How To Fix Twitch App Audio Out of Sync on Apple TV with HomePods

"Apple Tv (12478148855)" by Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This is the solution to a very specific and weird problem that I've run into recently with my Apple TV paired with HomePod Minis as my speakers. The Twitch app will get completely out of sync between the audio and video to the point where Twitch streams are basically unwatchable with sounds playing many seconds after they are supposed to.

This is a problem unique to the Twitch app on Apple TV and has not been fixed in over a year that many people have complained about this issue online . I have never had audio sync issues with any other app with my Apple TV + HomePod Minis pairing. Twitch seems to have built their own video player (as evidenced by their uniquely terrible interface for fast forwarding or rewinding through Twitch VODs) that is not running the correct synchronization code that is needed to keep the video and audio in sync.

But after scouring around the many thread of complaints on this subject I came across a fix that actually works. While this fix must be redone from time to time when the issue reappears, the fix tends to last for at least a few weeks at a time. So here it is:

The Absurd Fix That Works

  1. Download the free Pluto TV app from the App Store. (Or if you have a Hulu subscription the Hulu app can be used in place of Pluto TV)
  2. Make sure that both the Twitch app and Pluto TV app have been closed. (Double click the home button on your remote and then swipe the apps away with the touchpad to close them)
  3. Go into the Settings App.
  4. Choose “Video and Audio”
  5. Select “Audio Output”
  6. Change your default audio output to TV Speakers
  7. Change your default audio output device back to the HomePod pair
    1. If you are using e-ARC to play all of your TV audio through your HomePods make sure to reenable “Play Television Audio” as well.
  8. Go to the home screen
  9. Open the Pluto TV app (Or Hulu app)
  10. Select an on demand show and let it play for a few seconds
  11. Open up the app switcher (Double click the home button) and swipe Pluto TV (or Hulu) away too close the app
  12. Finally press the home button and open the Twitch App
  13. Start watching a Stream, which should now have the audio and video in sync.

The Twitch app will stay in sync for some time afterwards (I have gone weeks without having to reapply the fix) but eventually you will have to do it again after either an update to the Apple TV software or the Twitch app.

Why does this work?

It's hard to know for sure but my best guess is that the Pluto TV/Hulu video player is running some sort of required video/audio sync code before it starts playing a video that the Twitch app does not do. So we are essentially using Pluto TV or Hulu to run the necessary synchronization code that Twitch is lacking before switching over to the Twitch app. But even if this is is incorrect, in the end the fix works and that's good enough for me.

Credit goes to /u/Prog on reddit for finding the initial fix with the Hulu app and /u/SeishiZero for discovering that the fix worked with the Pluto TV app as well. It is frankly pretty sad that Twitch has not fixed this but given that track record I wouldn't expect a fix from them anytime soon. So for now I will continue going through this ridiculous ritual to get their app working correctly.

If you happen to find any other apps that can be used with this method, or any other fixes for this issue in general, feel free to drop me a line on Twitter so that I can keep this guide updated.