How (and should I) disable original Homepod as a Home Hub

I still have the original (big) Homepod, it is working fine as a media player. However, AFAIK, it does not , unlike Homepod mini, support thread (and obviously Matter) . However, I could not find a way to disable it as a Hub while still connected as a Homepod for playing music.

Any suggestion?

Are you experiencing any problems with your Matter Devices?

no, but may be I should provide more context. I have 2 Apple 4K TV, one 2022 and one 2020. I think both, if not the newer one supports thread (and Matter in the future). However sometimes the Home network sets the Homepod as active and the Apple TVs as standby. I do not think I have controls which is active , which is standby so I was thinking of removing the Homepod from the HomeKit network but still connects to the Home App (for updating and listening to music, etc)

Apple support article:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207057

You can’t choose which device is the home hub, Apple doesn’t let you.

My assumption is that if you had a non-HomeKit device with matter/thread support, it would route to your HomePod home hub through the Apple TV with the radio. Are you in a position to test that? I’d love to know for sure either way.

Something can be a Thread Router without being the Home hub

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I am in no way an expert, as evidenced by my recent thread on this topic, but I have done a ridiculous amount of reading on this the last couple of days and my understanding is that the Network decides which is the home hub, so you’re fine.

The HomePod shows as active because it doesn’t turn off (it’s waiting for a command - the only way to turn off a HomePod is to unplug it), but the TVs are on standby because they’re off until you turn them on. It doesn’t mean they’re not networked, communicating to each other and ready to do whatever you ask.

Any HomeKit Hub (active or standby) that has Thread hardware will act as a Thread repeater to extend the Thread mesh.

One will be nominated automatically by the network to be a Thread Border Router, which is not the same thing.

Potentially, multiple border routers will be supported, but no one has that working (or working reliably) yet.

TL;DR No problem having some HomeKit hubs with Thread and some without. Thread bridging/routing is separate from the primary HomeKit hub function as an automation controller/remote access gateway.

Of course, with a single HomeKit Hub, it will be the active router, and if it has Thread hardware, it will also be the Thread gateway and Thread border router.

TMI maybe, but all existing HomeKit hubs act as Bluetooth bridge / range extender in a similar way. But Bluetooth is not a mesh and the Apple Bluetooth range extender is proprietary technology.

from reading this, I think my conclusion is to leave the HomePod plugged in , at least for now.

I have the new Ikea Dirigera Hub connecting a few Ikea Tradfri devices. Also have a couple of Eve Energy devices, hence they are HomeKit compatible but also thread enable. Also have some Cygnett smart power board , plus some Philips Hue bridge and lights.

Ultimately I try to move everything to Home Assistant. At the moment, I have automation using Apple Home, Ikea Smart Home, Eve and Philips apps, it is a mess

For now I do not have much to worry about thread but I may be buying more thread devices as my house is 2 level full brick construction. Getting good thread coverage may be a challenge

Yes, I would leave everything as it is, at least if you did not experience any problems related to this.

Long term, Home Assistant will be building Thread border router into HA, and I think they will also build Thread meshpoints/repeaters, just as they have done with their ESP based Bluetooth “proxy” devices.

From my POV, I’m seeing a lot of power user or advanced hobbyist type smart home people converging on Home Assistant.

Move all or most automations to HA, keep HomeKit for Siri voice, Apple Watch, and other interactive controls.

(I guess I really need to get my HA installed, now that @MacSparky really likes his too I think we will be hearing a lot more about it.)