How to use the 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 updateApple has made it easier to watch a live feed of HomeKit cameras in a small window on top of everything else you’re playing on your Apple TV.

This is a handy feature if you want to keep an eye on the nursery while you watch a movie, or keep an eye on the front door for that special delivery during a big game.

You can watch 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 feed from a HomeKit camera. For this we used the Siri Remote second generation; it is also possible to use the first generation remote control, which uses a touch surface instead of a click pad.

  • While watching a show, long-press the TV button on Apple TV’s 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 clickpad ring to scroll to the HomeKit icon.
  • Select the icon by pressing the click pad and browse your cameras to choose the feed you want to watch.
  • You can also press the Siri button on the remote and ask to view the camera by name, as in “Show me the Arlo porch camera”.
  • The live camera feed is displayed in full screen.
  • Now use the clickpad 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 enter picture-in-picture mode before the content you were previously playing.
  • To operate the mode from the smaller picture, press the TV button to display additional controls on the picture-in-picture screen.
  • Here you can switch to full screen, close 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 one.
  • You can also switch to viewing your camera in full screen and your show in picture-in-picture by swiping up on the clickpad to reveal the playback controls on the main screen (including picture-in-picture).

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