How to make FaceTime calls with your Apple TV on tvOS 17

With tvOS 17, you can finally FaceTime your loved ones on a compatible Apple TV. There’s a catch, however.

control apple tv with phone feature

FaceTime is undoubtedly one of the most popular video-calling services. And thanks to a fresh batch of software updates, the app has finally landed on one of the best media streaming devices: the Apple TV. Through tvOS 17 and iOS 17 (or iPadOS 17), you can rely on your excellent smartphone or tablet to bring FaceTime to the big screen. All you need is an iPhone or iPad and an Apple TV running the latest operating system version.

How to make FaceTime calls on Apple TV

  1. Launch the FaceTime app on your Apple TV after ensuring you’re running tvOS 17.
    FaceTime app icon on tvOS
  2. Tap on your name under Users.
    Select a user in FaceTime app on tvOS
  3. A notification will be sent to all of your iDevices running OS version 17.0 or later.
    Continuity Camera banner on FaceTime for tvOS mentioning the permission notification on iOS
  4. Tap it on your iPhone or iPad, and select Accept.
    Notification with buttons to Accept or Decline permission to use iPad camera and microphone for FaceTime on Apple TV
  5. The Apple TV will now rely on your iDevice for audio and video input.
  6. Set your iPhone or iPad aside after ensuring you’re visible in the camera frame.
  7. You can use your Apple TV Siri Remote to control some FaceTime settings, such as Center Stage, Portrait, and Reactions, through the bottom right buttons.
  8. Once you’re ready, tap the big plus (+) button towards the top left corner, and select the contact you’d like to call.
    FaceTime on tvOS interface, featuring center stage, portrait, reactions, and a plus button

When the other user picks up, you will see their video feed on your Apple TV’s large screen and hear their audio through the TV’s speakers. Meanwhile, tvOS will rely on the microphone and camera of your iPhone or iPad, allowing the other party to see and hear you. It goes without saying, though, that you must be signed in to the same Apple ID on both the Apple TV and iDevice for this process to work. Both Apple products should also be placed within Bluetooth range, be connected to the same Wi-Fi network, and not have Continuity features disabled.

In the future, the company could release an Apple TV with a built-in camera and microphone, which would then spare you the need to go through these steps. Until then, this is a doable workaround that’ll let you FaceTime with your TV.