Operating The Entertainment System

The entertainment system, as is often the case, far too complicated than it should be. This document provides the basics, and hopefully that will be enough, but there are a lot of edge cases.

The Controllers

Entertainment System Controllers

Entertainment System Controllers

Above are the controllers. For the most part you only need the first three, but sometimes you will need the fourth controller when the sound bar turns itself off (e.g., when you have a show paused for too long). The controllers from left-to-righ are:

  • xfinity cable controller. This controller turns on the TV and sound bar. The on button is in the upper right. To choose a TV station, click the "Guide" button, use the arrow keys to select the channel, and then click "OK" button in the center. Control the TV's volume using the volume buttons in the upper-left corner (the sound bar controller can as well).

  • Yamaha receiver controller. This controller controls the large receiver on top of the TV stand. Mostly you will use this controller to switch between the cable box and Apple TV - even when the receiver is off. At the top of the bar are four HDMI cable buttons. Press 2 to select the TV input. Press 1 to select the Apple TV. It may take around 10-30 seconds for a change to take affect. Some times even if in theory it is on 2, the TV signal won't come through. In this case, click 1, and the click back to 2. (NOTE: If you turn on the receiver, the volume goes through the overhead speakers, and the volume buttons on the Yamaha receiver control the sound)

  • Apple TV controller (now in an orange case). The TV needs to be on and the Yamaha receiver selected to 1. Press the TV logo or click the top surface area to turn the Apple TV on. (NOTE: again, because the signal goes through the Yamaha receiver, there may be a delay of 10-30 seconds before the Yamaha receiver figures out the signal is coming on input 1 and passes the signal to the TV). The top surface area of the Apple controller selects items on the screen. Pushing on the top surface area selects something. Generally clicking "Menu" moves you up from the current selected item. You might need to click "Menu" many times to get all the way to the top.

  • Sony sound bar controller. The small Sony controller controls the sound bar. Generally you don't need need this controller, but sometimes if you have the TV paused for too long (5-10 minutes), the sound bar turns itself off. Click the On button on the sound bar controller to turn the sound bar back on to hear the audio.

  • Sony TV controller. The large Sony controller controls the TV. Generally you don't need this one.

Apple TV vs. Cable TV

The large silver (Yamaha) controller lets you switch between Apple TV input and Cable TV input. Apple TV is HDMI 1, and Cable TV is HDMI 2.

Sometimes it helps to flip between the two because the receiver is stupid. For example, to watch Apple TV, I select (2), wait a few seconds, then I switch back to (1). Do the reverse to watch Cable TV.

Receiver, lets you switch between Apple TV and Cable TV

Using Cable TV

If you just want to use the TV, just use the xfinity controller. Press the On button in the upper right corner. It may take 10-30 seconds before the video appears. If the TV never appears, on the Yamaha controller press "1" in the top row (Apple TV) and then press "2" (cable) to switch back to the TV. This is kind of like saying, "Hey receiver! Pay attention!"

When the TV is on, there is a subtle light right below the "Sony" label on the TV. The sound bar should show "TV".

Using Apple TV

Turn on the TV and sound bar using the xfinity controller (just like you would for watching TV). Click "1" on the Yamaha controller to select the Apple TV to pass through to the TV. Turn on the Apple TV by clicking one of the buttons on the Apple TV controller. Generally move your finger around the top surface to choose items on the screen, and click the surface area to select the item. To turn off the TV, press and hold the button with the TV icon (square icon), and when prompted, click the surface area to put it to sleep.

Click here for more information on the Apple TV controller.

Click here for more information on the Apple TV

In addition to the apps, we have Hulu and Netflix on the TV. Also, we have bought a number of TV shows and movies (use the TV or Movie apps and select "Purchased" sections to get to these).