As we accumulate new OS and iOS devices in our homes, we tend to create islands of content on multiple devices. In this article, we will look at understanding home sharing and family sharing feature offered by Apple. Since different family members often have different TV watching preferences, we will also examine how to set up the home sharing feature with your new Apple TV, so that it can stream different content. Lastly, we will focus on some of the common trouble shooting tips associated with aApple’s home sharing feature.
What is home sharing?
Home sharing is a feature that has been around since 2009. And no, its not Air bnb for your home! Home sharing can let music and video be shared while on the same home network. It is especially helpful when you are trying to share an apple device such as Apple TV among multiple people in the family. Home Sharing feature lets you transfer or stream music, video, apps and other iTunes Store content between computers on the same network. You can also play iTunes music and video on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touch devices running iOS 4.3 or later, as well as on a Apple TV.
What’s the difference between this feature and the new family sharing?
Family sharing was introduced last year by Apple as a part of their iOS 8 release. The feature allows the administrator to set up a “family share” by adding members to the group and providing a credit card number to pay for iTunes and App Store purchases made by those members.
Children under 13 can now have parentally approved Apple ID accounts, and the Ask to Buy function lets a parent control a child’s App Store shopping by allowing the adult to approve or decline attempted purchases.
Members of the same iOS 8-enabled family can also share their online calendars and contribute pictures taken with their iPhones, iPods and iPads to a group album. A location-sharing feature — which displays the whereabouts of family members and their iOS devices on a map — may be of particular interest to parents.
In order to Set-up family sharing, please see the detailed article on our site.
How do I setup homesharing?
You can setup homesharing to be used for your computers ( Allows 5 computers to be connected on the same network), iOS devices such as your iPads and iphones and Apple TV. In order to enable homesharing on your Ipad/iphone, please see the following article:
Most people have their own preferences when it comes to TV viewing habits and preferences. By using the homesharing feature and itunes, you can easily share your Apple TV with other members in the family.
On your new Apple TV (4th generation), go to Settings > Accounts > Home Sharing. On earlier models of Apple TV, go to Settings > Computers. Select “Turn on Home Sharing.”
Then enter your Apple ID and password. Use the same Apple ID for every computer or device on your Home Sharing network.
You can view all of your accounts from different computers without changing anything on the Apple TV.
The key to homesharing is that regardless of the account details of each account, if they all use the same homesharing details the Apple TV can stream content from any of them.
It doesn’t really matter who’s account you set up for use with the iTunes store on the Apple TV, everyone who uses the same homesharing settings as the Apple TV uses, will be able to connect to their library from the Apple TV. The Apple TV can also access content from an AirDisk, but only if the content is linked via iTunes and the computer running iTunes is running.
The key in using the multiple itunes account to sharing is that the computer will need to be running.
Simple Troubleshooting Tips for your Home sharing Set-up
- Make sure you’re running the latest version of iTunes available for your computer.
- Your Apple TV must be at least a 2nd or 3rd generation model and running version 4.2.1 of the software.
- Make sure you are using the same Apple ID for all your devices. This is the most important step and can cause problems if you don’t check and make sure
- Check your network settings to see if all your devices are connected to the same router.
- Turn off your firewall’s “Block all incoming connections” and “Allow only essential services” settings.
- If your computer is sleeping, access may not be granted. Go to Energy Sharing in System Preferences and check the box beside “Wake for Wi-Fi network access”.
Please let us know your comments and thoughts below. Happy Sharing!
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.