Question

Can no longer turn OFF Vizio TV with Google Assistant and Sonos Amp over HDMI ARC

  • 24 October 2019
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I honestly don’t know if this is an Assistant problem, a Vizio problem or a Sonos problem but figured I’d post here since you all are such a great community.

I have a Vizio 55” P Series 4K UHD TV hooked up over HDMI ARC to a Sonos Amp and controlled over Google Assistant (activated via Sonos Ones set-up as rear speakers)

Until recently, I could turn the TV off and on via Google Assistant. Now, I can only seem to turn it ON. In both cases, assistant responds to the command in the affirmative but the TV doesn’t turn OFF when I say off.

I suspect it could be the Sonos component because it responds that the Sonos TV Den Control is the one responding despite there being a Chromecast built-in to the TV also.

I have confirmed CEC is enabled.  I can’t remember exactly when this started but it used to work perfectly well. I have tried hard rebooting the TV.

Any other thoughts or suggestions?


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20 replies

Userlevel 7

Hi Boo Radley

Overtime the HDMI (CEC) connection may get loss or only work sporadically requiring a new “hand shake” between devices. Try the following:

  • Check you TV for updates
  • Unplug the TV from the electrical outlet for 30 seconds *
  • Unplug the Sonos AMP for 30 seconds *
  • Plug in the Sonos Amp let it come back
  • Plug in your TV
  • Check your commands

Let us know how things sort out.  Cheers!

 * The 30 seconds can run concurrently 

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No dice. One thing I’m noticing is that when I say “turn the TV off” its saying “turning off Sonos Den” rather than the TV itself. I can remember whether this was always the case or not. It continues to work fine when turning it on. Not sure what’s changed.

 

Userlevel 7

If TV is part of the room designation for the Den then remove it as Alexa/Google is confused.

No dice. One thing I’m noticing is that when I say “turn the TV off” its saying “turning off Sonos Den” rather than the TV itself. I can remember whether this was always the case or not. It continues to work fine when turning it on. Not sure what’s changed.

 

Give the Sonos TV Den control a nickname of either 'TV’ or ‘Vizio TV’ In the Google App … whichever you prefer. You can do that by opening your Google assistant profile/settings icon and navigating to the Assistant Tab/Home Control.

Give it a moment, or so, after assigning the nickname.

Then try this … “Hey Google, switch off the TV” or “Hey Google, switch off the Vizio TV”, (depending on the chosen nickname).

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Hmm so I see two devices and in my Den. One appears to be the Chromecast that is built into the TV and the other is this. This is what responds whenever I see any related to turning off the TV in the Den but nothing actually happens 

 

 

Userlevel 7

Thanks for the visual. Just as I thought. TV is being duplicated in naming convention. To avoid this I suggest changing “TV” to “Video” or “Screen” or “Panel”.  Vizio may be a bit of a tongue twister for google to understand 😀. But you can try it if you like.

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Sorry so what is the goal here? Which device should be responsible for turning the TV on and off?

Sorry so what is the goal here? Which device should be responsible for turning the TV on and off?

Both of them, you just have to give them a different name. It’s a restriction of Google and Alexa too.

Just as an example, my TV has these things controlling it with Alexa..

  • Harmony Hub skill
  • LG TV Smarthinq skill
  • Sonos Skill
  • Yonomi Skill

I use different names, like these, for example... TV, LG TV, Living Room TV, Television. Just use the correct name for the device you wish to control the TV.

 

Userlevel 7

To add to KG’s post. If you want to use the word TV in conjunction multiple devices you’ll have be very specific. For example: “Hey, google turn off Vizio TV” not just” Hey google turn off TV” 

I use Alexa and namedvmy TV “LG”. So my command is “Alexa, turn on LG” and “Alexa, turn off LG”.

 

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I see. What should happen when the Sonos TV Control Den responds to the Turn Off request? Doesn’t seem to have any effect whereas turning it ON does indeed turn the TV on.

