Airplay Speakers stop working after Apple TV Sleep

I have 2 HomePod Speakers in Stereo. However, my problem happens even if they are not grouped.

I have my Apple TV audio directed to play on the 2 HomePods (just selecting the group). And this works very good. No problems with any apps including Channels.

But, when I SLEEP the Apple TV and then restart the ATV the Channels App will start playing on the TV Speakers instead of the HomePods. Even though the Apple TV Audio is still set to the HomePods. And if I go into any other App (I tested about 8 of my most used apps) the sound comes from my HomePods. And then back to Channels and the sound comes from the TV Speakers.

Then, if I simply reset my Apple TV Audio to the HomePods (i.e. deselect them and then select them) things are back to normal with Channels Audio going to the HomePods until I SLEEP again.

I am using tvOS 12 on a Apple TV 4K and using a 4K VIZIO TV.

This is a known issue we are trying to resolve. It appears to be a bug in tvOS audio api we use in our custom video player. I have opened a bug report with Apple to see what they say (here’s a copy:

Any news on this problem? What do you think the likely hood of Apple actually fixing this problem?

They told us it was fixed in tvOS 12.0.1. We tested and it wasn't, and tested again today on tvOS 12.1 and it is still not fixed. We are waiting on a reply...

Any news?

Wonder if this trick could be used as a work around?

I tested it and does not work for me. Maybe this solution is for when your ATV does not reconnect to the Airplay 2 Speakers. In my case it does and always has. The problem for me is that all my other apps work fine. It is just the Channels App that does not work. It shows that it is using the Airplay 2 Speakers but it is using the TV Speakers over HDMI. Maybe Apple is confusing the two issues.

For the developers. I understand this problem lies with Apple and third part video drivers but this would be another reason for a ATV Native Audio/Video option which I understand would stream thru the DVR as if it was remote. I looked at the settings and it has the option to Connect to the DVR for At Home or Remote. I tried it quickly but it came back and said it removed the manual connection. Maybe I am doing it wrong. But if it worked and streamed MPEG4 would you still use your Channels Video Driver with the same problem?

Fingers crossed...

Nope.... Same issue with tvOS 12.1.2.

I think 2019 is the year to overhaul the player app, more aligned with, or using, Apple's built in player. This should be doable for DVR users, since most of us funnel it through the DVR anyway... just transcode the Mpeg2... and maybe all the way to H.265 for servers with the power. It will eliminate the daily topic of poor quality which 99% of the time ends up being because of subpar wifi.

A huge part of why Channels works so well is our custom video player. Switching to the native player is not feasible- we would be starting from scratch and would have to reimplement every feature added to our player in the last three years. Plus, the native player would only work for users who had a suitable DVR server that supported transcoding. Plenty of users use only the Channels app, or run their DVR on older machines or budget NAS with no transcoding capability.

If you want to see how the native player works, try the DVR's web UI in iOS Safari, or try Plex's Apple TV app. It takes 5-10x longer to tune into a channel and there are all sorts of reliability issues. In fact, even Plex is moving away from the native Apple TV player. Emby and Infuse have already ditched the native player as well. It doesn't make sense for us to double the code in our app to try to deliver a sub-par secondary player that only a small percentage of our users will even be able to use.

I know the Airplay issue in this thread is really annoying, and it sucks that Apple hasn't been able to fix the bug in the API we're using. I've been poring over recent WWDC talks about Audio APIs to see if there's something newer available. I heard that Infuse recently fixed a similar issue in their app, so I think there is a workaround available.

I understand. My point about this has always been I just assumed it was already programmed. I just assumed that since you support Remote Access from iOS and tvOS Devices it would be a matter to allow it to happen on the local network. Do you not allow for Live TV and DVR streaming remotely via the DVR Server? Maybe you only allow streaming of DVR recorded content and not Live TV.

Sure, if you want transcoded video via DVR you can go to the Channels app settings and enable Home Streaming Quality = 720p.

Either way, the video is played using our custom player.

Regarding Infuse. I just tested it while playing a MPEG4 Video and it does not have the problem. However, maybe it does something different with MPEG4. But in the past I was never that impressed with Infuse performance but maybe it was with MPEG2. Have not used Infuse that much.

However, found something else my accident while testing. Hulu Live TV has a similar problem. When watching Live TV it will play on the Airplay 2 speaker (even after sleep) but if you hit the MENU KEY (which continues to play but shows menu on top) it will switch to playing on the HDMI (TV) but when you go back to full screen it will switch back to Airplay 2 speakers.

My Airplay 2 speakers are only in then Master Bedroom and wife mostly uses it and she does not use Hulu Live (except for Echo Show) so never noticed before. Maybe of help to you.

Yup Not working for me either.
HomePod Version: 12.1.3
AppleTV Version: 12.1.2

I hope Apple fixes this.

In the latest DVR beta from TestFlight, we have added a new Audio Driver setting under Video Player. Try changing this to Experimental and let us know how it works out.

That fixed the issue here.

To Test: I have 2 HomePod Speakers setup for Airplay.
Change the Settings to play via HP Speakers and working fine with Channels.
Exit channels and sleep ATV
Restart ATV and use Channels and HP Speakers are still in use. In the past it would go back to TV Speaker via my HDMI Setting.

Thanks for the Fix.

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I also conducted the same test with the same positive results. Looks good so far. Will keep you posted if things change.

Update here. I have submitted three sets of diagnostics from AppleTV Beta app for the experimental audio driver.

Live TV has been rock solid. Watch over three hours of Live TV without issue over multiple channels.

Recorded TV is not so good. I tried to watch three previously recorded shows and can only watch about 15 seconds before the sound drops out. Closing and reopening that app gives me another 15 seconds before audio dropout.

My next test will be recording a new show and see how it goes.

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Does pause/resume fix audio?

Does seeking back or forward fix it?