How to implement Apple TV home/tv button. Sofabaton vs channel master

Hello folks,

I have been using channels dvr for a couple of months now and love it.

I have paired a harmony 650 remote with my home theater system, and make use of the HDMI compliment controls to be able to send additional commands to the Apple TV , such as PIP toggle and quick access to recordings and guide etc.

The only issue I run into is occasionally , due to apples stupid decision not to expose the Siri remote ( home button- recently renamed the Tv button) as a programmable IR button. Occasionally if I need to get to the app switcher I have to pull out my iPhone, iPad Orr Siri remote which sits in a drawer and double press the Siri remote Tv button to get the app switcher, or long press the same button to get the right side “control center” menu.

Several of you have mentioned the sofabaton which seems to have both IR and Bluetooth.

1: can the sofabaton mimic the Apple TV remote (home/tv) button, presumably through Bluetooth and do long presses to get the side bar and double click to get the app switcher.
Once in a while I need t force close channels when it randomly gets wonked. A confirmation on the sofabaton would help.

2: I’m not planning on going the harmony hub direction due to them discontinuing their product line.

Thank you to all the cord cutters and escpecially the channels dvr developers

Better is the the Channel Master remote for $25.00 has the Home button as IR that you can use to program your harmony 650. I have the Harmony companion with the hub and that has the home button and Bluetooth. I also own a Channel Master remote and it all works.

https://smile.amazon.com/Channel-Master-Simple-CM-7000XRC-Compatible/dp/B08SZ5KZQ4/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=channel+master+remote&qid=1620041745&sr=8-2

Are you saying that there is an IR code in the channel master remote that has the home button functionality, including long press and double click , that the Apple TV will recognize? And are you saying to go into learning mode on the harmony and capture that channel master button?

If so that sounds like I can get my harmony 650 IR only remote to work the Apple TV home button after stealing some magic code not supported in the harmony database

That would be great and well worth $25 bucks to me.

Btw - I don’t want to get a hub. Harmony has discontinued the product line. But I have a harmony 650 and a harmony 665 working 99% of everything I need to do expect get onto the app switcher and control panel.

Thanks for your insight?

The Sofabaton is great I have it setup that I can control any Device in any room. Soundbars TV ... Firesticks, GGCTV, AppleTV Shields etc... all from 1 remote.

Yes it works double press and twice up to close app press and hold for sleep functions just like apple remote. Works on Samsung tv's out of the box with the apple tv. Also easy programming for the volume and mute for other brand tv. I programed other remotes with it. Channel surfing with channel down or up.

1 Like

Yes, this button is available via the Sofabaton/Bluetooth. The home/TV button is named “menu” and lets you do the usual double-click and hold.

I now have zero remaining IR remotes and would like to keep it that way…

Which button on the Samsung remote is the Apple TV Button?

Can you use two of these on the same Apple TV? My wife and I sit across the room from one another. We like to each have our own remotes.

Of course. If you set it up with IR codes, the Apple TV has no idea which is which. And if you're doing BT, the Apple TV will just have multiple devices paired, just as you can use a remote and a game pad in tandem.

1 Like

The Channel Master will control any APTV no programing the only programing is done for the volume control and mute unless you have a Samsung tv those two work as is out of the box.. you can use 2 remotes at the same time.

Channel Master Remote Apple TV Replacement - Channels Apple TV - Channels Community (getchannels.com)

Except we also use our current MX-500 universal remotes to control:

  1. Yamaha receiver
  2. Denon CD player
  3. Sony BD/DVD player
  4. LG TV
  5. ChannelMaster DVR+
  6. X-10 IR interface

Plus the Sofabaton has a number keypad, which the CM remote does not.

1 Like

That's why I use the Harmony companion for my main. Kitchen gets the channel Master guest room Panasonic TV remote utilizes all on apple tv and Master bedroom Insignia Fire TV remote will handle the Apple TV just fine.

Forwarding channel master , sounds like a cool remote. I took a look at it but it doesn’t seem to have the capability to do macros or even better yet activities like of the harmony remotes do.

Just controles the Apple TV and the sound on the TV set.

So the "TV" button also controls PiP, pulls up video feeds for HomeKit alerts, etc. This Channel Master has this functionality? My Harmony can do the Home button, but I can't find an IR equivalent for the "TV" button on any remote.

I’ve got everything working on my harmony 650, except the damm TV/HOME button in case I want to bring up the app switcher using my harmony. I don’t want to invest in a harmony hub at this point. Usually I have to grab my iPhone or iPad and get the control panel on the phone up and bring up the Apple virtual remote to get a TV button I can use. Just wish Apple would expose the TV button for Ir learning. So close, but yet so far,, alternatively, if they just exposed the Apple TV remote more fully in shortcuts, you could use Siri to get into the app switcher.

Yes, the Channel Master remote has this command in IR.

So invest in the $25 Channel Master (even temporarily) and teach this command to your Harmony 650. That's what others have done and I'm doing the same. Maybe we should get a community remote that we can pass along from user to user so everyone can can teach their beloved 650 (or whatever IR remote they hope to hold on to) this essential tvOS command? :slight_smile:

I like the community remote idea so that we can all teach our old 650s the Apple TV button. Lol

Anyone else remember, back in the day, when we could manually add a discreet IR command via Pronto HEX code, using the Harmony Remote desktop software? http://www.remotecentral.com/cgi-bin/mboard/rc-harmony/thread.cgi?2490

LOL - the site "Visualize Infared" site is still live: http://members.harmonyremote.com/EasyZapper/Infrared/ShowInfrared.asp

Anyone else remember when Logitech wanted to charge $$ for each HEX command they'd add to your account for you? https://www.avsforum.com/threads/logitech-policy-change-for-adding-pronto-hex-codes.1381959/

This code is so important though. Logitech should have added it a long time ago. Now that we know it's possible it'd be great if they added it now... but we all know that's unlikely. Such a long and twisted history these remotes have had. Sheesh. Maybe sharing a community remote for teaching this one elusive command isn't such a bad idea :slight_smile:

I bought a channel master today on Amazon to see if this magic IR code actually works, and if I can learn it into my harmony remote. I’m just amazed that Apple already has a mechanism to assign the other buttons using IR and left off the ability to do the same with the elusive TV button.