How To Effortlessly Use FaceTime on Your Apple TV for Bigger and Better Calls

a FaceTime call using Apple TV on an LG TV's screen

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What To Know

  • Connect your Apple TV and iPhone or iPad to the same Wi-Fi > Open FaceTime on Apple TV > Use Continuity Camera to link your iPhone’s or iPad’s camera to the TV > Select a contact, and start your call.
  • Ensure compatibility by using a 4K model of the first, second, or third-generation Apple TV, and upgrade to tvOS17.
  • For the Continuity Camera feature, upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS17 or iPadOS17, allowing you to use their cameras for FaceTime calls on your Apple TV.

In this guide, I will teach you how to use the FaceTime app on your Apple TV with the aid of your iPhone or iPad camera.

Let’s get started!

Initial Steps

According to Apple, ensure that your Apple TV is a 4K model of the first, second, or third generation, as these are the only models that support the recently confirmed FaceTime app.

To get started with FaceTime on your Apple TV, you need to update your device’s software to tvOS17, the latest version from Apple.

Keep in mind that this version is still in beta, meaning you will need to join the Apple Beta Insider Program.

Note: The Apple ID that you use to sign up for the Beta Insider Program should be the same one linked to your Apple TV.

1. Enroll in the Apple Beta Insider Program

To enroll in the Apple Beta Insider Program, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open your preferred web browser, and visit https://beta.apple.com.

access the beta.apple.com site on a web browser

Step 2: Click on the Sign Up button.

Sign Up for the Apple Beta Software Program

Step 3: Use your Apple ID to sign in.

log in with an Apple ID to sign up for the Apple Beta Software Program
Step 4: Click on Agree to the terms and conditions of the Beta Insider Program.

Agree to the Apple Beta Software Program

Upon successful registration, you’ll be directed to the below page.

Guide for Beta Software of tvOS17 on Apple website

2. Upgrade to tvOS 17 on Your Apple TV

To upgrade your Apple TV to tvOS17, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Settings menu.

select the Settings option on Apple TV

Step 2: Select the System.

select System in the Apple TV settings menu

Step 3: Select the Software Updates.

select Software Updates on Apple TV

Step 4: Select the Get Beta Updates.

select Get Beta Updates on Apple TV

Step 5: Confirm by selecting Get Beta Updates again.

confirm to get Beta Updates on Apple TV

Step 6: Choose Agree to the terms and conditions.

Agree to Beta Software Updates on Apple TV

Step 7: Your Apple TV should now automatically update to tvOS17.

Note: It’s important to keep your Apple TV connected to power throughout the update process to avoid software glitches.

Apple TV updated to tvOS17

After the update is complete, you should see the FaceTime app on your Apple TV’s home screen.

FaceTime app on Apple TV's home menu screen

3. Upgrade Your iPhone or iPad to iOS17 or iPadOS17

Since Apple TV doesn’t have an in-built camera, Apple has developed the Continuity Camera feature for the FaceTime app.

guide to using iPhone or iPad as a Camera on Apple TV's Facetime app

With the Continuity Camera feature, you can utilize the camera on your iPhone or iPad as the camera for FaceTime calls on your Apple TV.

However, your device must run either iOS17 or iPadOS17 for the Continuity Camera feature to work.

Note: From our testing, only the host of the FaceTime call needs to have their iPhone or iPad updated to iOS17 or iPadOS17. The invited contacts do not need to have these versions to join the call.

iOS 17 Beta update option on an iPhone

If your Apple ID linked to your iPhone or iPad is already signed up for the Apple Beta Insider program, you’ll have the option to upgrade to iOS 17 or iPadOS 17.

iPadOS 17 Beta update option on an iPad

How to Use FaceTime on Your Apple TV

Now that your devices are all set, let’s go through how to use FaceTime on your Apple TV using an iPhone or iPad as an external camera.

