Can't get LG Magic Remote volume control to work with Playbase


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Hello everybody,

I’ve been unable to use my LG magic remote to control my Sonos Playbase for a whole year.

I’ve got an LG C7 OLED, a Sonos Playbase and 2 Sonos Play:1s set up for surround. I want to get a Sonos Sub and a couple of Sonos 1s to have around the house, but being unable to control my existing Sonos products with my TV’s remote control is not really inspiring me to spend more. I’ve already spent around 1000 euros for the existing setup as it is. Internal TV speakers just don’t cut it.

To this date the only similar topic I have found on this forum is this one by user earplugs: Playbase and LG Magic remote | Sonos Community

It was all working fine until about a year ago, when I moved country. Everything remained in storage for a period of time, and I started setting it all up again probably in early July. I remember the TV got a firmware update as soon as I took it online, and since then the TV’s menu options have changed massively. Device Connector on my LG TV is no longer giving me a manufacturer list (I remember I used Phillips once when setting it up in 2019), and the new remote setup process on the Sonos app is only working when the TV is off (and of course the moment the TV is on the remote becomes useless again).

This process on the Sonos support website also doesn’t work: Unable to adjust the volume using the LG Magic Remote | Sonos

Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a solution? The only way to remotely control the volume now is through the Sonos app, which is OK, but not ideal, as I don’t want to be holding my phone constantly when watching a movie.

At this stage I am almost ready to factory reset both TV and Sonos equipment and set up everything from the beginning again. But I am wondering if that will not work either.

LGRemoteNotWorking 15 days ago

I fixed it. Holy *** , I fixed it, after 18 months. It had to do with the Location settings of the TV.

The guy on the phone from LG earlier briefly said that it may be due to the country change, but it didn’t immediately click. By sheer chance, as I was typing my previous post 20 minutes ago, this topic came up on the right side of the screen:

Configure LG OLED Magic Remote (2018) with Playbase | Sonos Community

I had never seen it before, but the poster had the same issue I was having. The solution came by @markymos, who briefly mentioned the LG service country in a post of his, and then @Jools23 confirmed that it worked for him.

So I went to settings, general, location, and changed the location for everything to UK, rather than Greece. I am not sure how that had gotten changed, and if it happened automatically or if the TV asked me at some point.

Now that I’ve changed it back to UK, I get the option to select the manufacturer in the device connector. I set the remote up again, and lo and behold, I can now use my LG magic remote control to control the Playbase’s volume!

Thank you everyone, and especially @Ken_Griffiths who has been suggesting things and coming back to this topic for months.

 

*Moderator Note: Modified in accordance with the Community Code of Conduct.*

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Some pad/phone cameras are sensitive to Infrared. If this is the case for your device, confirm that the LG remote is issuing IR commands when you attempt to control the SONOS system.

I’m not familiar with your TV, but I can imagine a couple odd issues. First, the LG remote might not be configured properly and is sending a different set of IR codes when the TV is ON and another set when the TV is OFF. One way of confirming this is attempt to train the SONOS system while the TV is ON. If this is successful, but the SONOS system will not respond when the TV is OFF, then attempt to train the SONOS system while the TV is OFF. If you can train the SONOS to operate in one mode or the other, but not both simultaneously, then the LG remote is sending different codes.

As a generality, one must configure the a TV remote to control an A/V system and the model number is arbitrary. If you can, disable SimpleLink on the LG.

A second possibility is that the light output from the TV is confusing the PLAYBASE. You can confirm this by using a piece of cardboard to cast a shadow and prevent TV light from reaching the PLAYBASE IR sensor.

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My Logitech Harmony remote keeps track of whether devices are On or Off. When the TV is Off, the volume control will not affect my Playbase even if I have music streaming to it. Now and again when my wife uses the TV remote to turn the TV on, rather than the Harmony remote, the Harmony will not affect volume as it still thinks the TV is Off.

I say all this to get to the point: is it possible your tv and the remote operate in a similar way and have got out of sync? 

nik9669a,

You are the victim of a Power ‘toggle’. A toggle simply flips between two states, ON and OFF. The Harmony does not interrogate the TV’s Power status, Harmony simply assumes that you started with everything OFF and the first ‘Power’ command will turn ON the device while the next ‘Power’ command will turn the device OFF. Harmony keeps track of its own ON/OFF commands, but it is blind to actions by another remote. Some devices and universal controls support “discrete” power commands and the ‘ON’ and ‘OFF’ commands always result in the correct action.

