Controlling Sonos Playbar with Apple Siri Remote (on setup without CEC)

  • 22 January 2017
  • 3 replies

Having some frustrating issues trying to setup the Apple Siri Remote to control the volume of my Sonos Playbar. Hope anyone has an idea to what I might be doing wrong or if it's even possible to get this working with my setup.

As I'm using a professional display (NEC) the display (TV) does not support optical out or CEC. The display is programmed to automatically turn on/off based on the presence of HDMI signal.

I am using an audio stripper to extract the audio signal from HDMI, convert it to optical and feed it to the Playbar over a toslink connection.

My setup is as follows:
- Apple TV 4 HDMI out -> Audio Stripper HDMI in
- Audio Stripper HDMI out -> Display HDMI in
- Audio Stripper toslink out -> Sonos Playbar toslink in

The system is working and audio is playing without issues through Playbar and surround speakers. However I am not able to make the Playbar learn the Volume +/- of the Siri Remote.

When following the instructions from Sonos it recommends to use an additional remote control to learn the signals. When trying to make the Apple TV learn this new remote it does not respond to the remote at all. I do have clear sight between the new remote and the Apple TV IR sensor. The remote is verified working on its original TV set.

Has anyone any idea on how to fix this? Is the Siri Remote able to output IR signals or does the setup entirely rely on CEC?

Your help would be highly appreciated!

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3 replies

Hi there. I have a TV w/o CEC hooked up with my Playbar and the AppleTV was able to learn the remote fine. If you look at the front of the Siri remote, you'll see the small IR window. The remote communicates w/ the AppleTV via Bluetooth, but can talk to TVs with IR.

I'm a little confused though. In which app are you trying to learn the remote? You should be doing it in the Sonos app, as you need the Playbar to learn the AppleTV remote, right?

Since the display isn't doing audio at all, you don't need to teach the AppleTV your display's remote.
Thank you for helping out!
I just managed to solve this after borrowing my neighbors TV remote. Seems like the IR from my NEC remote was not working with the Apple TV for some reason. With a standard TV remote I was able to teach the Playbar the IR signal, and the set up the same remote for the Apple TV. My Siri Remote now controls everything flawlessly. Happy days! 🆒