Lots of control issues with Bang & Olufsen Beovision TVs

Original post 

I’d like to request a navigation widget for Bang & Olufsen TVs. There is one already but since B&O TVs have their own ability to control other devices, that’s what the current one will do. To control the TV’s own menus I have to use the cursor keys pictures above and it’s pretty hard to use

EDIT: Cursor keys doesn't work either, probably because they're the wrong commands too. Upon further testing there are many things that don't work or aren't available. I've updated the post to reflect this. See below. 


Tested product

Bang & Olufsen Beovision 11-55 with Beo4 remote. Note: the issues described here are true for all versions of the Beovision/Beo4 device driver in the NEEO database except where noted otherwise. I've tried all of them.

Affected products

All Beovision TVs that use the Beo4 or BeoRemote One remote control should experience these issues. For example:

  • Beovision 10
  • Beovision 12
  • Beovision 14
  • Beovision Avant (2014)
  • Beovision Horizon
  • BeoPlay V1
  • and a lot more older sets like the Beovision 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 etc. 

They all use the same remote(s), and share a lot of the same commands. B&O has changed very little in its IR implementation over the years, which means proper Beo4 emulation should work with all TVs made since at least 1994. One single device driver to rule them all, perhaps?

Missing/bad commands 

Beovision TVs are basically TVs with built in A/V receivers with a lot of functionality, and as such there are a lot of commands that need to be supported. They also have their own built-in IR blaster functionality and supporting database of IR codes, so that one can control external equipment with the B&O remote control.

Most of the relevant commands are currently missing in the NEEO database, and some are useless because they control whatever is connected to the TV's own IR blaster. The latter should be removed completely, because B&O's IR blasters are unnecessary when you have a NEEO.

Upon further testing there are many things that don't work or aren't available:

  • Adjusting volume barely works: holding down the buttons stops adjusting it after only two steps. You need to press it repeatedly instead. EDIT: Solved by changing to another version of the driver from. Repeats work, though not quite perfect. Single presses adjusts the volume in several increments (not just one). EDIT2: actually, a device driver update make the volume entirely unusable. Now it barely responds at all. 
  • Powering off rarely works. Sometimes it works several times in a row, then it suddenly stops working at all. It’s very confusing. 
  • There is no way to control the TV’s own menus, because the existing control pad widget sends commands to the TV's built-in IR blasters instead of its own menus. There are IR codes for external and internal menu navigation in B&O TVs because of this, and NEEO seems to have the external ones in it's database. (External meaning that they control whatever the TV has been set up to control using its own IR blaster and code database.) I think the way it works on the Beo4 is that when MENU is pressed to access the TV menu, another set of commands are loaded onto the cursor buttons. This second set is what NEEO should use.
  • No inputs are listed (except INPUT TUNER 1 on one of the device driver versions). There are generic inputs when first configuring the TV, but there are no inputs available when configuring a recipe later. None.
  • None of the advanced controls work currently, like controlling the motorized stand, selecting speaker profiles or adjusting any of the sound and image settings.

Response time on what does work, though hard to test thoroughly with such a limited range of commands, seems good. Powering on, switching inputs and the menu and back buttons (including the widget) are what works currently. 

Accessing advanced functionality

Accessing all of this functionality is normally done by using the LIST key on the original Beo4 remote, which cycles through a user-defined list of settings to change on the remote's display that work as virtual buttons. For example, pressing LIST until SPEAKER appears on the display lets one change the speaker presets by using the outer up/down cursor keys (not the joystick) or digits 1-9. For example, select between 2.0 stereo or 5.1 surround. It's very intuitive but perhaps hard to explain.

I currently have these functions set up on the original remote control display:

  • SPEAKER: Selects different speaker setups 

  • STAND: Allows turning the TV left or right or setting a pre-defined position

  • SOUND: Different EQ modes including a very useful night listening mode

  • PICTURE: Image presets for normal, movie or game

  • FORMAT: Picture formats (4:3, 16:9, zoom etc) 

  • P.MUTE: Turns off the image to allow for music listening without the display on

Unfortunately, none of the above can be adjusted with NEEO. EDIT: Actually, FORMAT is available as FORMAT SCROLL and works properly. The rest of them don't, though. 

