Require TV to control volume and mute functions, not Playbar

  • 20 September 2021
  • 2 replies

This is my first post on the forum, and I’m hoping a problem can be solved.

I have a Playbar I bought in November 2019 connected to a Sony 77-inch TV I bought in August 2020. These are co-located and connected with the optical fibre cable. Everything operates perfectly except for the remote control aspect. Both the TV and the Playbar have their latest firmware builds.

The TV and all its functions respond perfectly to the remote control over at least an 80 degree angle on each side of centre of the TV, i.e., almost the full hemisphere of control, whereas the Playbar volume and mute functions respond only to about 45 degrees on each side of centre, half of the hemisphere. In my family room, because of its design, the TV and Playbar are in their “best” positions, and I’m wishing to be able to use the full ± 80 degrees angle with the remote because of seating arrangements.

On the TV sound settings, I have selected “external sound system” instead of “internal speakers”.  Unfortunately, in this setting, the TV volume and mute settings, while they show on the screen as changing their settings when selected with the remote control, do not affect/control the optical output signal, i.e., changing the TV’s volume and mute settings does not change the optical output signal to the Playbar.

A thought. An option could be to feed an HDMI output from the TV to perhaps a separate, third-party box, allowing the TV to own the volume and mute functionality and operate over the ± 80 degrees angle of response with the remote. That would be perfection. The separate box could then feed its optical output signal to the Playbar, while the Playbar’s volume and mute functions, currently controlled with the remote control, are disabled (somehow). Everything is controlled by the TV. Would this control method be possible?

In summary, the angle of control of the Playbar is inadequate for our situation, but we have no options for moving the TV or the Playbar, or changing the seating arrangements.

Any advice on how I could best fix this problem would be greatly appreciated.

With my thanks.


Best answer by Airgetlam 20 September 2021, 07:25

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2 replies

A rather simple IR repeater might do what you want, allowing a wider angle of sending a signal, with the device feeding the more restrictive angle of the IR receiver in the PLAYBAR.

A less inexpensive solution, which was the route I chose, is to replace the PLAYBAR with a Sonos Arc, which does use HDMI CEC to communicate volume changes to the Sonos Arc, so it really is the TV controlling the volume, and not the Sonos device accepting an IR signal.

I do like your very simple solution using the IR repeater. I hadn’t considered this.

It would indeed provide for Playbar control over most of the hemisphere, solving my problem, yet with no need for additional boxes or to upgrade the Playbar.

A functional and very simple solution to the problem.

Thank you so very much.