IR repeater capability when in wall mount mode

  • 12 February 2014
  • 6 replies

Could we please add the ability to adjust the IR repeater to on when in wall mount mode. Newer cable boxes are becoming smaller and smaller allowing mounting of the unit behind the TV. With the PLAYBAR mounted below having the ability to use the IR repeater at this time would be a huge advantage to a cleaner look for the end user.

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6 replies

Userlevel 1
I strongly request the implementation of this feature. It is very important for customers to be able to use the IR repeater functionality with a wall mounted Playbar.

I need this feature. Please correct this design flaw in your next update.

Everyone wants to be able to enable this option at their discretion (if some customers do not want to use this feature with the wall mount, they could simply disable it in the software).

There is no reason why this option can't be enabled while in a wall mount orientation. The feature is already available in a table-top orientation. Why is it not available in the wall mount orientation?

I also want to mention two related incidents:

1. When I spoke with sales, I was told I could use the IR repeater functionality in my setup. I feel I was mislead and this design flaw was not pointed out to me before I purchased the system.

2. I spoke with two technical support representatives, both of whom did not know this problem exists and had to make tests on their own systems to figure out what the problem was. Both of the Sonos reps agreed that this feature should be available.

Userlevel 1
I spoke with Sonos about this issue and it turns out that the IR blaster functionality cannot be enabled with a software update. There were hardware design decisions that did not accommodate for this element when Sonos first designed the unit. There is not enough demand for this feature and what's more likely is that it will cause a lot of support requests.

Unrelated to the Playbar, a work around to control other components is to use a 3rd party IR blaster setup, which I suspect most people are doing.  

Anyway, I just want to say thanks to the entire Sonos team for really stepping up and providing a high level of support on this issue. Everyone, especially Craig, really made me feel like I was getting a high level of personal attention. In general, the product line, quality, features, and support are outstanding! I look forward to expanding my Sonos system.
Userlevel 1
Michael, that sounds like a lie on Sonos part. It must be software that reads the orientation sensor in the Playbar and decides which IR receiver to enable. Do not tell me that there is a physical switch that does it. Thus it must be possible to update the software to let us override the orientation sensor and choose our IR receiver.

Once again Sonos disappoints when it comes to software/firmware.
Userlevel 1
Hi Egil,
I agree that their response is arguable. I spent a lot of time challenging Sonos on this issue and the response and updates I previously posted in this forum thread were based on hours of phone calls and emails with multiple Sonos employees from different departments, not just a single support tech. Ultimately, I was left with the impression that even if their is a way to technically fix or improve the product, there would need to be much more interest and complaints from the consumer to make it viable.

They might have responded in truth, and there was a genuine oversight by the product development team.

Perhaps someone could find out the truth by taking apart the Playbar and looking at the circuitry. Of course there is no physical switch... you would be studying how the sensors are integrated into the IC's, which is very complex process. As much as I would love to do this, the results either way don't warrant the opportunity cost, and for me it was cheaper and easier just to have had the third-party IR sensor/emitter installed.

I cross my fingers that Sonos is considering within their planned obsolescence strategy that they will fix this issue by making it a 'new feature' in the next version/model... perhaps a more viable means of fixing the issue.

I also consider that there are other issues related to this one. For example, even if they fix this problem, the fact that the existing IR sensors doesn't work well to begin with just compounds the problems. There are many reports and forum threads that account for 3rd party remotes working intermittently (Apple TV, Displays, Roku, etc.). I have this same problem with my Apple TV and LG TV remote... sometimes they work and sometimes they don't.

It is a shame that so much modern technology falls short on functional and convenient details like this. It seems to be an epidemic among all services and product manufactures. As someone who is in a very similar business model to Sonos, I can attest that modern day economic demands and rapid product development by competitors inhibits proper product development and quality assurance timelines and costs. This is a sad fact of modern day times.

Anyway, let's hope that more customers bring this issue to light and it gets fixed. If you read this thread, please do us all a favor by clicking the "Like" button in the top right corner!
Userlevel 1
I feel the same way. The hardware is excellent, but the user interface could be more refined.

It took me hours of troubleshooting on my own to realize that the IR sensor was being disabled. That was frustrating and I wish it had been more clear from the start. I had actually purchased the Playbar with the intention to eliminate the 3rd party IR. I was very excited that Sonos had considered this, but then I was very disappointed to realize the Playbar fell short on it's promise.
5 year old problem with still no resolution- a problem that should be a simple software adjustment. Sadly my TCL has its IR sensor on the underside of the TV and when wall mounted with the Playbar mounted tightly below to look clean, it blocks the TV sensor. Why this isn't user selectable when wall mounted is perplexing. To boot, the problem is compounded by the lack of HDMI ARC on the Playbar as I could just use the TCLs wireless remote to change volume. Bad design compounded by further bad designs.