How to use the Apple TV picture-in-picture mode to watch your HomeKit security camera

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Picture-in-picture mode has been an option on Apple’s streaming media device, the Apple TV, for a couple of 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 on top of any other content you’re playing on your Apple TV.

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

You can view a live feed of 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 of a HomeKit camera. For this, we used the Siri Remote second generation; it’s also possible to use the first-generation remote, which uses a touch surface instead of a clickpad.

  • While you’re watching a show, long-press the TV button on the 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 down to the HomeKit icon.
  • Select the icon by pressing on the clickpad and scroll through your cameras to choose the feed you want to view.
  • Alternatively, you can 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 will pull up in full screen.
  • Now, use the clickpad ring to navigate to the picture-in-picture icon in the bottom-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 move 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 show additional controls on the picture-in-picture screen.
  • Here, you can switch to full screen, close picture-in-picture, or move it to one of four corners of the TV screen.
  • In full-screen mode, you can choose to view all your compatible cameras and switch to a different 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 show playback controls on the main screen (including picture-in-picture).

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