How to Use Apple TV Picture-in-Picture Mode to Watch Your HomeKit Security Camera

Picture-in-picture mode has been an option on Apple’s streaming media device, the Apple TV, for a few years now. But with the recent tvOS 15.4 update, Apple has made it easier to view a live feed from HomeKit cameras in a small window above any other content you’re playing on your Apple TV.

It’s a useful feature if you want to keep an eye on the baby’s room while you watch a movie, or watch the front door for that special delivery during a big game.

You can view a live feed from a HomeKit camera in picture-in-picture mode on an Apple TV.
Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy/The Verge

Here’s a step-by-step guide to enabling and using Apple TV’s picture-in-picture mode to view a live stream from a HomeKit camera. For this, we used the second generation of Siri Remote; it’s also possible to use the first-generation remote, which uses a touch-sensitive surface instead of a clickpad.

  • While watching a show, long press the TV button on the Apple TV Siri Remote to open the Apple TV Control Center.

The first generation Siri remote is on the left and the second generation remote is on the right.
Photo by Chris Welch/The Verge

  • Use the touchpad ring to scroll to the HomeKit icon.
  • Select the icon by pressing the clickpad and scroll through your cameras to choose the feed you want to view.
  • You can also press the Siri button on the remote and ask to see the camera by name, as in: “Show me the Arlo porch camera.”
  • The live camera feed will be displayed in full screen.
  • Now use the touchpad ring to navigate to the picture-in-picture icon in the lower right corner of the screen.

The Apple TV Control Center appears when you long press the TV button.
Photo by Jennifer Pattison Tuohy/The Verge

  • Select the icon and your camera will switch to picture-in-picture mode in front of the content you were previously playing.
  • To control the mode from the smaller picture, press the TV button to display additional controls on the picture-in-picture screen.
  • Here you can go full screen, close the picture-in-picture, or move it to any of the four corners of the TV screen.
  • In full screen mode, you can choose to view all your compatible cameras and switch to another.
  • You can also switch to viewing your full-screen camera and picture-in-picture show by swiping up on the touchpad to bring up playback controls on the main screen (including picture in the picture).

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