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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Tech News > Apple support document confirms Apple TV at core of HomeKit network

Apple support document confirms Apple TV at core of HomeKit network
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Jun 3, 2015, 09:11 AM
 
Confirming speculation, Apple has posted a support document for HomeKit which spells out that a third generation Apple TV can be used as a hub for a system. With an Apple TV as a central point, users can control HomeKit devices while away from the home network with an iOS device.

The pairing process as spelled out in the support document appears simple -- after accessories are paired with an iOS device using alpha-numeric HomeKit setup code, the user signs in with the same Apple ID as used at the home. Following login, Siri or the vendor's apps can be used to control the entire system remotely. Users without an Apple TV must remain inside the local area network to control the devices.

Should a paired iOS device be lost or stolen, "Lost Mode" can be activated, disabling the link with HomeKit. Other iOS devices with the same Apple ID associated can be used to control the devices in the meantime. Failing another iOS device, HomeKit peripherals need to be manually reset in the event of a loss, by following device manufacture instructions.

As expected, second generation Apple TVs do not have the functionality.
     
climacs
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Jun 3, 2015, 10:03 AM
 
I really hope that some company will come up with HomeKit-enabled security cameras. My parents chose a Lorex system after much research and it's somewhat of a turkey. Their so-called Mac support is a bitter joke; in order for them to view their cameras on any non-iOS device, installation of Windows is required because only the Safari browser can be used, and Lorex never updated the plug-in to be compatible with Safari 5.1 and later. So the computer OS has to be, I think, Tiger or older. Another popular camera they use, the wifi Foscam cameras, are difficult for the less tech-savvy to set up. What's more, I have had to repeatedly re-set them up; for unknown reasons, they lose the connection at random intervals and one has to dismount the camera, take it over to the computer (along with the power supply), and start all over again. Surely this can be done much better with HomeKit-enabled cameras that work seamlessly with your AppleTV and iOS/OS X devices without the need for constantly-updated plugins and overly-complicated setup procedures.
     
bdmarsh
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Jun 3, 2015, 10:11 AM
 
There are Mac compatible/specific video security software packages that will work with almost all IP cameras. I use Security Spy myself with 3 different brands of cameras. It isn't free, but works well and gets frequent upgrades in function, as well as supported cameras. It would be nice to have HomeKit support things like this natively, or allow other programs to integrate with it, I'm sure in 3 years HomeKit will be much more than it is at launch
     
Inkling
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Jun 3, 2015, 10:14 AM
 
"As expected, second generation Apple TVs do not have the functionality." Ah, one reason among several, I have resisted the temptation to buy the existing model. Now Apple must deliver a new model that's worth buying.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 3, 2015, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Inkling View Post
"As expected, second generation Apple TVs do not have the functionality." Ah, one reason among several, I have resisted the temptation to buy the existing model. Now Apple must deliver a new model that's worth buying.
The existing 1080p model is the third generation. Second generation was the same form factor, but limited to 720p.
     
Charles Martin
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Jun 3, 2015, 12:47 PM
 
Also, the second-generation Apple TV was discontinued over three years ago.
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ScottGG
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Jun 3, 2015, 02:34 PM
 
I really hope to see them FINALLY release an upgraded iPad "PRO" with a 12 to 13 inch screen. This is the holy grail for us designers, and artists... Plus the older eyes of my generation are in need of a bigger screen.
     
Charles Martin
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Jun 3, 2015, 03:32 PM
 
Scott: I'm not saying it will never happen, but if it did I would certainly expect that in the fall, not in June. However, if there's going to be one, it will require that devs be told about resolution changes (et al), so we should know something about such a device during WWDC if its going to happen this year.
Charles Martin
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Think4D
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Jun 3, 2015, 04:47 PM
 
Why on Earth can't you use a Mac as a hub? I'm sure there are probably a teensy bit more Macs in the world than Apple TVs.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Jun 3, 2015, 06:18 PM
 
Likely because a Mac is at least $500, and an Apple TV is $69.
     
HPeet
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Jun 4, 2015, 07:20 AM
 
I second the recommendation for Security Spy.

While the comment that "It isn't free.." may throw some people off, it is a very affordable solution when compared to Lorex or other complete security system. It will support just about any camera out there including the iSight cameras in any old leftover Macs that you might have lying around. They make iPhone and iPad Apps as well (also not free), a Widget and screensaver which I constantly use. They tier the pricing in groups of four cameras furthur customizing the affordability.

There is a learning curve in setting SS up, however, but the support folks are very responsive.

Mike/Charles: How about a MacNN review of Security Spy?
     
abbaZaba
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Jun 4, 2015, 07:32 AM
 
I wonder if the new Apple TV hardware will be $70 or if they will have two models. Actually, after saying that out loud, I can't really see that happening. I hope the new hardware is introduced at $70.

I am really wanting a 3rd party apps on the Apple TV. That's a huge boon for me.
     
   
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