When wall mounted is the top IR sensor disables on the play bar?

  • 14 September 2014
  • 7 replies

I have my PlayBar mounted on the wall below my TV and I am trying to eliminate seeing the IR blaster wire by using the TOP IR sensor.  Is the top IR sensor disabled on the play bar? It will not accept any codes from an IR blaster or a remote control, Just the IR receiver facing me when looking at the bar will except codes.  

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7 replies

Userlevel 1
Yes, it is disabled and here is the reason:
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.
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.

It is very annoying that the use case Chris is describing is not supported.

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!
The top sensor doesn't appear to be enabled; Perhaps the plastic cover is on the shell of the unit but the sensor was never installed.(cost reasons??) I was re-installing a Playbar today that some other AV company originally installed and since I saw traces of hot glue on the top sensor I assumed to re-glue IR blinker there. After much frustration (no response from commands) on a whim I tried using the front sensor. Call the Governor! Problem solved. Trash the complaints and get on with listening to some MUSIC already. One sensor is fine.
I've read about half a dozen threads on this issue. Only one guy had twigged to the answer. It's not that the IR receiver is blocked/dirty. It's not that the batteries in your remote are flat, or that the remote is incompatible. You're not too far away. The Playbar has a glitch where it only reads an IR signal from one IR detector sometimes, and it can be the one facing the ceiling instead of the one facing you. It's really confusing because the IR signal is still being passed through to the TV from both sensors, even when only one is responding to the remote. If you're pointing your remote at the Playbar, the TV IR light is flashing (signal passed through), but the Playbar light isn't lighting up and the volume is not changing unless you're really really close, what is actually happening is that when you eventually move close enough the bleed-by of the IR signal is actually being read by the sensor around the corner of the Playbar. I moved house - the Playbar was previously in the flat orientation in the old house. After moving, I was using a new TV, different remote, but both Sony. The new remote didn't appear to work, so I tried to re-pair it - thinking it was a different IR code - but was having all sorts of problems getting the app to detect a press at anything but a ridiculously close range. Turns out the 2 remotes used the same codes for volume up and down anyway, so it should have worked without re-pairing it. Somehow in the act of powering down and moving the Playbar, plugging in a different TV in a different location and powering up again, the Playbar lost the plot and only the vertical orientation sensor was responding to an IR signal, but I had it in the horizontal orientation, so the remote appeared not to be working. If there is some kind of gravitational sensor that determines the orientation, it got screwed up in the move... Power it down at the wall, wait 20 seconds and power it up again - Playbar fixes itself and uses the right sensor.
ACEinPerth is 100% correct. Unplug unit. Wait 20 seconds. Plug back in. Give it a few seconds to power up. The previously much less sensitive sensor at the top right suddenly becomes the primary sensor, working as it should. Thanks for the post!
One more big thank you to ACEinPerth and stlguy. This fixed it immediately. We were trying to figure out the best orientation for the Playbar so had it every which way and finally settled on above. I think in initial setup it orients as others have said, in any case unplugging reset it and all good.