Power toggles minimize the button count, but it’s a lot of pain if a string of ‘Power” commands (TV, receiver, disc player) is emitted by Harmony and one device is out of sync. The operator must manually toggle each device until they are all in sync. The Harmony “Help” function attempts to work through such situations.

 

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Thanks @buzz - my words were poorly chosen. As you say, it’s just toggling rather than keeping track. But for @LGRemoteNotWorking I'm wondering if (s)he’s in the same situation, and hence my post. 

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Some pad/phone cameras are sensitive to Infrared. If this is the case for your device, confirm that the LG remote is issuing IR commands when you attempt to control the SONOS system.

I’m not familiar with your TV, but I can imagine a couple odd issues. First, the LG remote might not be configured properly and is sending a different set of IR codes when the TV is ON and another set when the TV is OFF. One way of confirming this is attempt to train the SONOS system while the TV is ON. If this is successful, but the SONOS system will not respond when the TV is OFF, then attempt to train the SONOS system while the TV is OFF. If you can train the SONOS to operate in one mode or the other, but not both simultaneously, then the LG remote is sending different codes.

As a generality, one must configure the a TV remote to control an A/V system and the model number is arbitrary. If you can, disable SimpleLink on the LG.

A second possibility is that the light output from the TV is confusing the PLAYBASE. You can confirm this by using a piece of cardboard to cast a shadow and prevent TV light from reaching the PLAYBASE IR sensor.

 

Hey @buzz , thanks very much for your reply. I am a bit of a noob when it comes to these things, so can you confirm if by ‘training the SONOS system’ you mean I should repeat the process even if it presumably changes nothing?

From my reading over the last few months about this, the LG Magic Remote is capable of both IR and RF signals, and sends IR when the TV is off, and RF when it is on. That’s why the Playbase picks up the remote’s signal immediately when the TV is off, but gives a ‘nope’ signal when I try to change the volume when the TV is on.

I was wondering if there’s an IR only LG remote out there, or if Sonos have a sound remote available too. So far I’ve not been able to find any of the two options.

I also wanted to say that the smart buttons on the Playbase also work. The system works fine and I am very happy with it, but the fact that I cannot use a remote that was working before, is souring my experience. And the TV is also amazing, I cannot justify buying a brand new one because the firmware changed and the remote isn’t working with Sonos.

 

It was all working fine until about a year ago, when I moved country. Everything remained in storage for a period of time, and I started setting it all up again probably in early July. I remember the TV got a firmware update as soon as I took it online, and since then the TV’s menu options have changed massively. Device Connector on my LG TV is no longer giving me a manufacturer list (I remember I used Phillips once when setting it up in 2019), and the new remote setup process on the Sonos app is only working when the TV is off (and of course the moment the TV is on the remote becomes useless again).

Sonos as a manufacturer does not appear in the LG default list on screen in their ‘Device Connector’, however you can search for (and should find) ‘Sonos’ as a manufacturer - but you may ‘likely’ need to search under Bluetooth/Soundbars with ‘sentence case’ in mind so ensure you use a capital ‘S’ for ‘Sonos’ …and add the resulting manufacturer to the optical port .. You will end up with something ‘similar’ to this in your Device Connector (See attached screenshots).

Then go onto setup your LG magic remote via the Sonos App.

Just to also add, that after setting up the device connector with Sonos as the Soundbar manufacturer in the TV settings, I have seen some users report in the community here, that they first also had to put their TV into standby mode to get the ‘magic remote’ to work with the Sonos TV Remote setup process - so maybe keep that in mind too.

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Thanks for the reply @Ken_Griffiths. I recorded a short video of what my TV’s menu currently looks like, to make it simple. As you can see there’s no ‘sentence case’ anymore (but I remember there used to be 3 years ago, when I purchased the Soundbase).

You may be able to see something that I am missing, in the settings. If you need to see anything else, please let me know. Any further help or advice will be much appreciated.

https://youtu.be/lAmQYe49n8U

Thanks for the reply @Ken_Griffiths. I recorded a short video of what my TV’s menu currently looks like, to make it simple. As you can see there’s no ‘sentence case’ anymore (but I remember there used to be 3 years ago, when I purchased the Soundbase).

