06-20-2013 08:58:29 AM
Went to a store on Tuesday, (today is Thursday) and wanted to buy an upgraded remote. The "greeter" told me it would be at least 50 mins before I could be helped. I explained all I wanted to do was upgrade my remote. Doesn't matter, you need an appointment to purchase rather then walk-in. I went home and made the appointment for today since I want to move my TV and all of the equipment with the miles of cables, on Friday and need the point anywhere remote. My appointment was for 9:30 AM, I arrived about 10 mins early and waited until 9:50 to be helped. The "helper" looked at his iPad and said you want the point anywhere remote, I'm sorry we don't carry them in the store. I wanted to wipe the stupid grin off his face at that point and asked why didn't the "greeter" 2 days ago and the "greeter" today tell me so I could have ordered it on line on Tuesday? No answer, just the stupid grin. I have been to Apple stores many times, and AT&T isn't even close to the CUSTOMER service Apple provide's.
06-20-2013 09:37:28 AM
Going back 5-6 years there are many posts about IR interference. Remedies included taping over the IR sensor, hiding the STB, turning off auto brightness on the TV.
A common fault was the info button press corrupting to an STB mute action. The number of reports of this have totally fallen away. My personal initial primary problem was getting the zero to register. But, one day long ago that just went away.
Niles Audio Corp. makes IR repeaters & has a video on their web site showing the fragility of the IR coding that is used for U-verse & other boxes. They said their new line of repeaters could handle it. Oddly, a U-verse customer posted in this community that they had a NIles install that was not working & after they contacted Niles they did not get any satisfactory resolution.
I came to believe that the IR sensor is too sensitive, That the DVR is worse than other STBs. That command type buttons are worse than the number buttons. That, somehow software updates can make it better or worse, So, it is a moving target. Hard to pin down.
I noticed that the U-verse remote does work better than my Logitech Harmony model 700. I looked at the IR signal through a digital camera. It appeared to me that the Harmony IR signal is stronger than the U-verse remote. This reinforces my theory that the IR sensor is too sensitive.
Recently, my most common problem was FF and Play Buttons often corrupted to chan up and chan down more than six times a night.
I happened to notice that I had a specific kind of "duct tape" covering the blue light on the STB. Actually, it just looks like duct tape, but is electrical tape available at the Home Depot in the electrical dept. - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-2-i
This tape has a degree of transparency. I thought I would use it to cover the IR sensor. The remote has never worked better. In over 20 evenings since I applied the tape - watching recordings while FF through the ads - I have not had one chan up - chan down corruption . Previously, there would have been at least 6x20=120 occurrences.
Almost all button presses are accepted & none are changed to a different action.
It should not be a surprise, but it is, that half the problems with the RF remote are IR. I run an STB well hidden for a second TV. I had the IR sensor covered with black tape. I replaced the black tape with the "duct tape" & saw an immediate improvement in response to menu buttons. The number buttons were already good - see below for that solution.
The STB using RF must be hidden due to the dongle conversion of RF to IR. If it is not hidden it is subject to the following problems:
IR corruption - Ironically, the RF remote was often offered as a resolution for IR problems. But, if the STB is not hidden nothing has changed to eliminate theI IR corruption problem. If the corrupting light can be seen by the STB IR sensor it will continue to corrupt the IR signal.
If the STB IR sensor can see IR from another remote, it will respond to it.
If another STB can see the IR generated by the dongle, it will respond to it.
Previously, I found the RF lacking in RF power - in the same room, twelve feet away, hidden only by a thin sheet of cardboard. One method to increase RF power is to hold the remote under your chin while pressing a button - using your head as an antenna.
A better way is this antenna placed in the battery compartment - http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Innovations-A-BOOST
With this antenna, the channel numbers are almost always accepted. With the "duct tape" in place, the other buttons work almost every time. The remote now works better than ever.
Once IR and RF issues are resolved, there are timing issues with the STB to contend with. Numbers process fast and Menu items process slow. You need quick, light touch on some numbers to avoid duplicates and a slow, strong press on menu activities. Effort is required to suppress the urge to press again while waiting for a response. It takes concentration to get effective results. Frequently a second press immediately cancels a slow responding first press. Current IR and RF issues amplify the effect of the timing issue.
06-20-2013 10:49:06 AM
If you are hiding other equipment, you need a device to control it. The point anywhere remote is RF only for the STB. Not sure why it does not RF/IR other devices, but it does not. You need another IR repeater for other devices.
If you have a flat panel TV with a couple feet from the ceiling you can place the STB behind the TV with the front pointed at the ceiling & bounce the IR off the ceiling.
Do you have any apple IOS device? Get a buddy TV app. It has a remote image same as regular remote & controls STB via wi-fi. Only disadvantage is that it only controls the STB.