Sonos App on TV?


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I very much expect this has been asked for before, but is there any way to display/use the Sonos controller on the TV?

I'd really like to see the album art, queue etc and be able to have a good way for guests to see/choose music and for that to be a conversation point even!

An app shouldn't be too hard to implement on the major brands of smart TV. Much of the industry is driving towards making the TV the entertainment hub for the home.

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21 replies

Userlevel 2
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iPad + AppleTV --> AirPlay (Mirror)

Your iPad display is mirrored to the TV for all to see - sparking conversations when someone is browsing for the next track. Control is still via the iPad, of course, not the TV remote, but the iPad touch interface is better than button mashing when trying to search, scroll, etc.

When nobody's using it you can leave the display on either the default screen (displays zones & grouping, play queue and music sources) or the enlarged album art screen (current track, timeline, play mode, etc.).

Constraints:
  • iPad battery life
  • iPad display / lock timout


When unlocking the iPad, if you don't want everybody to see your password as you type it in, double-click the home button and turn of AirPlay mirroring whilst you unlock.

Of course, having an iPad that everyone is free to use (no keyboard lock) is best if you can do that. One that isn't connected to your e-mail account, PayPal, iTunes store, etc. 🙂
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It also means buying an iPad AND AppleTV, for which I have no use whatsoever. That's a pretty big outlay.

I'd even rather pay Sonos for another device to output to TV than do that... :rolleyes:
Well of course another option is if you have an HT PC connected already... then you just put the desktop controller on that machine..... Or output a laptop to the screen.... Which I've done before.....

One of the things I've seen about the tv apps.... unless it's one of the "big" things... netflix, hulu, iplayer, etc... they don't all seem to make it on the various hardware.... Now maybe that's partially regional lockouts... So I wonder what restrictions that imposes? To me, it feels like early days of android, with lots of variability between devices, OS, configurations, etc... but worse.... since functionality on tv's doesn't even have the common thread of google....
Userlevel 2
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iPad + AppleTV --> AirPlay (Mirror)

Your iPad display is mirrored to the TV for all to see - sparking conversations when someone is browsing for the next track. Control is still via the iPad, of course, not the TV remote, but the iPad touch interface is better than button mashing when trying to search, scroll, etc.

When nobody's using it you can leave the display on either the default screen (displays zones & grouping, play queue and music sources) or the enlarged album art screen (current track, timeline, play mode, etc.).

Constraints:
  • iPad battery life
  • iPad display / lock timout


When unlocking the iPad, if you don't want everybody to see your password as you type it in, double-click the home button and turn of AirPlay mirroring whilst you unlock.

Of course, having an iPad that everyone is free to use (no keyboard lock) is best if you can do that. One that isn't connected to your e-mail account, PayPal, iTunes store, etc. :-)


My thoughts exactly. You forgot one thing, though, you could always enable Guided Access on the ipad after launching the Sonos app and voila your party mates are locked into one app and your privacy is protected! The perfect solution for the OP and the Apple TV does so much more. Worth the small investment, for sure!
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Well, not really.

It's hardly a small outlay if you don't need anything the AppleTV offers and don;t have an iPad :)

I already have a home server with NAS, can stream movies direct to my BluRay player for watching on TV and have movies on demand through the cable supplier.

It really is a situation that could be easily enabled by having an App on the TV (or BluRay player) for Sonos, given that nearly all of these are network connected now.

The connected home using a TV as the hub is starting to become reality now, it;s certainly something that Sonos should be looking into imo, not something we should be trying to find a kludge workaround for.

The ideal would be to select Sonos on my AV amplifier and use its HDMI switching to see the Sonos controller on the TV. A Sonos Bridge with an HDMI output would be even better - I'd much rather pay money for that than for an AppleTV
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The ideal would be to select Sonos on my AV amplifier and use its HDMI switching to see the Sonos controller on the TV. A Sonos Bridge with an HDMI output would be even better - I'd much rather pay money for that than for an AppleTV

Now you're talking! I have a Sonos Connect which feeds my AV amp via a digital optical output for when I want to listen to music on a hi fidelity system (all of my music via Sonos is Apple Lossless). Although I have a NAS set-up as well and the AppleTV (1st and 3rd Gen), I have found the Sonos Connect to be by far the superior experience.

If the Sonos Connect were to be upgraded with an HDMI output that would be awesome.

I have to say, though, that a $99 AppleTV is not much of an outlay when you consider what you've paid for the Sonos system. My two cents on that.
Well, not really.
The ideal would be to select Sonos on my AV amplifier and use its HDMI switching to see the Sonos controller on the TV. A Sonos Bridge with an HDMI output would be even better - I'd much rather pay money for that than for an AppleTV


Hum.... embedded controller software on a zp.... that could be a challenge for sure. When you think about it, you'd have to make sure that when you upgrade the firmware, and controller together.... keeping in sync with all the other "legacy" controllers, etc..... That could be a tall order to do.... well....

Even though, I have the connect (zp90) on the receiver... I find that I use one of the phones, ipad, android, whatever is available to control both the sonos, and the receiver, vs, being limited to the room.... Much more flexibility in my mind.....

A vesa cable for video out/in.... and a wireless keyboard and mouse sound like a cheaper, more versatile option to me....
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I don't see how any of that helps with output to a TV to display album art and to allow everyone in the room to see what's going on?

