Today, after much frustration and research, I learned that the Apple TV Remote in Control Center (on an iPhone or iPad) doesn’t control a TV’s volume.
My old Sony TV (a 2016 model) was struggling with the latest Apple TV that I own – 2021 Apple TV 4K (64GB). Since I connected the Apple TV, the Sony TV’s operating system would restart several times a day. I also noticed that I couldn’t control the TV’s volume from the Apple TV Remote in Control Center.
I received a new LG smart TV for my birthday – the LG OLED65C1PUB Alexa Built-in C1 Series 65” 4K Smart OLED TV (2021). It is an enormous upgrade from my old Sony TV in every way – including, a better screen (OLED instead of LED), a bigger screen (65” versus 45” inches), and better sound.
I was hoping that the Apple TV Remote in Control Center would control the volume of the new LG TV. I was wrong.
I read about HDMI ARC, HDMI eARC, CEC, Sony’s Bravia Sync, and LG’s SimpLink;1 and I experimented with many settings on the LG TV. But I could get the Apple TV Remote in Control Center to adjust the volume of the new LG TV.
Finally, I came across an Apple support article – Set up the Apple TV Remote on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch (published 9/20/2021) – that informs in small, grey font that the Apple TV Remote in Control Center does not work with any TV, unless you attach other accessories:
The Volume button on your Apple TV Remote in Control Center works only when your Apple TV is set up with a HomePod, soundbar, or other AirPlay 2-compatible speaker. If the Volume button is dimmed, use the volume button on the remote that came with your television.
One might think that an iOS app cannot control a TV’s volume because an iPhone (or iPad) doesn’t send out an infrared signal. But this explanation is unfulfilling. I had an iOS app for the Sony TV that allowed me to control the entire TV, including the TV’s volume. Why doesn’t the Apple TV Remote App in the Control Center give us this power? Is it too difficult for Apple to program a solution?
Also, why can I add an Alexa skill that allows me to control a TV’s volume but I can’t get Siri to do it, even with an expensive Apple TV attached?
Please let me know what you think.
Update 10/8/2021: Apple Should Change Advertising
Today, I noticed the following claim on the page describing the Apple TV 4K, and it is clearly incorrect per their own support article:
Although the Apple TV Remote App in the Control Center cannot adjust the volume of my LG TV, I was able to adjust the volume using the Remote App in the Control Center by following these steps: (1) I linked my LG TV to HomeKit, and (2) I chose the LG TV from the drop down menu in Remote App in Control Center, instead of Apple TV. This LG support article gives more information on its support of Apple HomeKit on some TVs: 2019 LG WEBOS 4.5 TELEVISIONS & 2020 WEBOS 5.0 MODELS FEATURING APPLE AIRPLAY 2 & HOMEKIT (updated Jan. 2021).
See Michael Bizzaco & Josh Levenson, HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are and why you should care, Digital Trends, Jan. 18, 2021. ↩