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theflicker's profile

Contributor

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1 Message

Mon, Sep 8, 2014 6:18 PM

Replacement remote?

We've been subscribers for several years now and one of the remotes is starting to go.  Is it possible to get a replacement?  Also, are DVR boxes ever refreshed? 

Anonymous

New Member

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25.7K Messages

7 y ago

You can get remotes sent.  You can chat with someone here: http://www.att.com/contactus/index/digitaltv.html, or you can call 800-288-2020.  I used the chat method and was sent two remotes UPS overnight.

 

As for your DVR......typically they are only changed out if you have a service issue with them.  Otherwise your kind of stuck with what you have.

aviewer

Expert

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10.1K Messages

7 y ago

@theflicker -  As BB says you can get  a replacement remote. Your report that it is starting to go is a little unusual. The problem is usually a button (especially down volume) is not working at all or just sometimes.

 

If it is generally not responsive, there may be IR problems that a new remote is not going to solve. Of course, you have tried replacing the batteries. Also, the response of the STB does seem to be slowing down.

 

Just want to be sure you are not disappointed with a new remote not improving the situation. Here is a little more detail on IR problems -

 

IR Issues

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 while watching recorded shows, exclusively.

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-in-x-150-ft-Vinyl-Electrical-Bundling-Tape-Silver-30002664/202741845#specifications

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 100 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 6x100=600 occurrences.

Almost all button  presses are accepted & none are changed to a different action.


RF Issues

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.

Note that hidden means the IR does not see outside light - If you have an optical repeater(like the Niles mentioned above) it is IR subject to corruption. If you have an IR receiver that produces RF to go through a wall, it is still IR subject to corruption. Any optical link open to the room is still open to IR corruption.

Only if the remote is RF (like the point anywhere remote) transmitted to a well hidden device will it ward off IR corruption. The ultimate solution is a wireless remote app. These are available, but incomplete & other devices do not yet support wireless remote. But, the Buddy TV remote can be used for a u-verse STB.

Previously, I found the RF remote 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-BOOSTER-Universal-Antenna/dp/B00009WCAP/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1366128630&sr=8-8&keywords=cell+phone+booster

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.

But, recently, I discovered that weakened batteries triggers poor results due to low power. If the remote starts acting up go for fresh batteries.  Before I realized the batteries were low I was getting better RF by holding it against a metal arm of a reading light.

To increase RF sensitivity - Cut off the base and one leg of a wire coat hanger (one piece). Hold the short leg perpendicular to the dongle and wrap the longer end around the dongle a few turns until the two perpendicular ends are about the same length  (about 3”). Cut the longer one to the same length as the shorter one.

STB Issues

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.

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