You may be able to see something that I am missing, in the settings. If you need to see anything else, please let me know. Any further help or advice will be much appreciated.

https://youtu.be/lAmQYe49n8U

Yes I see. That’s different to what I see on my older LG C9 TV - did you try the suggestion of setting up the remote whilst the TV is in standby mode?

 

Hey @buzz , thanks very much for your reply. I am a bit of a noob when it comes to these things, so can you confirm if by ‘training the SONOS system’ you mean I should repeat the process even if it presumably changes nothing?

 

I’m proposing this step as a diagnostic. If PLAYBASE can be trained to respond while the TV is OFF, then we know that the LG remote is issuing IR commands. If PLAYBASE will then not accept IR commands from the LG remote when the LG is ON, but you can re-train PLAYBASE to respond to the remote’s IR commands, then there are two different sets of IR commands. I don’t know why this might be the case, but I’ve seen manufacturers do many silly things. I don’t have a ready solution for this case, but at least we’ll know what we are fighting.

I have seen accounts of some TV remotes emitting IR commands while the TV is OFF, but switching to Bluetooth commands when the TV is ON. There are usually work arounds for this, but you’ll need to navigate some TV menus. I can’t help with this because I don’t have access to an appropriate LG TV. Typically, one must confiture the TV and it’s remote to control an A/V receiver. Don’t worry about the A/V receiver model number, just pick something that you don’t own, then train PLAYBASE to use these commands.

There is another approach. If you have a cable box, you can usually train these to control an A/V receiver via IR commands. Pick the same model A/V receiver model that you used above. This will still leave you with two remotes, but you won’t need to start up the phone in order to use the SONOS controller for simple TV viewing or music listening  Volume adjustments.

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Update: I still haven’t been able to fix this. A few weeks back I reset the TV to factory settings and tried again, but no change.

At this point I believe it is an issue with the specific TV firmware, since the menus have changed.

I’ll try again with a new TV at some point.

Update: I still haven’t been able to fix this. A few weeks back I reset the TV to factory settings and tried again, but no change.

At this point I believe it is an issue with the specific TV firmware, since the menus have changed.

I’ll try again with a new TV at some point.

Perhaps see this thread and note the case sensitive search needed to find Sonos as the Soundbar manufacturer in the ‘device connector’ (universal remote) or whatever LG call it these days:

 

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Update: I still haven’t been able to fix this. A few weeks back I reset the TV to factory settings and tried again, but no change.

At this point I believe it is an issue with the specific TV firmware, since the menus have changed.

I’ll try again with a new TV at some point.

Perhaps see this thread and note the case sensitive search needed to find Sonos as the Soundbar manufacturer in the ‘device connector’ (universal remote) or whatever LG call it these days:

 

Thanks again for your help, but the menus on my C7 are completely different.

Perhaps see this thread and note the case sensitive search needed to find Sonos as the Soundbar manufacturer in the ‘device connector’ (universal remote) or whatever LG call it these days:

 

Thanks again for your help, but the menus on my C7 are completely different.

They are different on the LG C9 and different again on the LG G2, which has a different device connector called ‘Universal Control Settings’, but it seems both search the same online universal database - have you double-checked things? … and note too that the LG online database search is case sensitive.

Just bought a new LG OLED TV and having the same issue that the remote despite being paired will not control the Sonos volume. Did anyone find a fix?

Just bought a new LG OLED TV and having the same issue that the remote despite being paired will not control the Sonos volume. Did anyone find a fix?

Yes the LG magic remote is working fine f here, I have both the MR-2019 & 2022 versions with LG TV’s a C9 OLED with Sonos Arc and an LG 24TQ510S-PZ with Sonos Ray and both work when setting the device manufacturer to Sonos (case sensitive), but if not using an Optical connection, it should work anyway using LG Simplink (CEC) control in any case. See the links earlier in this thread.

Thanks @Ken_Griffiths - unfortunately I have a Sonos playbase which only has optical connection. The problem seems to be that the magic remote only sends an IR signal when the TV is off and I can’t get the tv to talk to the playbase via the optical connection. Super frustrating as I have spent hours on what should be a very straightforward point to fix (never an issue with my Sony Bravia). Am hoping someone else might be able to help

Thanks @Ken_Griffiths - unfortunately I have a Sonos playbase which only has optical connection. The problem seems to be that the magic remote only sends an IR signal when the TV is off and I can’t get the tv to talk to the playbase via the optical connection. Super frustrating as I have spent hours on what should be a very straightforward point to fix (never an issue with my Sony Bravia). Am hoping someone else might be able to help

Have you tried it with Simplink off? - I have the MR2022 working here with the Sonos Ray (connected over optical) - let me take a photo of the settings for you to see.. in my own case, I goto ‘Settings/General/External Devices’ on the TV and select ‘universal control settings’ and select Sonos as the manufacturer for the optical out port. (See attached)…appreciate that the settings may vary slightly on your TV, but I have not had any issues with the ‘magic remote’ on either LG TV. 

