 
  2. Download the Harmony Hub app from the App Store or Google Playstore. 
  3. Follow the software instructions in creating an account and linking it to your home Wi-Fi network.

Note: You’ll need access to your home’s Wi-Fi password.

Warning: Your Harmony Hub has an infrared signal that executes commands like your TV’s remote control. As a result, the hub must be within direct line of sight to your WiFi-enabled devices.

#4: Connect through hub-based remote

With the Harmony Hub remote, you can send more commands to your Apple TV and Alexa-enabled devices.

There are two remote types: the hub-based remote and the IR remote.

If I were to choose one method over the others, it would probably be the Harmony Hub approach.

Getting Alexa to control the Apple TV is more manageable overall. You commit fewer mistakes and it’s less stressful at the same time.

Note: Make sure your TV is connected to your home’s network.

Here’s how to connect your hub-based Harmony remote to Apple TV:

  1. Download the Harmony App to your mobile device and open it.
  2. Open the app and select “Devices” in the drop-down menu.
  3. Tap on the “Add/Edit Devices; Activities” option.
  4. Click the “Add device” at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Choose “Scan for Wi-Fi Devices,” to look for your Apple TV.
  6. You’ll be asked to create an Activity; 
  7. Tap Yes and go through the steps to establish a “Watch Apple TV” Activity. 

Your Harmony hub-based remote can now control your Apple TV. It’s time to link Alexa to your Harmony Hub and take advantage of the voice commands.

#5: Connect through the IR remote

You have an IR remote if you can see the light coming from the front of the remote. If there is none, you have an RF remote.

IR remote controls transmit infrared light signals. You can’t see infrared lights with your naked eyes, but a digital camera, some mobile phone cameras, or a camcorder may reveal them.

To begin, you’ll need software. You can download it to your PC or Mac as long as you have a computer.

“Why do I need this software?”

You’ll need to set it up with the details for your equipment before your Harmony can manage your home entertainment system.

What is a Harmony software?

Harmony software keeps track of the most up-to-date information from your device database.

To connect your IR remote:

  1. Download and install the desktop MyHarmony software.
  2. Select your device from the list on the Remote Gallery screen.
  3. Click the “Devices” from the left-hand menu. 
  4. Choose “Add device”.
  5. In the “Manufacturer” text box, type Apple and your Apple TV’s model number in the “Device Model Number” text box. 
  6. Pick a generation of your Apple TV after a prompt.

To apply commands to control your TV, you’ll need to create an activity.

To do this: 

  1. Go to the menu on the left side of the screen. 
  2. Choose ”Activities” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Tap the “Add activity” tab.
  1. Pick the “Watch Apple TV” activity type.
  2. Pick “Next.” 
  3. Follow the remaining prompts to complete the activity setup. 
  4. Sync your remote to make sure they’re programmed correctly. 

Now you can use the remote control to start Activities on the Apple TV and control it with Alexa commands.

“I can’t install Harmony software on Windows.”

To download and install MyHarmony, click here. Run the program by unzipping the file and double-click on the MyHarmonyLauncher app.

Note: Use the Harmony mobile app to connect your Harmony Hub-based device and set it up.

How to set up Alexa commands?

Now that you have linked your Amazon Echo to your Apple TV, you’ll need to set up voice commands in the Alexa app.

To set up Alexa commands:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your mobile device.
  2. Tap the drop-down menu. 
  3. Choose “Routines” from the menu.
  4. Create a new routine by clicking the “+” button in the top right corner of the screen.
  5. Select the “+” next to the “When this happens” section of the menu.
  6. Tap the “Voice” option. 
  7. A prompt will appear to input the trigger phrase.
  8. Input your suggested phrase without any punctuations to it.
  9. You may now add an action that will occur after the trigger phase. In the “Add action” section of the menu, click the ”+” button and select “Home”.
  10. Select “Control device” and scroll until you locate your Harmony device.

Finally, you may scroll through the control options and create a set of Apple TV actions to manage. 

Read next: Solved: Can You Use Your Mobile Hotspot for Alexa? 9 Simple Steps