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Using LG's Magic Remote with a Denon Receiver (1 Viewer)

Rick Altman

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I am having a heck of a time with a task that should be really easy: tuning my LG 55" OLED television's "Magic Remote" to control the volume on my Denon AVR-S540BT receiver. I am connected to the receiver via the HDMI ARC and the sound is fine. I can also connect via an optical cable and hear clean sound out to my speaker system. From there I did the following:

  • Went to the TV's Device Connect page
  • Chose Home Theater as the device I wanted to connect
  • Chose Denon as the brand and found a code that turns the receiver on and off
  • Saved out of those screens
But when I try the volume or mute keys on the remote, nothing happens. This is frustrating to me, and adding to my confusion, the code-finding process has as its test, Power, Input, and and Up (whatever that is). I don't care about turning the receiver on and off or changing its input; all I want to do is control volume!

This is arguably the most advanced television in the world today -- surely I can accomplish this simple task. Can someone here help me get there?
 

JohnRice

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Having no experience with this particular system, I can only guess it needs to be a different Denon code set. Maybe the one you chose has the same on and off codes, but different volume codes.
 

Rick Altman

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Worth a try, John, thank you. And here I figured this would be such a trivial matter...sigh...

If there is anyone online who does have experience with LGs and Denons, I'd be grateful to hear from them.
 

Fredster

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You should be able to control these functions via HDMI-CEC, just make sure you enable HDMI controls on the AVR and TV.
 

JohnRice

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This stuff continues to get more complicated and these types of "integration" might work or might not, depending on the situation.

Honestly, a lot of people, me included, just get a programmable remote with actions, macros, etc, program it and go with that. So, I turn off all CEC and cross-component integration, leaving it all to the remote, which I get to program to work how I want.

CEC works when it works, and can also do things you don't want, or not do things you do want.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I will second @JohnRice 's suggestion on just getting a universal remote. A Harmony remote can be purchased for around $50 that is easy to program, simple for even the most technically-challenged people in the household to operate, and will get rid of every single OEM remote on your coffee table.

I am using a Harmony 650 remote to control 8 devices in the main home theater, and all the OEM remotes are packed away with their batteries removed.
 

Edwin-S

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LG's Simplink has a major bug in it, from my reading on the internet, and they won't fix it. Typical of that company. I'm surprised that you could even get sound from the TV to the receiver over the ARC connection without being able to control both devices from the LG remote. I couldn't get any of it to.work with my Yamaha RX-A3060 until I reconnected my Samsung 4K bluray to the system. For some reason, the LG simplink recognizes the Samsung which recognizes the receiver. Turning on the TV, turns on the player which turns on the receiver. After that happens, I get the sound from the TV to the receiver over ARC and can control the receiver volume and mute functions with their magic remote. Trying to connect directly from the TV to the receiver with the LG app didn't work for anything. It looks Ike it works according to the test they have you do but it actually doesn't.

Long story short. Unless you get the receiver to recognize the magic remote (by this I mean the on/off function) I doubt you will ever get the remote to work with the rest of receiver functions such as volume or mute. If it can't see the most basic receiver function of power on/off then it cannot see anything else.
 

Edwin-S

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That universal remote solution wouldn't have worked in my case. It should work in his since the sound over the ARC connection is working for him regardless of the CEC control. Although, he has both the optical and ARC connection being used so which one takes precedence or is the audio output set to?
 

Scott Merryfield

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That universal remote solution wouldn't have worked in my case. It should work in his since the sound over the ARC connection is working for him regardless of the CEC control. Although, he has both the optical and ARC connection being used so which one takes precedence or is the audio output set to?
My solution for dealing with a buggy ARC connection was to eliminate ARC by running a toslink digital optical cable from my display to the receiver. I rarely use the "smart" features on the display anyway (only if I need to cast something from my phone), so this was an easy solution. I have CEC turned off throughout the system, as it plays havoc with Harmony remotes.
 

Edwin-S

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My solution for dealing with a buggy ARC connection was to eliminate ARC by running a toslink digital optical cable from my display to the receiver. I rarely use the "smart" features on the display anyway (only if I need to cast something from my phone), so this was an easy solution. I have CEC turned off throughout the system, as it plays havoc with Harmony remotes.

As as a person is satisfied with 5.1 then Toslink is fine. Anything above that requires ARC. I use the TV apps for Netflix, Disney+ and Prime so, in my case, I use the ARC connection. Also, I eventually expect to get a PS5. My receiver will not pass anything over 60Hz to the TV. That will require me to hook the PS5 directly to the TV to get frame rates above 60 FPS unless I buy yet another receiver. Going with my old receiver will require me to send the sound over the ARC connection.

However, I'll agree that if a person doesn't need or want anything above 5.1 then eliminating the buggy CEC/ARC connection is the way to go.
 