There are discrete codes for all of these modes that can be cycled on the Beo4 remote, which mean they should be able to be replicated on NEEO too. For example, by putting all the features listed above as buttons on the NEEO.

Even better would be support for control over IP. There’s a pretty nice official app that has individual commands for all of the advanced functionality mentioned above, which means you can see a list of said speaker presets and just tap the one you want directly, without having to cycle through other LIST options. 

Interestingly, the LIST button itself is present in the database, but I don't think it's very useful on a non-Beo4 remote. Pressing it on the Beo4 only sends a command the first time; repeated button presses cycles through the options on the display while nothing is transmitted. It also sends a command when LIST is exited by using the BACK key. I'm not sure what the first transmission does, but it seems to have to do with the TV's on-screen display; exiting LIST mode on the Beo4 also removes any OSD elements on the TV.

In any case, these advanced controls are discrete commands on the original remote control, rather than part of the TV's menu system. In other words, they can be emulated by NEEO and implemented in the driver.

Summary

Consider this a feature request and bug report. My NEEO isn’t very useful with my setup right now because all it does is allows me to power on and change volume.  I can't access any of the A/V presets I normally use so much and I can't navigate the TV's menu screens to change any of them. The codes for the control pad do work, but they control the connected equipment, which make them useless. After all, my goal is to not use the TV's own IR blasting functionality now that I've got a NEEO instead.

The specific TV I am using is a Beovision 11 55", but these issues should be the same for all Beovision owners. They all have the same remote.

We'll need to:

  1. Figure out and remove all bad commands that don't work.
  2. Add all (relevant) commands from the Beo4 and BeoRemote One and name them properly.
  3. Verify all of them. This will be fun!

I’m more than happy to help with testing all of this. 😊 Please let me know what I can do. 

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  • Hi Gabriel Lundmark - can you check the add Shortcuts menu again, there should be a "Controlpad" Widget for you TV, which should resolve your issue.

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    • Michael Vogt Hi, yes, there is, but it has the wrong commands. It controls whatever is connected to the TV's own IR blaster (in my case an Apple TV). I see now that the cursor keys also do nothing within the TV's menu either.

      Bang & Olufsen TVs basically have to sets of cursor and menu commands because they have their own IR blasting tech built in. By default, the pad on the remote control controls the connected equipment. Pressing MENU activates the second set of commands so that the pad controls the TV's own menu instead. Very intuitive to use but hard to explain. 

      So by using the current control pad widget or cursors keys, NEEO talks to Brain, that talks to the TV, that talks to the Apple TV. There is no use for this. You should probably replace the IR codes for both the widget and the cursor keys to only control the TV menu. After all, there is no need to use the TV's built-in IR blasting functionality when you've got a NEEO. 🙂

      EDIT: updated initial post after new findings. More things don't work.

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  • Here's a list of a lot of IR codes from the Beo4 remote. I'd love to try these on my NEEO.
    http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=12486&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

    And here's some official documentation on third party integration, including codes for all the functions of the Beo4. 

    http://mlgw.bang-olufsen.dk/source/documents/mlgw_2.24b/MlgwProto0240.pdf

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  • Nothing new to report. I think I’ve tested everything by now. My original post is fully updated. I’m back to using the original remote for now. 😞

    Team NEEO, is there anything else I can do? 

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  • Gabriel Lundmark Thank you so much for putting all these information together, that will help us a lot to get things up and running 👍 

    We'll sure be working on a more advanced integration over IP in the future. I will have the device driver team work on the command sets, they will let you know when you can test again. This way you should have basic control running very soon.

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  • Patrick I confirm I experience the same issues with Beovision 7-40 as well as MX 8000. thanks for letting us know as soon as you have an update to fix it.

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  • Tiny update to volume control: quickly tapping volume on the NEEO adjusts the TV’s volume in several increments, and not just one as it’s supposed to. I’ve updated my original post to reflect that. 

     

    EDIT: actually, scratch that. I just did a device driver update and now the volume barely works at all. Very unresponsive  

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  • You can close this one for now. 

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    • gabriel_lundmark
    • Can you please post how to set up Bang & Olufsen Beovision TVs. I own a Bang & Olufsen BeoVision 4-65 Plasma TV with a beosystem 3. Does the setup require an emitter? Any support will be greatly appreciated. thank you
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