Userlevel 7

First of all HDMI (CEC) implementations can vary by TV manufacturer. Therefore it can be hit or miss as to how well your devices respond to voice commands. 
 

If I were you I’d change the device type that shows at the bottom of your screen shot to something else… like Radio??  Or unlink the control device from Sonos. 
 

However, there’s really no guarantee that any if the suggestions will completely resolve your issue. It may be something you have to live with. But rest assured it’s not Sonos… it the TV implementation of HDMI (CEC). 

FYI, I had a Samsung that my Beam would not turn off via Alexa voice. However, on and off voice commands work on my LG and Sony TV’s

i hope this helps your understanding.  Cheers!
 

 

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Thanks. What’s interesting is that it used to work fine before. I’m now thinking that it was working when I had my Google Home Mini controlling the TV only and Alexa controlling Sonos before Sonos added the Google Assistant support.

What I’m noticing now that is strange is that when I say: “Hey Google, turn the TV” it responds: “Ok, turning Sonos Amp On” (and that seems to turn the TV ON) and when I say: “Hey Google, turn the TV off”, it says: “Turning Sonos Amp off” and nothing happens.

This is despite the fact that this Sonos Amp device doesn’t say “TV” anywhere in its name anymore in Google Home. I’ve included the devices hooked up in this room. It’s the Chromecast built-in to the Vizio TV, Sonos Amp hooked up to the TV over ARC, and the Den speaker which is the Sonos Amp as a speaker I guess. The Chromecast is named TV and the Sonos Amp is just Sonos Amp. And yet, it’s the Amp that responds when I say turn off the TV.

Interestingly, what does work is actually playing stuff. So if I say: “Hey Google, watch Stranger Things on the TV”, the Chromecast (I presume?) correctly starts playing Stranger Things from Netflix.

I’m thoroughly confused about what’s actually controlling and sending signals about the on/off state of the TV. Is it the Chromecast or the Sonos Amp? Seems like it must have previously been the Chromecast since I used to use a Google Home mini to do it before Sonos had the Google Assistant support.

Is there a way to deregister just the Sonos Amp TV Control while leaving the Den speaker (technicaly the same device) hooked up?

Den:

 

Sonos Amp which I’ve named Sonos Amp and doesn’t say “TV” anywhere except in the Name from Sonos and the Device Type.

 

Sonos Amp (again?) which I guess is just the Sonos Amp as a speaker?

 

Chromecast device which I’ve named “TV”:

 

 

Boo Radley,

Google Home/Assistant unfortunately has some limitations as there is no way to disable or unlink a single device, like you can with Amazon Alexa. You could however try removing the Sonos TV Home Control from the room and the Home itself and give it another name/nickname to see if that solves the problem.
 

You may also find that installing the chromecast TV after the Sonos skill/device, will hand back the control to the TV.

Worth a try, at least.

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Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately that didn’t work.

 

Interestingly, I found a way to get the TV itself to respond rather than the Sonos Amp and that was to address it as “Chromecast”. So turning Chromecast off/on results in the TV turning off/on. This is pretty bizarre as that name is nowhere in the device info. It’s name is just TV and the Sonos Amp has no reference to TV but it is the only thing that responds to the word “TV”. This also must have been how it was working before the Google assistant support in Sonos as I mentioned previously. Because at that point only the chromecast would have been a Google Home device .

What should “turning off Sonos Amp” actually do anyway? My assumption was the Amp itself is always on.

so in summary, I’m not able to turn the TV off through the Sonos Amp. But if I address the built in chromecast  in the TV by calling it chromecast rather than TV, that works despite the chromecast being the only thing named TV.
 

This still seems like some kind Of limitation of the Amps connection to Vizio though as turning the Tv it on through the Sonos Amp (the Sonos TV Control and not the output speaker) works fine.

