Lost precise Roku TV volume control from Beam

  • 31 December 2023
  • 8 replies
  • 112 views

Stumped on this one, especially since it’s involving multiple vendors, but figured I’d try here first because of Sonos, Roku and Alexa communities I figure you folks are the most clever.

I have a Beam 2 connected to a TCL 5-series Roku TV via eARC. The name for the Roku in Alexa is “Living Room TV”.  The TV uses a 0-100 volume scale.

Until a few days ago, I could ask Alexa on the Beam to set a specific volume on the TV, in several ways:

  • “Alexa, set the volume on TV to 14”
  • “Alexa, set the volume on Roku to 14”
  • “Alexa, set the volume of living room TV to 14”

… you get the idea.  Doing that would bring up the Roku volume display on the TV set to 14 (out of 100).

But I recently added a cheapo Fire TV in a bedroom here so now Alexa knows about two TVs.  And ever since then, I have not been able to use the Alexa on the Beam to set a specific volume above 10 on the Roku TV, even when I specify “Living Room TV” or “Living Room Roku”. One of three things happens (phrasing is from memory here):

  • “I’m sorry, I can only set the volume between 1 and 10.” (This sounds like how Echo devices usually handle volume changes.)
  • “TV is not responding. Please try again later.” (I think this might be trying to change the new TV, which is not always-on.)
  • An error on the TV screen that reads “Sorry, unable to set a specific volume", which only gets two other Google hits.

Interestingly, the volume controls on the top of the Beam change the Roku TV volume as expected, with the new volume appearing on the screen using Roku’s volume display. It’s only via Alexa that it’s no longer working.

Asking Alexa to turn the volume up or down still works -- but in increments of 10. Asking Alexa to set a specific volume between 1 and 10 sets the TV volume to that number times 10.

Any idea what has happened? How can I get precise volume control back?

 


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8 replies

Maybe see if removing and reinstalling the Sonos Skill in the Amazon Alexa App will perhaps resolve the matter for you.

Maybe see if removing and reinstalling the Sonos Skill in the Amazon Alexa App will perhaps resolve the matter for you.

Ah, I should’ve mentioned -- did that, as well as the Roku skill.

Make sure each of your devices and groups  in the Alexa App are uniquely named and that there are no duplicates in the device list. If the issues persist, then it maybe best to submit a Sonos system diagnostic report from within the Sonos App, note it’s reference and then (after the holiday period) contact/chat with Sonos Support Staff via this LINK and see what the Staff can perhaps suggest to resolve the matter.

I did some more experiments, here’s what I discovered:

  • If I disconnect eARC -- either by removing the cable, or by using the TV options to use internal speaker, then Alexa/Roku volume setting works normally. If I reconnect eARC, then it goes back to being unable to set the volume again.
  • A factory reset of the Beam did not help.
  • The new Fire TV in the bedroom has taken over the “TV” name, as I thought.

Unfortunately I don’t have another eARC device to see if this particular failure mode is eARC-specific or if it’s Sonos-specific.  I think I’ll take this over to the Roku community but if anyone has an insight here about what’s going on, I’d love to hear it. The fact that this all worked fine a week ago is bugging me.

Make sure each of your devices and groups  in the Alexa App are uniquely named and that there are no duplicates in the device list. If the issues persist, then it maybe best to submit a Sonos system diagnostic report from within the Sonos App, note it’s reference and then (after the holiday period) contact/chat with Sonos Support Staff via this LINK and see what the Staff can perhaps suggest to resolve the matter.

There are a couple of things that are kind of duplicate-ish:

  • the Roku is “Living Room Roku” and “Living Room TV”, but this has always been the case
  • the Beam appears as both “Living Room” (its Sonos app name) and “Rich’s Sonos Beam” (no idea where this comes from)
    • my unrelated-to-this-so-far Roam also appears under both “Sonos Roam” (Sonos app name) and “Rich’s Sonos Roam” though, too

 

Make sure each of your devices and groups  in the Alexa App are uniquely named and that there are no duplicates in the device list. If the issues persist, then it maybe best to submit a Sonos system diagnostic report from within the Sonos App, note it’s reference and then (after the holiday period) contact/chat with Sonos Support Staff via this LINK and see what the Staff can perhaps suggest to resolve the matter.

There are a couple of things that are kind of duplicate-ish:

  • the Roku is “Living Room Roku” and “Living Room TV”, but this has always been the case
  • the Beam appears as both “Living Room” (its Sonos app name) and “Rich’s Sonos Beam” (no idea where this comes from)
    • my unrelated-to-this-so-far Roam also appears under both “Sonos Roam” (Sonos app name) and “Rich’s Sonos Roam” though, too

The reason there are two devices like “Living Room” and “Rich’s Sonos Beam” is one device is for the speaker component and the other is for the Alexa component - but your Beam should have a third Sonos device called ”Living Room TV” - From what you’ve mentioned above, it appears to be present, but you’ve described it as a Roku device🤔? - could you be mistaken about that?

Maybe check that device again, as ‘Living Room TV’ should be a Sonos device in your list and it’s used for CEC protocol/volume-control of your TV and to power it ON/OFF etc. This might perhaps be where your reported issues may lie, that’s if Roku has taken over that device from Sonos, but usually in such cases, I would have expected you to see two entries named ‘Living Room TV’ … if the device is showing as originating from Roku, see what happens when you temporarily disable the device in the Alexa App.

Ah, interesting.  The Alexa app doesn’t make it easy to troubleshoot, but let’s see here.

Between the Beam and TV I have:

  • Living Room TV (TV icon)
    • Connected Via: Sonos
    • Description: Sonos player controlling TV in Living Room
    • Type: TV
  • Living Room Roku (TV icon)
    • Connected Via: Roku
    • Description: Roku TV
    • Type: TV
  • Rich’s Sonos Beam (wifi-looking icon)
    • (with the settings of an Alexa device)
  • Living Room (speaker icon), which doesn’t have much to tell what it is, but from your description I’m assuming it’s the speaker component of the Beam:

 

 

Clicking around in there led me to notice something else: in the Roku skill, the Living Room Roku device is linked to both “Living Room” (the speaker) and “Rich’s Sonos Beam” (the Alexa device).  But I just tried linking to one, and then the other, and to none, with no change in behavior.

So that sounds like what I think you expected to see, apologies for the confusion earlier.

I wish I could tell if the Roku is getting the volume change from the Sonos, or from the Alexa Roku skill directly… I’m thinking it might be time to hit up the Roku forums, what do you think?  Thanks for your help so far!

 

Things are so closely named between Roku and Sonos - maybe it’s that? (…just my personal guess) - In such cases I tend to change device names, so as an example, my Sonos Arc is called ‘Living Room’ and has the ‘Living Room TV’ icon etc. for CEC volume control, but I chose to call my LG smart TV Alexa skill ‘Lounge TV’ (rather than Living Room) that was just to keep them well apart and to stop Alexa becoming confused.

So you could perhaps try something like that to keep your Roku from being confused with the name of the Beam, as I think it ‘might’ be something like that in your case that’s ‘perhaps’ causing the issue…

Note: if you do change names of things, it’s best to do these things on the device itself, or in their own App etc. I also tend to remove and reinstall their Alexa Skill aswell to ensure the changes take place. This of course is a matter for you if you want to try that, but by all means checkout the Roku forum too or even speak with Amazon Alexa Customer Support to see if they can perhaps assist with the matter.

Let me know how you get on and if you do manage to resolve the issue.👍