News Where is Apple TV screenshot

Published on April 9th, 2018 | by Kirk Hiner

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Testing multiroom audio with Apple TV and tvOS beta

The tvOS 11.3 beta contained support for AirPlay 2 when it was released back in January (screen capture above), but that functionality was stripped before its official release at the end of March. AirPlay 2 will provide advanced functionality for Apple TV and HomePod owners, such as the ability to create stereo pairings of two HomePods and to set up multiroom audio with connected Apple TVs.

It’s the latter we’ll focus on here, thanks to a hands-on report today at CNET. Megan Wollerton has been testing the iOS 11.4 and tvOS 11.4 betas and was able to play music through multiple Apple TVs via Control Center. She also reports that voice commands such as, “Siri, play Bob Dylan in the gym and in the kitchen,” worked with her testing.

From Wollerton’s article at CNET:

The Apple TVs I updated with the TVOS beta also appeared in the Home app, presumably to allow for future integrations with HomeKit, Apple’s smart home platform. The Home app lets you create “scenes” where lights, thermostats and other HomeKit-compatible devices can kick on to your preferred settings at the same time. It seems likely that Apple TVs will be added soon so you can include audio along with other things in your HomeKit scenes.

The question, then, is when Apple TV and Homepod users (or those with products from third-parties who have announced AirPlay 2 support, such as Sonos) will be able to take advantage of these and other features. It’s encouraging to see AirPlay 2 back in the 11.4 beta, but there’s still time for Apple to pull it again before official release. We’ll want AirPlay 2 functionality to be bug-free when it launches, but the longer Apple waits for the official launch, the more customers they will lose to Google and Amazon.

Read CNET for more on Wollerton’s AirPlay 2 beta tests.

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About the Author

Kirk has been writing for the Apple web since 1997, having served as editor of Applelinks and the Technology Tell Apple Channel. He is also currently editor-in-chief of Public Access Gaming. Kirk lives with his wife and three children in small-town Ohio where the land is cheap and the air is (relatively) clean.



One Response to Testing multiroom audio with Apple TV and tvOS beta

  1. Mike says:

    I don’t get it. Airfoil did this years ago on OSX.
    Why is this so hard for Apple to implement as just a simple add on to Airplay as is?
    I have a couple portable Airplay speakers, which work fine with Airfoil. I really want them to work on/from/controlled by my Apple TV4 and 4K (and perhaps my iPhone) like I have been doing for years using Airfoil from my Mac.

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