 

 

Boo Radley,

 

The instruction is not to turn on/off the Amp, but rather for it to send a CEC instruction over the HDMI port to switch on/off the connected device. That’s why the CEC commands have to be switched on within the TV Settings.. The different TV manufacturers have their own implementation of the CEC ‘standard’ and call them by various names as follows. Just a few examples (for your info) …

  • Samsung - Anynet+
  • Sony - BRAVIA Link or BRAVIA Sync
  • LG - SimpLink
  • Sharp - Aquos Link
  • Vizio- CEC
  • Hitachi - HDMI-CEC
  • AOC - E-link
  • Pioneer - Kuro Link
  • Toshiba - Regza Link or CE-Link
  • Onkyo - RIHD (Remote Interactive over HDMI)
  • Panasonic - VIERA Link or HDAVI Control or EZ-Sync
  • Philips - EasyLink
  • Mitsubishi - NetCommand for HDMI
  • Runco International - RuncoLink
  • Insignia - InLink
  • JVC - CEC
  • Magnavox - Fun-Link
  • Sylvania - Fun-Link
  • Sansui - EasyConnect

 

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I see. Thanks. I’ve confirmed CEC is definitely enabled on my Vizio TV. So it seems like that link is working to turn it on but not off. I’ll hold out hope this gets addressed in either a Vizio TV update or perhaps a Sonos update if it ends up being related to Sonos at all.

 

Any thoughts on that other stuff I mentioned above with the Sonos Amp always trying to respond to “TV” requests? I tried everything under the sun to rename those devices in a way that only the built-in Chromecast would be “TV” but to no avail. I’m thinking it must be because the Sonos Amp still has a device type of TV and a name from Sonos of: Sonos TV Control Den as seen in the screenshot above. I’m not sure where the latter is coming from either. Must be part of the process of registering the device with Google Assistant or Home.

 

As best I can tell, when I do, i end up with two devices: the Den speaker and the Den Sonos TV control which are the same logical device (the Amp) though perhaps used for different purposes. Any idea what the difference is between those two things?

Boo Radley,

 

In my experience, the CEC ‘standard' implementation really does vary across the board, not only by each manufacturer, but by actual TV model too… in my particular case, I have a Beam that’s attached to an old 2015 LG TV and that has the (Simplink) CEC command for  “TurnIng off the TV” disabled, but my other (more recent) LG TV appears to have it enabled.

I don’t however user either, as I prefer to control my TV’s via infra-red instead with a Logitech Harmony Hub and Alexa voice control. As mentioned earlier, I find it’s much easier to rename and/or disable/unlink individual devices when using Alexa, but I still use Google for a good many things about the home.

With regards to some devices responding to the name “TV”, my guess is that behind the scenes of the installed devices/skills from the various manufacturers, that there are “alias names“ for some things, which we cannot see, nor get to change. That’s why I mentioned earlier to try reinstalling your TV chromecast device/skill after installing the Sonos device/skill in your Google Home… my thoughts being that the last one installed may get priority and take back control, including control of any hidden alias.

This is just my personal guess as to what might be happening in this situation, where names like “TV” are being used by various different providers.

 

I’m still quite surprised though that device nicknames are not working for you in this situation and that by giving the ‘Sonos TV Home Control” a nickname like “Den TV”, for example, didn’t work when saying “Hey Google, switch on/off the Den TV”.

 

I guess the same thing also applies to the chromecast TV device and you could perhaps try changing the name of that device from “TV” to something else instead, for example “Vizio TV” and then try the commands “Hey Google, turn on/off Vizio TV”

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Thanks for that tip. You’re right that naming the Chromecast “Vizio TV” and addressing it that way did the trick! “TV” still goes to the Sonos control. Must just not be enough to distinguish them. So basically, as long as I can find a way to address the Chromecast directly, it works. It doesn’t seem like the OFF option works over Sonos Amp + HDMI ARC.

I can do that for now. Thanks again!