Answered

Playbar not responding to IR remote


My playbar has just stopped responding to the Apple remote signal. The playbar IR sensor lights are not flicking on when the remote is used. The remote batteries are fine and the apple TV can be controlled.

The playbar is connected to the TV via fibre audio cable.

Again, the remote was controlling the playbar volume and just stopped working.

If I try to setup a new remote to the playbar, the playbar does not register the IR signal.

Hoping this is an easy fix and the IR debauchery on the playbar hasn't just stopped working. 

icon

Best answer by bstahl 23 July 2022, 07:36

View original

This topic has been closed for further comments. You can use the search bar to find a similar topic, or create a new one by clicking Create Topic at the top of the page.

16 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Sounds like exactly the same thing that just happened to me too, only I use a Playbase. Using Apple TV 4K with the newer aluminum remote (with mute button), connected to an LG 65C7 OLED via optical (but it’s using the ATV to control volume directly, not through the TV). Worked fine forever and now will not work.The remote itself is fine, it’s fully charged and the ATV light flashes, but the Sonos Playbase stopped responding. I suspect a Sonos update horked it but not sure. I can still control the volume via the iPhone Sonos app, but that’s really inconvenient. This sucks, hoping for a solution soon.

Hey bstal, I how you are correct and it is due to a Sonos update. Besides the TV makes and model, my situation is very close to yours. 

Have you tried going through ‘remote control setup’ again?

Edit - sorry, I see OP has tried this.

It is always worth powering the Sonos off for 30 seconds.  Nothing to lose.

Many phone/pad cameras are sensitive to Infrared emission. If this is the case for your phone/pad, check to make sure that the IR remote you are using is emitting. There is a growing tendency for remotes to default to Bluetooth transmission and SONOS cannot use this for Volume control. Thankfully, there is usually a setup arrangement for the TV/Cable remote that will force it to emit IR commands that SONOS can use. @John B’s suggestion is a two part job. First, you must force the TV/Cable remote to emit IR, then train SONOS. The TV/Cable remote will usually ask for a model number. This is arbitrary, just pick the same model for all remotes and a model that is not within IR range.

In the past, there have been updates to the TV set’s OS (not sure I remember which manufacturer) that reset the remote from being IR back to whichever ‘smart’ connection they used, completely without telling the user, so it is definitely something I’d be checking. 

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

In the past, there have been updates to the TV set’s OS (not sure I remember which manufacturer) that reset the remote from being IR back to whichever ‘smart’ connection they used, completely without telling the user, so it is definitely something I’d be checking. 

I’m going to look into this because when trying to learn a new remote through the Sonos app, it does not even seem to respond at all to any button press on the ATV remote. But this was working fine right up to last evening, then it just stopped. The ATV remote (again, the newer aluminum one) was controlling volume of the Sonos system, without going through the television, so I know it’s capable of transmitting IR and I know Sonos is capable of recognizing its signals (although I never got he mute button to work before, but volume up/down did).

I set up a new remote using a really old (circa 2000) TiVo remote, and it worked fine. Both the Sonos Playbase and the Apple TV were able to learn this remote for multiple functions. But the Sonos is either now not recognizing signals from the ATV remote, or the ATV remote is not transmitting IR at all. Problem is I tried every setting I could find in the ATV settings for volume control and none of them seems to matter, the Sonos just can recognize any button press on that remote.

Note, nothing changed in my setup, either the room or the components between when it worked and when it stopped working. There is clear line of sight to the Sonos, nothing blocked, no weird light glaring on it or anything (it’s a fairly darkened “theater-like” environment). Some software update seems a likely culprit, whether it’s Sonos or Apple remains to be seen.

@bstahl,
There are a couple of links here from both Sonos and Apple - maybe the various suggestions mentioned in one of these links might assist you to sort the matter:

https://support.sonos.com/s/article/3403

https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT205225

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Update: I got this to work again and I think this might have been an Apple software/firmware update that messed it up. I first tried resetting the remote by holding down TV and Volume Down buttons for 5 seconds. No dice (however maybe this step was necessary in combination with what I did after). I checked for software update on my ATV (Settings > System > Software Updates > Update Software) and there was one available but uninstalled. I told it to update (to version 15.6 from 15.5.1). After it installed the update and rebooted, the remote still did not work from the ATV remote with the Sonos Playbase.

What I did was to go back into the settings (Settings > Remotes and Devices > Volume Control) and change the setting there even though it was already on the one I wanted (one I had previously learned from an old TiVo remote for volume up/down + mute). I changed it to Off, then Auto, and then returned to my custom one called TiVo via IR), and then it worked! Including Mute, yay! Will have to see if it remains working, but for now it seems all is good again.

Note that I did need to program (ie. “learn”) both the ATV remote AND the Sonos to accept commands to a separate remote in order to gain Mute capability. In this case the old TiVo remote but theoretically it could be almost any remote that has these functions — except don’t use your tv’s remote for this because then it will trigger the internal tv speakers and display probably unwanted on-screen graphics. It should be a remote you use for nothing else.

But this was working fine right up to last evening, then it just stopped.

In addition to some unexpected firmware update or (due to an undiscovered bug) a configuration upset, don’t assume that Mother Nature is fair. There could be a hardware issue.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Apple notes for tvOS 15.6 only say this: “This update includes general performance and stability improvements.”, so they’re unhelpful trying to confirm if they fixed an issue that disabled IR functionality. But maybe.

Hi bstahl, thanks for the information you provided. So after looking at what you had done I only updated the Apple TV box and now the Sonos IR sensor works. So the issue is fixed. I can control volume with the Apple TV remote,  including mute.

The strange thing is in my Apple TV settings it says updates will happen automatically. Obviously this one did not. 

Very interesting that the Apple TV was the issue and not the Sonos playbar.

Userlevel 3
Badge +2

Hi bstahl, thanks for the information you provided. So after looking at what you had done I only updated the Apple TV box and now the Sonos IR sensor works. So the issue is fixed. I can control volume with the Apple TV remote,  including mute.

The strange thing is in my Apple TV settings it says updates will happen automatically. Obviously this one did not. 

Very interesting that the Apple TV was the issue and not the Sonos playbar.

Hi Sam_C, yeah, it will do the update automatically, but usually not immediately once it becomes available. It’ll wait for a window where your box isn’t in use, and probably also waits for a convenient time for the Apple servers (like for example, having everyone update all at once would be bad, so they probably ration out who gets updates over hours or days). So it can sit there for a while on the old version unless you force it to update immediately.

Anyway, glad it worked for you. Anyone having this problem, it looks like you need to update to tvOS 15.6 and then make sure Volume Control is set to your IR choice. Apparently some previous update (mine was on 15.5.1) disabled IR functionality.

Resetting the remote, then doing remote control setup in Sonos app did the trick for me

First, check the settings for the remote on your Apple TV. Flip the remote ‘s options back and forth to IR in the Apple TV’s software. Then, go back into the Sonos controller, and run the ‘program the remote’ process again.

It is likely that an Apple update switched of the IR emitter in the remote, and it’s doing WiFi. You might also want to replace the battery, if it’s an older Apple remote, or make sure it’s properly charged, if it is a newer remote. 

Sonos released an update a couple days ago that seems to have fixed this issue for me. 

This started to happen to me 2 days ago and I have everything on the latest version (checked).  

Seems there must be other issues than just the apple update.

I tested with another control and IR is working fine on my playbar.

Any suggestions?