1. Using an iPhone as an External Camera

To use your iPhone as an external camera for FaceTime on your Apple TV, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make sure both your Apple TV and iPhone are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 2: Open the FaceTime app on your Apple TV.

FaceTime under the settings icon on Apple TV

Step 3: Navigate to Users and select your Apple ID account.

select User in Apple TV's Facetime

Step 4: You will be prompted with instructions to connect your iPhone like below.

instruction to connect to iPhone or iPad in Apple TV's Facetime

Step 5: On your iPhone, tap on the Continuity Camera notification and select Accept.

Accept to Connect to Apple TV via Continuity Camera on an iPhone
Step 6: Position your iPhone near the Apple TV with the camera facing you, then select Skip this step.

Skip This Step on iPhone's Continuity Camera

Step 7: A notification will appear on your iPhone confirming the successful connection between your iPhone and Apple TV.

notification of Connected to an Apple TV on an iPhone via Continuity Camera
Step 8: On your Apple TV, select the contact you wish to start a FaceTime call with.

select the start FaceTime call button on Apple TV's FaceTime app
Step 9: Wait for the receiver to accept the call.

wait for the receiver to answer the call in Apple TV's Facetime
Step 10: Once the connection is established, you can start your FaceTime call.

established call between two people via Apple TV's FaceTime

2. Using an iPad as an External Camera

If you prefer using an iPad as the external camera for FaceTime on your Apple TV, here’s how you can set it up:

Step 1: Connect both your Apple TV and iPad to the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 2: Open the FaceTime app on your Apple TV.

select FaceTime on Apple TV

Step 3: In the FaceTime app, navigate to the Users section and select your Apple ID account.

select User's Apple ID in Apple TV's Facetime app

Step 4: You will see an instruction to connect with your iPad like below.

instruction to connect an external iPhone or iPad as Apple TV's FaceTime app

Step 5: On your iPad, tap on the Continuity Camera notification and select Accept.

Accept to Connect to Apple TV via Continuity Camera on an iPad

Step 6: Position your iPad near the Apple TV with the camera facing you, then select Skip this step.

Skip This Step on iPad's Continuity Camera
Step 7: You will receive a notification confirming the successful connection between your iPad and Apple TV.

notification of Connected to an Apple TV on an iPad via Continuity Camera
Step 8: On your Apple TV’s FaceTime screen, select the contact you want to call.

select a contact to start a call on Apple TV's FaceTime app
Step 9: Wait for the receiver to answer the call.

waiting screen for the receiver to answer the call on Apple TV's Facetime

Step 10: After the call is accepted, you can initiate your FaceTime conversation.

FaceTime screen of Apple TV on an LG TV

Troubleshooting FaceTime Issues on Your Apple TV

While using FaceTime on your Apple TV, you may encounter some common issues. Here are a few troubleshooting tips:

1. FaceTime App Does Not Show Up on Your Apple TV

Some users have reported that the FaceTime app does not appear on their Apple TV device after upgrading to tvOS17.

This is because your Apple TV isn’t a 4K model, so it won’t support FaceTime, as confirmed by Apple.

2. Your iPhone or iPad Does Not Receive the Continuity Camera Notification To Connect to Your Apple TV

In some cases, users have reported that their iPhones cannot connect to their Apple TV during the FaceTime setup process. 

This issue typically arises when their iPhone is still running on iOS16.5.1. 

To resolve this, ensure your iPhone or iPad is updated to iOS17 or iPadOS17. Also, verify that your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV are all connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Conclusion

By following these steps and troubleshooting tips, you can seamlessly utilize FaceTime on your Apple TV with your iPhone or iPad as an external camera. 

Stay connected with your loved ones, colleagues, and friends through high-quality video calls right from the comfort of your living room. 

Enjoy the convenience and versatility that FaceTime brings to your Apple TV experience.

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How was content created? This piece is created collaboratively, with tech editors generating ideas, conducting testing, and proofreading meticulously, while AI assists in fine-tuning.

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