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The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

Is your device not responding to remote commands? Read this. For the last couple of months, my DirecTV DVR (Model HR23-700) was not responding to the remote some times and other times it would respond just fine. There's a small blue indicator on the front of the DVR which flashes when it detects an infrared command from the remote. When the DVR was not responding to the remote, this light would not flash.

1. It's not the remote I use a Logitech Harmony One remote for my entire setup and the Harmony controls all other devices just fine. Only the DVR had problems, so I know it was not the remote. Just to be sure, I tried the manufacturer's remote when the problem occurred and the problem did not go away with the use of a different remote.

2. It's not the DVR I did some research online that suggests that that there might be infrared light coming from somewhere else in the room that is interfering with the receiver. Possible sources of this IR light include: Daylight, CFL Bulbs, LCD TVs. Since the problem happened at night, I know it wasn't daylight. It also happened even when there were no lights turned on in the room. So I tried turning off the TV. Problem went away instantly. Wait a minute, what?

3. Something about the TV If it is the TV, why does it not happen at all sometimes? I researched some more and found that LCD TVs can emit a lot of IR light when they are "warming up." In my case it was my backlight reaching full brightness. Most LCD TVs, except for those marketed as "LED TVs" use a compact fluorescent bulb that goes all the way around the edge of the TV as a backlight. Apparently, this backlight can take a few minutes to reach full brightness. And during this time, there is a ton of infrared light leaking out of the display. It's been referred to online as the "IR leaking" phenomenon.

4. Why now? I couldn't imagine that the problem would just start happening all of a sudden. For almost a year I have not had a single issue with this DVR. On one online AV forum I read a suggestion to try adjusting the backlight brightness. That's when I remembered that a couple of months ago I calibrated my TV for the best picture using the Digital Video Essentials HD Basics Blu-Ray disc. As part of the calibration I had turned my backlight brightness down from 50% to about 30%. That must be what caused this problem to suddenly appear.

5. The fix When I had just turned everything on, and the DVR was not responding due to the backlight warming up, I opened up the TV settings and adjusted the backlight brightness. I kept trying the DVR remote and it started working consistently as soon as I reached about 40% brightness. I put it back to 50% just for good measure. This fixed the problem. Now I can hit the "watch TV" activity on my Harmony remote and everything gets turned on and I can control the DVR right away without getting the interference from the TV.

6. Bottom line I have a Vizio E3D420VX which is a 42" inch Full HDTV. Apparently when the TV is properly calibrated, it leaks IR light for the first 20-30 minutes which interferes with my DirecTV DVR. I imagine that other devices might be susceptible as well but I haven't personally seen it. This problem is not unique to this TV either, as other people have reported that they have this problem with other brand / model TVs. I have read that it can even happen with plasma TVs. LED TVs seem to be immune to this problem from what I have learned.

Message was edited by: David Marchand

Message 1 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

Awesome post. 

a fix that we recommend is to place a small piece of blue painters tape over the receiver's IR sensor, works like a charm and you get to keep your TV's custom settings

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 2 of 9
ACE - Expert

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

Just FYI. The interference actually comes from the switching power supply used to drive the backlight. TVs using LEDs for backlighting, and plasmas, don't have this problem.  Going to RF control of the DirecTV box solves the problem completely.

*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

Had you posted your problem here earlier, we would likely have spotted the IR interference rather easily.  We've had literally hundreds of IR interference threads over the years.  As Texasbrit noted, we usually recommend switching to RF remote operation, but in your case the 3rd part remote would not allow that.

To other folks reading this thread, the easy test is when you find the receiver not responding to a channel change input, go to the TV and turn off just the TV, then using the remote, change the channel on the receiver, then turn the TV back on.  If the channel changed then the TV was the culprit and switching to RF operation will sidestep the issue.  This allows the backlight on the TV to be adjusted as desired with no effect on the remote operation.

Message 4 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

I did this, and wow i never knew. sweet trick for sure. i ordered the RF remote, but now my sanity ( and my wife's) has been restored. bring back the custom settings :-)

Message 5 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

When you get the new remote, post back if you will, and let us know if the RF isn't a real game changer?

Message 6 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

the RF remote for 25 dollars is the massive game changer i hoped it would be. i can control the HD-DVR from anywhere in the house. The wife might chill out eventually. i kept changing her program to be a wiseguy,LOL.

Oh, and huge bonus. it now controls my Boston Acoustics sound bar with no issues. (finally!)

Message 7 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

Appears we can chalk Dave up as a Happy Camper.

Message 8 of 9

Re: The Bloody R64/65 remote issues explained simply

I have always loved DirecTV, and this just shows that we can always get around the issue. I love the RF remote....... get's the wife all riled up with almost no effort :-)

Message 9 of 9
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