Possible solution for having trouble pairing a TV remote with optical only product - Ray, Playbar, Playbase

  • 29 June 2022
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So I bought a Ray for my spare room which I’m very pleased with. I found out something interesting today too, after having difficulty pairing the TV remote via the Sonos app. It is a TV remote which had previously failed to work with a Playbase so I wasn’t at all surprised.

I read a review where the reviewer had similar issues pairing his remote, but he found out that his remote uses ‘Toggle Bit’ for its remote controls. In other words, when you hit the same button twice, the remote sends a different signal for each, alternating between two IR codes. So he worked out a work around by following the Sonos setup routine; but after every requested button press, he covered the remote’s IR sensor and hit the button again before continuing with the wizard. So essentially with say the + button, press it aimed at the Ray, then cover sensor with hand and press again, then press again aimed at the Ray, cover and press again, and finally press the last time aiming at the Ray. Repeat then for the - button and the mute button.

He said it worked even though when pressing his remote watching TV, he did have to often press twice for it to register say decreasing the volume or putting it up.

So I went upstairs to try it with my spare room TV and it worked! He is correct that when using the remote with the Ray, a couple of presses are sometimes required, but at least it works 

Maybe the community already knows about this work around but for new members this could be very useful. 


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Hi @SarahN 

Thanks for sharing your findings! 

Maybe the community already knows about this work around but for new members this could be very useful. 

I am pretty confident that very few people on here, if any, knew about this.  I certainly didn’t.  Thanks for sharing.

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Thanks Guys

I had never read this so it was very useful to find this work around. 

I’ll describe a variation on this theme and a potential solution.

Some remote protocols have a command, say ‘Vol+’ and if the button is held, there is a ‘Repeat’ command. If the Vol+ is kept pressed for a while the transmission becomes ‘Vol+ - Repeat - Repeat - Repeat … ‘ rather than ‘Vol+ - Vol+ - Vol+ - Vol+ … ‘  Normally, the ‘Repeat’ command is shorter in duration. I can imagine that there is another variation where the remote will send a ‘Release’ command as the button is released, Therefore the sequence might become ‘Vol+ - Repeat - Repeat - Repeat … Repeat - Release’. This solves a little issue where commands are entered into a queue and the queue might be filled with yet to be executed commands as the user releases the button. In our example this might result in the Volume to continue increasing after the button is released. The ‘Release’ command simply causes any remaining commands to be immediately dumped from the queue.

A potential solution: Most TV and cable box remotes support a feature to control A/V receivers and ask that the user enter a number associated with a given receiver model. Probably, the receiver will not use a Vol+ - Repeat - Release protocol. In our case the model number given is arbitrary -- just don’t pick one for a nearby receiver. You would specify this same model number for all remotes that you use and train RAY to use these arbitrary commands.

This use of arbitrary Volume commands solves another issue where native Volume commands result in an annoying on-screen acknowledgement of a Volume command, or even worse, a response from the TV’s own speaker.

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