In this configuration I have the speakers off and the stock TV IR remote controlling the volume of the soundbar directly. The soundbar has the ability to learn the IR out of the remote, so it responds directly to the vol up/down/mute from the remote. This works FINE, but I would like to improve the setup by using a RF remote.
Alternate Set-Up #1
For this configuration, knowing that the default optical out is a set level, I added in the HDMI ARC audio extractor, based on several postings I've read here and elsewhere. Theoretically, following the instructions outlined on TCL Support Pages, I set this device up on the HDMI 3 ARC port on the TV. I am able to get sound of it to the soundbar via both the extractors Optical and Analog outputs.
The odd thing that happens, however, is that the volume never changes. The volume icon, which how appears on the screen since I'm using System Audio Control now, displays at 48 and never changes. I tested this using both an RF based Enhanced Voice Remote (RC411) and the stock TV IR remote. Every time I press any of the volume control buttons on the side, the icon appears on screen at 48.
Alternate Set-up #2
Out of curiosity, I removed the HDMI ARC extractor and used an adapter to take audio from the "headset" output on the TV to the L/R RCA inputs on the soundbar. In this configuration, the sound was properly controlled by the TV and the level icon appeared and changed appropriately with both remotes. Let's just say that this confuses me.
I'm not sure where this leaves me other than:
Is the TV defective and the HDMI ARC/System audio control isn't working?
Does this result because the HDMI ARC audio extractor somehow internally sets the level to a fixed 50%? The questions on the amazon page don't support this.
Is the Alternate Set-Up #1 flawed in some other way?
There are two setup changes apparently. I haven't tried this, as I'm just trying to figure out what will work and how before buying something. The CES function seem to the sound control one, so that has promise if both devices support it.