Rick Altman

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Happy ending -- thanks to John Rice and others. While the 12th code did indeed turn the Denon AVR on and off, it was the very first code in the list that changed volume. There was no indication or hint of this; I just tried it and it worked. SMH over the poor implementation, but relieved that the solution was relatively simple once I allowed room for the possibility of trying other codes that showed no promise of working. One of them did...
 

Edwin-S

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Glad it worked out for you. Kind of strange needing two different codes for power and volume. Normally, one code shoild allow all of the functions to be controlled by the remote. I'm curious where entered the code as I didn't see anywhere in LG's setup to enter remote codes in the GX series of their TV sets.
 

JohnRice

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It didn’t need two different codes, just that the first code was the wrong one. I was thinking about early universal remotes that had a list of codes, and you had to find the correct one. Some would control certain but not all functions. Seems like the same situation here.
 

DaveF

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As as a person is satisfied with 5.1 then Toslink is fine. Anything above that requires ARC. I use the TV apps for Netflix, Disney+ and Prime so, in my case, I use the ARC connection. Also, I eventually expect to get a PS5. My receiver will not pass anything over 60Hz to the TV. That will require me to hook the PS5 directly to the TV to get frame rates above 60 FPS unless I buy yet another receiver. Going with my old receiver will require me to send the sound over the ARC connection.

However, I'll agree that if a person doesn't need or want anything above 5.1 then eliminating the buggy CEC/ARC connection is the way to go.
Unfortunately for (many) current TVs, the TOSlink channel is limited to stereo.

My Sony 950 states: DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) (Two channel linear PCM: 48 kHz 16 bits, Dolby Audio, DTS)
 

Edwin-S

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It didn’t need two different codes, just that the first code was the wrong one. I was thinking about early universal remotes that had a list of codes, and you had to find the correct one. Some would control certain but not all functions. Seems like the same situation here.

Well, I guess I misunderstood, because from his explanation I got the impression that you would need two codes if you wanted to turn the receiver on and off and control volume. I've never run into that situation on any of the gear that I have owned.


Unfortunately for (many) current TVs, the TOSlink channel is limited to stereo.

My Sony 950 states: DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) (Two channel linear PCM: 48 kHz 16 bits, Dolby Audio, DTS)

That is interesting. I checked the specs for LGs CX series. TOSlink on that series supports up to 5.1 DD. I'm assuming it would be the same for the model of LG OLED he has. LG dropped DTS and DTS:X support on their 2020 sets, most likely to save 50 cents a set or because most streaming content providers do not support DTS or maybe both.
 

Rick Altman

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Glad it worked out for you. Kind of strange needing two different codes for power and volume. Normally, one code shoild allow all of the functions to be controlled by the remote. I'm curious where entered the code as I didn't see anywhere in LG's setup to enter remote codes in the GX series of their TV sets.
Hi, Edwin -- it all takes place within LG's Device Connect. First, you designate how you are connecting what type of external device you are connecting to the LG, then how the connection is made, and finally, the brand of the external device. Once done, you cycle through a series of choices -- the actual codes are hidden behind overly friendly named Remote 1, Remote 2, etc.

When testing each one, you are offered three choices to test: Power, Input, and Up. I have no idea what Up does. Remote 12 succeeded in power cycling the Denon AVR, but that choice did not actually do what I want: controlling volume. Remote 1 did not seem to do anything during the test -- no powering, no input changing, and no UPing -- but I went on to apply it anyway, and voila, it did indeed allow my Magic Remote to change the AVR volume.

I would send this on to the manufacturer to inform them of the error, but I would have no idea which company to reach out to, and to be honest, both were 100% unhelpful and massive time-wasters in my solving this mystery. So here's hoping that company reps are reading this thread and can act from there.
 

DaveF

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That is interesting. I checked the specs for LGs CX series. TOSlink on that series supports up to 5.1 DD. I'm assuming it would be the same for the model of LG OLED he has. LG dropped DTS and DTS:X support on their 2020 sets, most likely to save 50 cents a set or because most streaming content providers do not support DTS or maybe both.
I've got an LG nano 8 49". It appears it also has surround output from the optical:
(Optical) Dolby Digital

That's interesting. It's in the bedroom so I don't use it with external speakers.

The sony having only stereo output is annoying because I can't yet get a 4K receiver with eARC. So I'm using a 4K TV with an HD chain to keep my surround sound. But that's better for now than having 4K video with stereo audio, when I'm mostly watching HD shows on it right now.
 

JohnRice

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Every TV I know of sends up to DD 5.1 from its internal sources to optical output.. Many pass through only two channel from hdmi inputs.

I think Dave is misinterpreting what Sony is saying.
 

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