My wife and I gave each other a Sonos playbar for Christmas to improve the clarity of our TV. The initial setup was excellent – clearly stepping through each required step and very cleverly detecting the type of TV remote I have and automatically reacting to it’s volume controls so I can carry on using the TV remote as usual.
The only problem is that my Panasonic TV doesn’t provide a way to disable the internal speakers. So the playbar and the TV were both outputting sound which sounds pretty awful. There’s two ways to solve this:
- Configure the Sonos to respond to a different remote (or different buttons on your TV remote such as those for a DVD or video play you don’t use). Then simply turn the volume on the TV all the way down and don’t use the normal volume buttons anymore.
- Access the secretive hotel mode.
The secretive hotel mode is mentioned in a bunch of places on the internet but apparently Panasonic denies it exists (unless you’re a hotel I guess). To access it on my particular version I had to hold down the -/V button on the side of the TV and press “AV” on the remote three times.
A menu then pops up providing access to a few settings including a maximum volume. Enable hotel mode and set the maximum volume to zero and you’ve effectively disabled the internal speakers.
Now when you use the volume controls both the TV and Sonos will respond but the TV volume is limited to zero so the volume bar appears on screen but the TV speakers never activate.
This gives the ideal setup – a sound system that provide significantly improved sound from the TV without any extra remotes or other complications.