Is there a way to control TV audio remotely? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-09-04, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
Is there a way to control TV audio remotely?

I'm trying to help an older relative manage their TV when it gets screwed up. So far I think we have everything covered (in theory) except the audio:

- 6-button remotes (Flipper, though we may try TekPal too)
- IP security camera(s) so I can see the TV and know what's happening
- my old Slingbox (or a new one) so I can change channels on Rogers HD Terminal, power cycle cable box, etc., remotely

The thing I haven't figured out is adjusting the volume. I can "mute" it by turning off the cable box through my Slingbox , but if they need it louder or quieter, I don't know how (and I'd like to mute it _without_ powering off box!).

If this were a Bell Fibe box (which has volume capability) I would probably set the TV volume to 0 and hook up external speakers (have actually done that with another relative on Bell Fibe), then control audio via Slingbox through the Fibe box. But with Rogers I don't see any audio capabilities, neither on their HD Terminal nor my Nextbox 3.0 PVR.

Is there any sort of speaker system that I can control remotely from outside the LAN? I'm hoping to have 2 TVs in the room, using the Component outputs for one picture and HDMI for the other. Since they're the same picture, one set of speakers hooked up to the Rogers box would be fine for both. I just need to be able to mute and/or adjust the volume. And of course I'm trying to do this on the cheap.

Any other ideas of how to do this (including the 2-TVs part) would be appreciated.

Thanks!
=aw
awebber is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-09-04, 09:41 AM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,030
On the Rogers box there is a "variable" instead of fixed option under Settings - Audio. You can then control the analogue audio output to the external speakers, which would need to be connected via analogue audio (red/white).

The "variable" audio option does nothing for digital connections like optical or HDMI, but it does work for the analogue audio outputs. This would also adjust the analogue audio outputs for the TV connected by Component Video and analogue audio, as well as the (new) external speakers connected to analogue audio outputs on the STB. If you wish two outputs you may need to use piggyback cables if there's only one set of analogue audio outputs on the back of the STB.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-09-04, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
Thanks, I didn't make that connection even though I read a couple of threads here about home theatre. This is a non-PVR Rogers HD Terminal (so I guess 4642HD?). Not sure exactly what the outputs are, I'll check.

The current configuration is a 37" LCD on the wall with the box on a table under it. HDMI from box to TV. Head of the bed is beside the TV, in theory you can watch the TV from bed (full-motion mount) but it means lying on their side. There's a couch just past foot of the bed.

Without dealing with audio, my idea was to put a new TV beside the couch (so by foot of bed) which they'd see from bed. Switch current TV to component and run 25' HDMI cable and IR extender around baseboards to new TV. Either use an IR extender and long audio extension cable, or get Monoprice's HDMI piggyback solution #9964 (U$22 from Monoprice or C$33 from PrimeCables.com). That would probably degrade the current picture slightly (component instead of HDMI) but would minimize clutter around the baseboards.

From your response above, I could run RGB video into the current TV, and RW audio into the TV or an external speaker, then control audio from the cable box (and Slingbox). Is there any way to disable the HDMI audio coming from the TV? Then I could keep all-digital video and have analogue audio which I can control. That might be worth doing even with just the 1 TV (or I could change it from HDMI to component).

When I put in the 2nd TV, I guess I could use a component splitter for the video and run component RGB to both TVs, then RW audio. Was trying to reduce clutter and also it will make me regret all the component cables I've thrown out/given to Value Village. It would be better if I could run HDMI and disable audio on the TV (beyond Mute or Vol=0, i.e. no way for the user to turn on TV audio, equivalent to running RGB and not RW to the TV). I suppose there are ways to set at least some TVs not to use the audio? I don't know if they'll go for a 2nd TV but it should be something that uses the same codes as their current LG (so the same remote will control either TV).

Finally here's an ugly ASCII diagram in case I'm not clear. There's more room to the left of the diagram, and there's a window to the right. TV1 is current on wall, TV2 is proposed on a small table.

BED TV1
BED
BED
BED
BED
BED
.
TV2 COUCH

Thanks for the assistance, and for any more advice!
=aw
awebber is offline  
 
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-09-04, 11:19 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 7,868
FWIW, I have a Yamaha A/V receiver that can be controlled with an app on my cell phone or tablet. However, as it uses multicast, it only works when connected to my LAN/WiFi.

I haven't lost my mind. It's around here...somewhere...
JamesK is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-09-05, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
Thanks, that's good to know. I guess I could set up TeamViewer on a device on the LAN. Will keep it in mind but this is already getting complicated.

=aw
awebber is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
I have the TV connected by HDMI and a powered speaker connected to the red/white SD audio out from the Rogers box. I changed settings so audio is variable not fixed and other not Dolby digital. Sound is coming out of the speaker of course but I'm not finding any way to control it.

Rogers remote is still changing volume on the TV (which I've disabled) but even pressing physical vol+ and vol- buttons on the front does nothing.

Is there some other step out setting I need to do?

Thanks!
=aw

Sent from my XT1060 using Tapatalk
awebber is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 05:37 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 813
I would think you need an Audio output from the TV to the speakers.
Allan B is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 05:40 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 7,842
The remote is probably configured to change the TV volume, not the PVR volume. To change, see Locking Volume Controls in the remote users guide or here.
1. Press and hold SETUP until the mode key blinks twice
2. Enter 9-9-3 using the digit keys on the remote.
3. Press the mode key for the device you wish to use for volume control.
4. The key will blink twice to confirm.

