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How to use Apple’s HomePod with an Apple TV

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HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • I’ve been using Apple’s $350 HomePod smart speaker for the last six months. 
  • While it can do a bunch of things, my favorite use for it has been pairing it with my Apple TV and using it sort of like a soundbar. 
  • TV shows and movies are now much more enjoyable to watch, because the HomePod sounds fantastic. 

For the past six months, I’ve had a new roommate: Apple’s HomePod.

The $350 smart speaker, which Apple released in January 2018, is Apple’s first foray into the world of smart speakers. While it has been lauded for its sound, critics mostly panned it for lacking many of the “smarts” its competitors have, being limited to iPhone and Apple Music users only, and its price tag. 

Still, I wanted to give the HomePod a shot. It’s now been living in my apartment since August, and I’ve been using it to play music, answer random questions, set timers, check the weather, and more.

And after about six months, I think I’ve found the best use for it yet. 

Read more: I spent an hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker — here’s what it’s like

Apple HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images)

My TV-viewing experience has completely changed 

Since 2014, I’ve been using a 32-inch Sony TV. It’s a nice little TV, but it didn’t have great speakers to begin with, and they’ve only gotten worse over time.

My TV is hooked up to an Apple TV, which I absolutely love. I’m able to watch all the shows and movies I want, and if there’s something on live network TV, I have an antenna I can plug in (or, if I’m trying to watch the Buffalo Bills on Sundays, I can set up the game on a MacBook and use AirPlay to get it up on the TV). 

So while that system has worked out great, there’s always been one niggling little problem: the audio. 

That’s where the HomePod comes in. 

Not long after setting it up in my home, my boyfriend and I realized we could pair the HomePod with our Apple TV (to do it, open Settings on your Apple TV, then navigate to Video and Audio > Audio Output > HomePod). Now, all the sound was routed through the HomePod instead of my TV’s somewhat pathetic speakers. 

It’s not a perfect system. A lot of times, my Apple TV will default to the TV’s speakers, and I have to manually select HomePod as the audio output (to do that while watching a show, swipe down on the remote’s touchpad, toggle over to Audio, and make sure there’s a checkmark next to HomePod).

But when it’s working properly, my TV-viewing experience is completely changed.

HomePodJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

The HomePod sounds incredible. It delivers rich, immersive, balanced sound that completely fills the room (granted, my living room is pretty tiny). Before, I felt like I was constantly cranking the volume on my TV’s speakers — now, the HomePod typically hovers around 50%. 

And one of the nice perks is that I can control the volume using my Apple TV remote, or ask Siri to adjust the volume for me. 

Now, I do realize that there are other solutions for fixing TV audio, solutions that likely cost far less than $350. But with the HomePod, you also get Siri (for whatever that’s worth); the ability to play music from the HomePod the rest of the time without having to disconnect it from your TV; and the general ease of use that Apple products provide. 

So if you’re an Apple TV user, and you’re considering a smart speaker, don’t discount the HomePod. 

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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