A smart tv app is perfectly doable, but it does require a willingness on Sonos part to talk to the TV manufacturers or even just do the research, There's actually a Samsung TV apps developer forum: http://www.samsungdforum.com/support/beginningforsmarttv
Userlevel 2
The obvious (to me at least) platform for an on-TV contoller is Windows Media Centre. It supports plug-ins and is already oriented to a-v control. It doesn't need to play the sound as the playbar or other ZP will handle that.

Of course that assume you have an HTPC connected to the TV.
I don't see how any of that helps with output to a TV to display album art and to allow everyone in the room to see what's going on?


So think of it like this.... most flat screens have a standard video input which is the same connector for an external monitor.... Or some video cards output hdmi.

If you temporary connect a PC device, you have the full screen content available on the tv. You can then open the desktop controller, and album art, queues are all available. It's like having a temporary HT PC connected. So you'd have full control.

That's where a wireless keyboard would be not bad either, cause you could control from anywhere in the room. Of course, you could always still use "other" controllers, and just use the PC connected to the tv for display.
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Chromecast provides a wireless way to display the Sonos App on your TV .

(i) buy a Chromecast dongle and install it on your TV ($35).
(ii) install the free Chrome browser and free Google Cast (Chrome Browser Extension) software on a PC that is connected to the same wireless network as the Chromecast dongle.
(iii) follow the set-up instructions and make sure that your PC and TV are properly configured wrt Chromecast.
(iv) Launch the Chrome browser on the PC, click on the Google Cast icon (within a Chrome browser tab), configure 'Cast this tab to...cast entire screen (experimental)', then click on the name of the Chromecast dongle that you want to 'cast' to. See the following for more details...

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/162443-chromecast-tab-casting-how-to-stream-your-desktop-browser-and-local-media-to-your-tv-video

(v) launch the Sonos app on your PC. You'll see the Sonos app mirrored on the TV.

I use an old laptop as the PC part of this set-up and I set it up so that it remains on and running with the lid closed. That way, I can plug the laptop into a wall socket, close it, and move it out of the way; the laptop will keep sending the Sonos app screen image to the TV.

Of course with Sonos you can run multiple Sonos apps simultaneously on multiple devices; user inputs to the Sonos app on one device are mirrored on the other devices. So, I use an Android tablet or phone for real-time control of the Sonos app (music queue, pause, volume, etc), while the Sonos app running on the laptop responds to all changes instigated on the Android device and mirrors the updated Sonos app image to the TV (with a slight time delay that is totally acceptable to me).

This should work with a Mac, as well, but I don't have a Mac to try that out.
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I have a public display TV in our office, which has a builtin computer. I have installed this with a bare bone linux installation which only runs Chrome in kiosk mode upon boot.

When booted, it will present a custom template of my web controller (http://forums.sonos.com/showthread.php?p=210383) which runs on another server (a virtual one in my case, but could be a raspberry pi or even the computer in the screen itself) and it looks like this:

http://upload.grabbarna.se/files/IMG_20131125_105225.jpg

Since we only use Spotify, I also fetch the high res cover art from one of their web services which works much better on a bigger screen. I will also add track time to it (I had that on my previous .NET based dashboard app), and will make a redesign as well (which will show previous, current and next track).

Since this is web based, any modern browser would be able to present this kind of info, including any modern smart TV which has a browser. Depending on how the navigation works, it might even be possible to control it via a remote. I don't have a smart TV my self so I don't have a clue on how you browse using it.
Userlevel 4
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If you want to get a feeling of how it looks in reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x-Nhzd0ueg&feature=youtu.be

did a redesign today, made it look a lot nicer.
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Nice app, jishi!
Thanks for sharing your work.
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I have an idea. Why not use an android tv stick/dongle. You can view android on your tv and just use the official Sonos controller. They come with remotes so no mouse/keyboard from the couch plus these dongles are really small, not power hungry and very quick on/standby like a normal android smartphone. Oh and they are very cheap.

Anybody willing to try?

Here is a video demostration. Skip to 2:00 to see the interface.

youtube.com/watch?v=5s8JdNniV8E
Bringing this to the top. I have been a pretty devoted chromecast/google play music user when it comes to music streaming and have gotten spoiled with being able to see things like album art, artist, etc on the TV screen. I have 3 Sonos connect setups in my home, running through Yamaha Aventage receivers, all situated around TVs and it just sucks not being able to display that type of info on the screen. Even better would be if you could display the entire app on the screen as you control it from your device. I love Sonos and for a system as advanced as it is, it's pretty amazing this functionality is not available.

My TVs are all Sony android based and chromecasts as well that I can play around with screen mirroring and such so that's probably an option but it would be nice if the connect could just output the app to a screen or something along those lines.
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Can't believe here we are a year later. No easy way to display Sonos on a TV screen, or even on the Google Echo Show/Dot. Or Amazon TV. Or a Roku App.
If you have an newer Apple TV then you may want to look at this fantastic app...

https://www.tunesmap.com
Userlevel 7
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Can't believe here we are a year later. No easy way to display Sonos on a TV screen, or even on the Google Echo Show/Dot. Or Amazon TV. Or a Roku App.

Why can't you believe it? No promise or mention has ever been made about this ability. What could be more convenient than a hand held controller anyway? I can't see Sonos investing in a big way until TV so called smart interfaces get some sort of standard or maybe accept the running of Android or iOS apps.
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Why can't you believe it?

Because this is 2018? And it would take relatively little effort to suport at least one of those formats. Seriously.
Userlevel 7
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did you see tunesmap above.

appletv has always been a decent way from an apple device.