Roku Remote was working with Playbase, then stopped....Yet another TCL Remote Question!

  • 22 December 2019
  • 10 replies

I know this has been beat to death a bit, but maybe this is a bit different.  We got a TCL 65R625.  We have a Sonos Playbase.  We set up the TV, went through the Sonos App as always, Volume up, detected...Volume up three times, good.  Volume down three times...good.  Mute...good.  Sweet, that was easy.  Roku Remote working perfectly with Playbase.  

The TCL batteries that came with TV ran out.  Switch batteries in Roku remote, and Playbase would not respond.  Went through process again, and now the playbase won’t detect the Roku remote.  So it WAS working perfectly.  Now it cannot.  I called Sonos and after 25 minutes of “ok, hold please…..thanks for holding...try this...nope...ok...hold please….thanks for holding...try this” I gave up.  Using old Samsung remote works fine, but would love to just have Roku remote if anyone has experienced this.  

Again, it DID work for the first few days.  Now it won’t.  

THank you!


10 replies

radfro77 I had the exact same experience as you. It worked and then it didn’t. And my remote batteries died within 24 hours of purchasing the tv and setting up too……. so very frustrating as it proved it does work, but there is something glitchy about it. Not happy so far with either Sonos or TCL.  Horrible investments

I’ve been struggling like everyone else to get the RC280 remote to control my playbase. I have a TCL 55R613 TV. The closest I have come is by pressing the pair button on the remote before going through the Sonos set up. This allows me to complete the Sonos set up process and control the soundbar. The problem is that the remote will only control the TV’s power and nothing else. It seems like this puts the remote in IR mode and the TV won’t accept IR for navigating the Roku operating system. Once the remote is paired back to the TV it will no longer control my soundbar.

The TV is designed to control soundbars connected to the HDMI ARC port. As the playbase does not have an HDMI ARC port, I tried connecting it using the sonos HDMI / optical adapter but the TV does not recognize the device. Has anyone else had any luck with this or ideas as to why it doesn’t work?

Another thing that is confusing me is that my playbase was previously connected to a Samsung television which I controlled with the cable box remote. I switched to a Roku Ultra and only paired the Roku remote to the television. Everything worked flawlessly with the playbase volume being controlled by the Roku remote. It’s possible that the TV was set to control the playbase volume but I didn’t think that was possible with an optical connection.


Any thoughts or ideas anyone has on any of this would be appreciated.



This just happened to me. Yesterday troubleshooting a HDCP error with Roku, they had me to a factory reset on their box. After that was done, their remote would not change the volume on the Playbar. My Roku remote has always been controlling the Playbar Volume. When I try to connect the remote to it again, there is no response. WOrked like perfect for a year and half, until yesterday. 

The person at Sonos needs to learn more about Roku remotes.

While it is true that some Roku remotes do not have IR emitters (I have some of these), many of the more recent ones do. Specifically:

  • RC411
  • RC193
  • RC135
  • RC350
  • RC280

In my previous post, I should have described the remotes that were delivered with the TV’s:

  • 55R615 came with RC280
  • 65R625 came with RC350

I am also trying some of the other IR-enabled remotes as well. No luck yet though. I’m guessing this will end up being a Roku-TV issue and not a Sonos issue, but time will tell.

Thanks, Flanneljeans.  I knew I wasn’t crazy.  It is frustrating! 

Sonos wrote me this:

The remote that came with your Roku TV does not support IR, and that is why you may have to use your old TV remote with your Playbar/Beam. We recommend using a universal remote with your TV if you would like to control your Roku TV and your Playbar/Beam with one remote if your TV supports IR as well. We hope you understand.

 which I simply wrote back “this cannot be the case due to the fact that the TCL Roku remote did in fact work with the Sonos, but thank you.”


I keep hoping someone from Sonos, or TCL for that matter, who actually knows will have an answer.  Yes, I can use two remotes, but when I know that the TCL remote actually works, it is hard for me to let go.  


I second the issue described here.

I’ve installed both a 65R625 and a 55R615 Roku TV, both with Playbars.

On the 55R615, everything went smoothly. Connected Playbar via optical cable from TV optical output, went through Playbar IR setup with the remote, all good.

On the 65R625 things were horrible. Connected Playbar via optical cable from TV optical output, but Playbar IR setup didn't recognize any IR codes coming from the remote. Left everything powered down for a day, and in the morning - everything worked like a charm!!! What-the-heck?

To try and figure out what happened, I re-paired the remote again, and ended up back where I started - the Playbar IR setup didn’t recognized any remote IR codes (Grrrrrrr).

I did discover that if the TV is powered off (not just turned off) the remotes will send out IR to the Playbar and setup will work fine. However once the TV is back on, the very first time you hit volume, it will send out a single IR code - and then no more will come out (once the TV realized the remote was “active”, maybe??).

Grasping at more straws, could this have something to do with powering down/up sequences of BOTH the TV and Playbar. I’ll try that tomorrow.

If ANYBODY discovers additional information on how to make this work EVERY time, please post here!

PS - Roku TV should have a menu item to force remotes to ALWAYS send out IR on every keypress. I’m suspecting the software engineers were trying to save battery life by predicting when IR is needed and when it is not. I’m guessing this is what is goofing up the works here.

I’m surprised that the remote’s batteries ran down so soon. This might be an indication of remote control issues. Are you sure that the replacement batteries are fresh? After replacing the remote’s batteries you may need to setup the remote from scratch.

Some phone/pad/computer cameras will respond to IR emissions from remotes. Using a remote that you are certain emits IR (some cable boxes do not emit IR by default) test your phone/pad/computer camera for IR response. If there is a response, check to make sure that your TV remote is emitting IR.

You should be able to train the cable box remote, TV remote, and PLAYBASE to use the same IR commands. Typically this amounts to picking a model XYZ A/V receiver and train the units to deal with those Volume commands.

Is this remote perhaps a “smart” remote, that usually connects to the TV using something other than IR? I’m imagining that there may have been a software update to the TV that switched it back from IR to the “normal” method is a possibility. I’d go through the process of making sure it was actually emitting an IR signal, and if necessary, retrain Sonos to recognize the codes. The latter shouldn’t e necessary....

Hey Buzz!  Thank you for responding first off, and sorry for the confusion.  

It is a TCL Roku TV, 6 Series ( 

The remote is just the TV remote that came with the TCL Roku TV.  

It was controlling the Sonos Playbase fine, and now does not, and it will not detect the presence of the remote when running through the Remote Setup on the Sonos App.  

Hopefully that clears it up?  Sorry and thank you!!


I’m a little confused by your post and I’m not familiar with the TCL 65R625.

You mention the “Roku remote.” Do you have an external ROKU streaming box with its own remote (if so, which model ROKU?) or are you using a ROKU streaming App in the TV?