Programming DirectTV remote to control Vizio soundbar

I bought a Vizeo sound bar because the speakers on many of these flat-screen TVs suck. I don't watch TV, but my mom does and one big annoyance was having to use the Vizio remote to control the sound instead of the DirectTV remote, and so i started hunting for a solution.

Controlling the volume and mute functions of the Vizio soundbar with the DirectTV remote is easy enough once you program the remote to operate the soundbar from either the AV1, AV2 or TV modes on the remote, which you have to do anyway, but it isn't at all convenient because you have to switch the remote mode switch back and forth between the DTV mode and whatever mode (AV1, AV2 or TV) you used to control the soundbar.

As it turns out this can be simplified and everything you need to know is in the DirectTV manual for the RC65 remote (other remotes may be similar), but i disregarded the instructions because the manual states "DIRECTV Receivers don't have volume control, so the remote will not allow the user to lock volume to the DIRECTV mode.". I interpreted that to mean the volume keys on the remote would not work for controlling volume on the speaker bar while the remote was in the DTV mode. Wrong!

In my case the setup is a DirectTV RC65 remote with a Vizio SB3621n-E8 soundbar, however this solution may/should work with other soundbars or any other audio equipment for which you want to control the volume and mute functions using the DirectTV remote, and it may not be specific to the RC65 remote either.

I don't take any credit for this because the solution is clearly in the manual, but i didn't realize it until i saw this post by 'thelavenders' on the AVS Forum. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Set the DTV remote to a mode you're not using (AV1, AV2 or TV)
  2. Program the DTV remote to operate your soundbar (the instructions and codes are likely in the manual for your remote – the RC65 manual is here)
  3. Slide the MODE switch back to DTV
  4. To change the volume lock function of the DTV remote:
    1. Press and hold the MUTE and SELECT keys until the green light under the DIRECTV position flashes twice, then release both keys
    2. Using the number keys, enter 9-9-3 (the green light will flash twice after the 3)
    3. Press and release the VOL+ key (the green light flashes 4 times)
  5. To lock the remote volume, while in DTV mode, to the mode used to operate the soundbar:
    1. Slide the MODE switch to the same position you used in step 1 (AV1, AV2 or TV)
    2. Press and hold the MUTE and SELECT keys until the green light under the selected switch flashes twice, then release both keys
    3. Using the number keys, enter 9-9-3 (the green light flashes twice)
    4. Press and release the SELECT key (the green light flashes twice)
  6. Slide the MODE switch back to DTV

Now the DirectTV remote should control the volume and mute functions of your soundbar while the mode switch is set to DTV.

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