I hope the ‘example’ photos attached  perhaps go some way to assist you to resolve the matter.

Thanks again @Ken_Griffiths - super helpful. I’ve tried this a number of times and it hasn’t worked (in conjunction with fiddling with the SONOS app itself)

I just tried it again (no luck), turned off the TV and went upstairs, went back down to try fiddling again and by some sort of magic it now seems to be working properly. Not entirely sure which bit “fixed” it but thank you for the prompt - hopefully I don’t lose it next time I turn the TV off!!

Thanks again @Ken_Griffiths - super helpful. I’ve tried this a number of times and it hasn’t worked (in conjunction with fiddling with the SONOS app itself)

I just tried it again (no luck), turned off the TV and went upstairs, went back down to try fiddling again and by some sort of magic it now seems to be working properly. Not entirely sure which bit “fixed” it but thank you for the prompt - hopefully I don’t lose it next time I turn the TV off!!

Fingers-x’d 🤞

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Nice to see that it’s working for other people, but personally I am still experiencing the same issue.

I have it pinned down to the TV firmware, which still uses Device Connector.

Universal Control Settings are not an option, and in Device Connector I am also unable to select any manufacturer.

It used to be different, I remember I had selected a manufacturer when I first set up the Playbase, but the firmware update broke the menu options and LG hasn’t bothered to fix it.

Nice to see that it’s working for other people, but personally I am still experiencing the same issue.

I have it pinned down to the TV firmware, which still uses Device Connector.

Universal Control Settings are not an option, and in Device Connector I am also unable to select any manufacturer.

It used to be different, I remember I had selected a manufacturer when I first set up the Playbase, but the firmware update broke the menu options and LG hasn’t bothered to fix it.

I have the LG ‘device connector’ on my other tv - you just need to select the Bluetooth/Soundbar category (see screenshot from my TV) select the correct port that the Sonos product is connected to and follow the wizard through until you get to the manufacturers page… and if you look carefully there is a ‘search’ option.

Search for either ‘Sonos’ or ‘sonos’ (it’s a case sensitive search). When you get it right, ‘Sonos’ will show up by itself in the manufacturers list and set that up for use with the universal remote. Hope you manage to sort it. It’s definitely working okay here with the old LG ‘device connector’.

If you’re still struggling then perhaps give LG Support a call, who will perhaps talk you through the exact steps.

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Hey @Ken_Griffiths, thanks very much for your constant replies and help since this topic opened.

If you recall, I had posted a video last summer, showing how I follow the process of setting up a soundbar through Device Connector, but after I choose Optical, there is no ‘Next’ option on the top right, to take me to a page where I can search for a manufacturer. I distinctly remember this process worked when I first set up the Playbase.

The video is here, and you can see what I mean at around 00:20 : LG magic remote control not changing volume on Sonos Playbase - YouTube

This is the only tech issue that has kept me on edge for so long. Every 2-3 days I get frustrated and go back and check all of the options and all of the screens in the settings both on the TV and the Sonos app, but there’s just no other option, and I now believe it’s clearly a firmware issue/oversight with the specific model.

I have not tried calling LG Support yet, but I may try today.

@LGRemoteNotWorking,

Where you have ‘Done’ button top right corner of screen in the ‘Device Connector’, I seem to recall that said ‘Next’ during my setup process. My thoughts are to remove the optical cable and restart the TV (where you see the WebOS logo) and try again and add the optical cable when prompted - or maybe better still, speak to LG Support and see if they can suggest how to setup the process so that you see the manufacturer search screen to be able to search for Sonos and select it. They may recommend a TV A/V reset (press 3 times on mute button) or a full TV reset from the TV settings - but I would only do those PITA things after you have spoken to the LG Support Staff, who may provide a much easier option to follow.

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I spoke to LG support just now, and they said they will look into it and call me back within 48 hours.

@Ken_Griffiths, is there a specific way to restart the TV and view the webOS logo? I only see it after a firmware update.

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