"Set input to TV" voice command has stopped working - Google Assistant with Beam

  • 9 February 2020
  • 20 replies

Until about a week ago, I could say "okay Google" then "set input to TV on the Sonos" and it would switch the input. 

When I've been trying this for the last few days it's suddenly stopped working. It says variations on "I can't help with that."

I can currently only switch to the TV input by using the app. (We've got automatic switching turned off because we like to listen to music while browsing films before switching inputs.) 

Any suggestions on how to get this working again? Has the phrase changed? Has anyone else experienced this, or is it just me? 



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20 replies

Anyone else experiencing this? 

@DoctorWhat Welcome to the Sonos Community and thank you for bringing your question to the Community. Knowing that this has been working for you it may be that something has changed with the TV’s CEC functionality. Also, not every TV’s CEC functions support this type of voice control. What is the make/model of your TV?

Does the Google Assistant feature still work with turning on/off the TV, adjusting the volume of the Beam, and streaming a music service? I would first suggest a basic power re-boot off for 15 seconds from the outlet with your TV and the Beam. When everything is powered up and connected then try the voice commands again and let us know the results.

Lastly, we would also like to see an up-to-date diagnostic report.  Please use this link for submitting us the report and reply here with that number.

Hi John, thanks for the reply. 

I don’t control anything from my TV with the Sonos. I only watch things using my PlayStation4 and a projector. The Beam does not control anything else in the system.

The PS4 has an HDMI cable to the projector and an optical audio cable from the PS4 to the Beam (using the optical-converter thingy that came with the Sonos).

The Google Assistant works as usual for adjusting the volume on the Sonos (e.g. “okay google [pause] set volume to one point five”). Other Google Assistant features work through the Sonos using voice control, e.g. checking the weather, the time, ‘tell me a joke’, etc.

I rebooted yesterday with no change in behaviour. 

When I switch the input to TV using the app, the Sonos speaker operates with no problems. 

I’ve submitted the diagnostics now - confirmation number 183479091.

Please let me know if there’s anything else that you would like me to try :) 

Thank you for the follow up information and the diagnostic report number. My concern is with the provided information about your TV setup/topology. Your current TV configuration, as described, does not have anything that supports CEC functionality to the Beam with regards to your projector or PS4. The Beam needs to use the HDMI ARC connections to use a TV’s CEC functionality when the TV supports it. If it worked previously there is likely a smart device involved. If you reply with the model numbers of all connected devices we can narrow that down.

Hi John,

The only device with a microphone is the Sonos Beam. This is the only ‘smart’ device involved. It’s literally just the PS4 with an optical cable to the Beam and a HDMI to the projector. 

When I previously said ‘set input to TV on the Sonos’ it did the equivalent of pressing the ‘TV' option on the app:


It is not connected with ARC - there is nothing in the Beam controlling anything else. The voice command only switched from having an input such as Spotify to the ‘TV’ input in the back of the device. 

In other words, the Beam is essentially a passive speaker, not controlling anything else. I used to be able to make it switch from outputting Spotify to outputting what was coming from my ‘TV’ (which is actually the PS4), but this stopped recently.

This still works when I do it via the app. 

Does that clarify the problem for you?

Thank you for the follow up information. As things are working as intended from the Sonos app. I don’t have any insight into which voice control functions will work in this setup. Let’s see if anyone in the Community has experience with this type of setup, and see if they have any suggestions for you.

Can you check what voice commands can change the input selected to the Sonos please?

Is there a definitive list of “things to say to Google Assistant that can control Sonos functions” anywhere please?

Like I say, this was working, so it seems odd that it has stopped.

I think at this point it will be best if we continue troubleshooting live. I’ll reach out to you in DM to collect some support information and create a case ticket for you.

Thank you - I’ve replied to the DM.

If we find a solution I’ll be happy to share it in this thread, in case others have the same issue :)

For the reference of others that may find this thread - voice control to switch input sources on the Sonos have stopped working. They used to work, but they no longer do.

“I've checked on this with our developers and they have informed me that this particular functionality is not supported. We currently have no way to use Google Home to instruct a Beam to switch to TV input via voice command. It did work previously however // Currently the only way to enact this switch is manually via our controller app or by enabling TV auto-play in our controller app. // We're very sorry for any disappointment this reply will cause and if you have any questions regarding this feel free to send us a reply.”


I’ve asked the support people why this changed, when the functionality might return, and how we will know if/when it does. 



I am experiencing the exact same thing. I can add one other detail: I used to be able even to switch input on the sonos device to TV, from a google mini that had google assistant set up, without google assistant set up on my sonos beam. That has also stopped working. I suspect something changed on Google’s end. But I am absolutely positive that what the original poster is saying is true, this was definitely possible earlier, from both the sonos device itself as from third party devices even. I did not update the firmware of my TV is one added piece of information and it is not set to auto-update


A quote from another thread about it (Link) from someone on sonos Staff

Hello again, thank you for providing that information. We are aware of this issue, and are investigating this issue with Google on implementing a fix. When the issue is resolved we will update this thread. 


In the meantime, you can switch your voice control service to Alexa to control your speakers with your voice. Let me know if you have any questions. 

Thanks @BlueBull :)


Frustratingly unprofessional of Sonos to not be able to diagnose and deliver on a resolution to this issue.

I also have this issue except mine is even more recent I bought my Sonos Beam and set up last week and I don't have google assist I have Alexa and have the same problem, so I don't think it is a google problem? When I first set this all up with my Fire stick and stuff I was able to stream music and then just say “Alexa, switch to TV” and it said “Switching to TV” and et viola I had TV audio from the Beam. I changed some plugs over the weekend and have then streamed music and asked “Alexa, switch to TV” and she says “hmm… I can’t transfer to that input, for a list of supported inputs please visit the list of supported devices in the devices app” or something very close. I was thinking of deleted the Beam setup on the app and starting it again to check? my problem is if you say the wrong thing and Alexa starts playing music and I am at work with the app, my Girlfriend isn't going to be able to get the TV audio back. I have a 2 year old that would go nuts? what is the issue, why does it work and then it doesn't anymore, not just for google but Alexa as well?


@Chrishie is on the dot, the same issue occurs with Amazon Alexa as it does with Google Assistant. @John G any updates on this issue?

Hi Everybody, I understand how frustrating this can be for you. We are working with Google on implementing a fix. At this time, we have no more information to share, or provide a time frame. We do appreciate your continued patience until this issue has been resolved. @sonosbeliever415  You are following multiple threads with this issue. You will see any Sonos updates posted about this topic.


@John G Thanks for the suggestion on monitoring the threads, I will be pinging the appropriate contact every week until this issue is resolved.

It seems they changed the way you must say this command.

Try “Alexa, set mode to TV on [Sonos Room Name]”


@joshbt thank you very much for solving an issue that sonos support has been unable to resolve! hopefully this will eventually work with google assistant as well.

@joshbt thank you very much for solving an issue that sonos support has been unable to resolve! hopefully this will eventually work with google assistant as well.

Sure! Yes try that format with Google Assistant since it may be the same as the Alexa one is now.