Not sure if variable volume works with HDMI. You might need to connect the audio cables directly to the RCA jacks on the PVR.
ExDilbert is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 06:45 PM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,030
Variable volume does nothing to the digital outputs, only to analogue (red/white) outputs of the Rogers STB. Of course, if the remote is set to control the volume on the TV, or AUD, (confirmed by watching what light flashes on the remote), then you'll need to programme the remote as indicated in the post above to control the volume of the STB (CBL). Unfortunately, if you do that, the volume control will not control AUD or TV if desired.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 06:49 PM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,030
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan B View Post
I would think you need an Audio output from the TV to the speakers.
This is an option. Send the audio to the TV via HDMI and connect the TV to the powered speakers. You'll need to set the TV's audio menu to "variable audio output" and "external speakers". This'll only work if the TV has analogue audio outputs or if the powered speakers have an optical input, since most TVs today only have an optical output, not analogue audio.

It might be easier as discussed in the previous post.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-05, 08:43 PM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 7,842
If set to CBL, the TV audio can be controlled by pressing the TV button and then using VOL+-. That's not the best solution since the rest of the buttons will control the TV, not the PVR. The PVR button will need to be pressed for those to work again.

This kind of state switching can be confusing, especially since there isn't a clear indication of witch state the remote is in. That's not an issue if the TV speakers are never used (and one of the device buttons is never accidentally pressed.)
ExDilbert is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-06, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
Thank you. I will try ExDilbert's remote programming when I'm onsite again. I figured pretty quickly the remote was controlling the TV volume because the TV's volume indicator was changing (TV speaker was disabled). Unfortunately I didn't have the resources to look up a solution at that moment. I did try pressing Vol+ and Vol- on the front of the STB with no response. Are there any other changes to make, besides changing Fixed to Variable? I did change Dolby Digital to Other just in case that was significant.

This is a Rogers Nextbox non-PVR STB. For today I was using a powered PC speaker (3.5mm jack) plugged into a 3.5mm(F)-2xRCA(M) adapter. I plugged the RCA connectors into the audio-out on the SD row and got sound right away. It wasn't very loud but more importantly I couldn't control it from the STB as described in first paragraph. There's an HDMI cable from STB to TV, and TV speakers are disabled. Is it possible using HDMI overrides the audio settings and I have to use component to the TV? The 5 component connectors go from STB to a Slingbox 350 though it has component outputs. I'd prefer to stick with HDMI if possible. Of course when I couldn't adjust sound I put it all back the way it was.

I'm not concerned about different states on the Rogers remote, the user is actually using a Flipper Remote (6 buttons). I will teach its volume buttons to control the STB as soon as I get the Rogers remote to do the same.

FWIW, the reason I'm trying to do this is I want to be able to control the Rogers box via the Slingbox. Right now I can change channels but I can't adjust volume or mute the TV. Since I can't turn off the TV (just the STB) with the Slingbox I'm trying to get control of the volume this way.

Thanks for the help so far, and going forward!
=aw
awebber is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-06, 10:00 AM
57
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto, Rogers, 9865 & 8300-eHDD, Sharp LC75N8000U, Denon AVR4310Ci; Sony KDL40W3000, 9865
Posts: 56,030
Quote:
Originally Posted by awebber View Post
1. I did change Dolby Digital to Other just in case that was significant.

2. Is it possible using HDMI overrides the audio settings and I have to use component to the TV?
1. This should not matter.

2. The analogue outputs of the STB should always be active/variable if the variable setting in the STB is activated and I don't believe that HDMI has an effect. As a test, unplug the HDMI cable...

Once you have programmed the remote to control the volume of the STB, you should be fine. Note that if the volume is not loud enough when the variable STB volume is set to maximum, you may need to increase the volume of the powered speakers themselves, if possible.

Also, if you hear some "hum" through the powered speakers, this would be because the variable volume in the STB is too low and the S/N ratio is therefor too low. You need to find an appropriate balance in the STB volume output so that you don't hear any hum, but the speakers are loud enough.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
57 is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-06, 10:36 AM
Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: 43° N, 81.2° W
Posts: 7,842
Quote:
Right now I can change channels but I can't adjust volume or mute the TV.
It looks like there is now way to control the TV using the Slingbox. The IR emitter on the Slingbox is hard coded to the STB remote codes and cannot be programmed. It should control the analog (RCA) STB volume though.

A Harmony Hub will provide full functionality for controlling all devices using a smartphone. If using the Slingbox to watch TV remotely, another issue will be speaker power and volume while doing so. Don't know if it has remote control of any kind.

Hum on the speakers is probably due to the speaker volume being too high. If it has no volume control, an inline volume control would be one solution. If the the hum persists, try better quality or shorter audio cables.

Another solution would be to replace the speaker with a soundbar that has digital audio input and remote control for power mute and volume. That may be a little expensive but is probably a better solution. Combined with a Harmony Hub, it would provide full control of everything.
ExDilbert is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 2017-11-06, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 366
Thank you both. I'm going to try reprogramming the Rogers remote to control STB volume and see if it does. This isn't something that will be used on an ongoing basis, I just need to see the volume change.

[edit: does a Harmony Hub allow control from outside the LAN?]

Slingbox controls the STB by pointing an IR emitter (actually builtin somehow, though there's an external one too). So if I can get the STB set up so it changes the volume on the external speaker, hopefully the SLingbox will too. Not concerned about hum yet, this is an ancient powered PC speaker (half a pair) that I'm using to prove the concept. I agree it's going to be the next thing to deal with as I had it turned way up.

I'll take a spare set of component cables on my next trip, to try connecting to TV just in case an active HDMI cable suppresses STB volume control on all ports. I think the Slingbox does passthrough (there are component outputs) if necessary.

The entire goal of this exercise is really only one thing: to control the TV channel and volume remotely. If I can get this to work, the only thing I won't be able to do is turn the TV on/off but I'll live with that as long as I can mute the sound. (Slingbox can only control the STB).

Thanks again!
=aw
awebber is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome