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DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

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DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

We just switched from Comcast to U-verse.  Everything was surprisingly smooth and easy until about 6 hours after the installer left and I decided to schedule some recordings. 

 

THE PROBLEM:  The DVR appeared to ignore the remote.  Installed fresh batteries but it didn't fix it.  The DVR responded perfectly when I programmed it from the internet and it responded to requests from the non-DVR TV's and it worked if you pressed the buttons on the front of the box.  Tried another remote, no change.  Occassionally the DVR responded to the remote for 20 minutes or so but then would stop or would only respond to every 5th or 6th button press.  Extremely frustrating!  We decided it must be the sensor in the unit, called AT&T tech support, they agreed and sent a technician with a new box the next day.  The new box worked briefly but, once again, a few hours later it stopped responding to the remote.  My son noticed that if he held the remote 12 inches from the DVR face, it worked fine all the time.  Well, that's not a solution!

 

I called AT&T tech support again and the guy I spoke to was certain that I was an idiot that kept forgetting to press the AT&T button on the remote before I tried to control the DVR.  Since this was NOT the case, I hung up feeling extremely frustrated and was on the verg of deciding that we would have to keep our Comcast service which had not been disconnected yet.

 

THE FIX:  My husband has an electrical engineering degree and he was trying to understand whether the remote was Infrared, LED or radio in an effort to get to the root of the problem since we were now abandoned by AT&T tech support.  We never really answered that question but he did fix the problem by turning the DVR sideways to the room!!!!  Why does this work? We don't know.  My husband is speculating that the signal from the remote may be too loud, instead of too weak, and is bouncing off nearby components and confusing the sensor.  This might explain why holding it 12 inches away worked perfectly, no bouncing.  Of course, my husband the engineer is not satisfied because he wants to understand exactly what is going on but the rest of the family is very happy.  For now, the AT&T DVR box is happily sitting on the shelf with it's side turned toward the room.  I think I'll disconnect the Comcast tomorrow.

 

There must be something unusual about our component setup because I can't find that other people are having this problem.  So why would we have it with too different DVR's?  Very strange!  I'm posting this in case someone is frustrated by the same problem and looking for a solution.

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Message 1 of 34
Expert

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

My HDMI connections on 3 Sony HDTV's have been working flawlessly for 2 months.

Message 16 of 34
Teacher

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

FINAL SOLUTION:  Okay, so all the discussion about how to fix our problems boils down to this – with a new HDMI cable from Blue Jeans Cable ($19 plus shipping) EVERYTHING works as it should.  None of the other klugy fixes are needed, just a new HDMI cable.  What’s the take-away here?  A good quality HDMI cable matters, alot!  We had 2 HDMI cables, one came bundled with our SONY DVD player and the other was purchased at Big Lots so we clearly did not have a high quality cable when we started this process.  The odd thing is that the cable appeared to be working fine for a couple of days.  Our first symptom, which we did experience immediately (well, as soon as the installer was gone, why did it work while he was in the house?) was that the STB wouldn’t listen to the remote control.  Our crazy work-around for that was to turn the box sideways to the room but even that didn’t seem to work if the box had been idle for several hours, we had to “wake it up” and be patient until it started working.

 

Next fix was going to component cables – that fixed all our symptoms all the time so we decided to order a high quality HDMI cable.

 

Now, with the high quality cable installed, all of our symptoms are gone completely.  My husband has a new found respect for high quality cables vs cheap cables. 

 

Thanks Randy (man of few words) for the link to Blue Jeans Cable.  My husband loved their thorough explanations with the technical details about the cables and wanted to support the company because he liked the way they think. 

Message 17 of 34
Mentor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

I had a similar, intermittent problem when using HDMI cable that was not easily explained.  My sound lasted until about 2 hours after the install tech left.  It would then come and go.  The next tech replaced the HDMI cable with component cables which solved the problem.  I still wanted to use HDMI.  I checked and found out that my HDTV (Philips) was two software revs behind (and it was manufacturered in May 2009!). 

 

I was about to attempt a TV software update to see if that would correct the problem when the AT&T software update occurred on 7/9.  Lo and behold, my TV now works with HDMI with the original cable that AT&T installed!

Message 18 of 34
Contributor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

Thank you so much for this posting!!! I, too was having the same problems. I had been calling the tech support every day and had 2 separate techs out here. They all made me feel like an idiot. Yes I pointed the remote to the box and not my TV.  Yes, I made sure the ATT button was pressed on the remote. They switched out my remote,  my DVR box, and my gateway.  It all worked great until they left.  I was on the brink of calling Dish network back and resigning my contract when I found your post.  I turned my box to the side and it is working wonderfully, now.  If only someone would tell the kids at the call center to do this trick, it would save people a whole lot of frustration!!!

