Use Facetime for Apple TV and make video calls via iPhone or iPad

Since tvOS 17, the FaceTime application is also available on an Apple TV and you can make video calls directly from the big screen. You might think strange, because the Apple TV does not have a built-in camera, but Apple has come up with a solution for that.

FaceTime on Apple TV uses Continuity Camera support to connect wirelessly to your iPhone or iPad. Everything then comes together on your TV via the camera and microphone on your device.

Terms of FaceTime for Apple TV

Apple TV 4KSince tvOS 17, users can use the new FaceTime app on Apple TV and make calls directly from the big screen. In addition, they can also make calls on iPhone or iPad and then transfer them to Apple TV.

Start FaceTime on an Apple TV

In order to use FaceTime, the system must meet a number of conditions.

  • Only available on Apple TV 4K (2021) second generation or later
  • tvOS 17.0 or newer
  • iPhone or iPad with iOS 17.0 or iPadOS 17.0 or newer
  • WiFi and Bluetooth must be enabled on both devices
  • Stable internet connection

Use FaceTime on Apple TV

  • Open the FaceTime app
  • Choose a desired user
  • You will receive a Continuity Camera notification on the paired iPhone
  • Accept via the notification
  • Position the iPhone horizontally under the television with the camera facing you
  • The Apple TV recognizes the display and starts the video call
Use FaceTime on Apple TV

With the Apple TV remote control you can activate different effects such as center point or portrait mode. You can also give comments to make the video call more attractive.

To pause or disconnect the iPhone or iPad camera, tap Pause or Disconnect on the iPhone or iPad Lock screen.

FaceTime effects and centerpiece

Center ensures that everyone in the room remains perfectly visible, even when participants are walking around. With portert mode you can blur the background while the focus is on the person.

facetime effects, hand gestures and reactions on an apple tv

And with the introduction of Split View for Apple TV, you can watch a movie or series with your loved ones in a SharePlay session and see everyone in the FaceTime call at the same time.

Furthermore, new gesture-activated responses let you make every conversation even more fun by generating on-screen effects like hearts or fireworks. You can see below which hand gestures you can use.

hand gestures facetime overview

Transfer FaceTime call

The Apple TV detects when a FaceTime call is in progress on your iPhone or iPad. A message may then appear suggesting ‘Use [naam apparaat] to move to your TV’. This way you can continue the video call on your Apple TV.

Continuity camera for tvOS

FaceTime on Apple TV uses Continuity Camera support to connect wirelessly to your iPhone or iPad. Everything then comes together on your TV via the camera and microphone on your device. While Facetiming, you can disconnect or pause on the screen of your iPhone or iPad.

Third-party apps

Not only can you make video calls this way via FaceTime. You can also install apps such as Webex by Cisco and Zoom, so that you can use all associated video meeting functions on Apple TV 4K.

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