Thanks again!!!!

Message 19 of 34
Teacher

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

mibrnsurg , thank you SO much for this information.

 

 

I was recently given a 47" LG LCD TV (brand new :smileyhappy: ) and all of a sudden, my STB remote wouldn't control the STB...unless I was RIGHT on top of it, then it MIGHT work

 

Changed the settings to "Vivid" from "Intellissensor" and it works again...

 

Vivid is a bit bright for us...so I'm going to experiment...but THANK YOU

Message 20 of 34
Teacher

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

Sure glad I found this thread!

 

We had UV installed yesterday... while the tech was here, the STB wasn't working with the remote, so he went to the truck and got another. Of course, after he left, the remote quit working again. Frustrated for hours and I even tried the second remote with the second STB... neither one worked.

 

After reading this thread, I moved the STB and joy - things are working again... seems to be the TV interfering with the signals. I turned off the TV's detection of the room lighting, and that didn't fix things either but moving the STB did seem to fix things.

 

So, thanks for the thread! 

Message 21 of 34
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Contributor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

I appreciate all the researh and testing people have done on this issue. When I first experienced it (after switching to HDMI from component), I figured it was the HDMI cable or port on my TV. Long story short, I swapped ports and it worked for a while, went bad again, tried going back to component. While using component, I never had a single problem, which made me think there was no way it could be related to the settings on my LCD as so many have mentioned. So, I ordered a better cable and that seemed to fix it...again, only for a while (weird how that happens).

 

Anyway, I finally tried turning off the mentioned options and I'm back up...for now. We'll give it a couple days to see if that fixes it for good. Turning to the side didn't do much for me and I haven't tried the masking tape idea yet. 

 

My question is, has anyone tried resolving this for the $50 RF remote? I don't want to spend that money, but if that will resolve it for sure, it might be interesting to see if a deal could be worked out for one of those remotes as the frustration of something like this could be a deal breaker down the road.

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Message 22 of 34
Tutor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

I just recently had UVerse installed, and found the same issue with the DVR box not receiving signals from the remote. I have a Sony KDL-42V4100, and turning off the light auto-sensor fixed 99% of the issue. The remaining 1% is caused by sitting too far away, or near a lamp with a CFL bulb. The strange part is that the IR remote for the TV always worked perfectly.

 

I also notice that if the DVR is positioned lower than my seating position, the remote works better...

 

I must mention that I had this same problem, albeit not as bad, with my previous Comcast DVR, which was also a Motorola box. I think this should be addressed by Motorola, perhaps they're using an IR range that is too close to that emitted by the TV's light sensor

 

Anyone encounteer this with the Cisco boxes?

Message 23 of 34
Mentor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

I have Uverse installed today.  Got the Cisco IPN4320 and I can confirm that this is still an issue with these boxes.  Turning the box 45 degrees away from the TV fixes the issue.  It happens with both the stock remote and Logitech 700 remote.  We have never had issues with any of the multiple tv's, dvd players, or A/V receivers we have had over the years and used with our Logitech remote.
Message 24 of 34
Contributor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

I have had the same problem and it seems to be getting worse.  In the evenings, between 7 and 8 I have to hold the remote right up to the DVR to get it to work.  Lately, it is happening around 6 to 8.  During all other times the remote works well.  I have changed batteries and used different remotes but that did not work.  Now I just suffer through of 2 hours of getting up and down to fast forward through the commercials.  I will try turning the DVR and the plastic wrap/masking tape solutions. 
Message 25 of 34
Expert

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!


sjhbruin wrote:
I have had the same problem and it seems to be getting worse.  In the evenings, between 7 and 8 I have to hold the remote right up to the DVR to get it to work.  Lately, it is happening around 6 to 8.  During all other times the remote works well.  I have changed batteries and used different remotes but that did not work.  Now I just suffer through of 2 hours of getting up and down to fast forward through the commercials.  I will try turning the DVR and the plastic wrap/masking tape solutions. 

 

If you have an "Auto Brightness" or "Dynamic Brightness" setting or something similar on your TV, turn it off.  These settings modulate the backlight of LCD TVs and will cause a large amount of IR interference.

 

Message 26 of 34
Mentor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!



If you have an "Auto Brightness" or "Dynamic Brightness" setting or something similar on your TV, turn it off.  These settings modulate the backlight of LCD TVs and will cause a large amount of IR interference.

 


I love this response.  Don't get me wrong, this might be a valid solution, but it's extremely disappointing that of all the AV equipment I own, the Uverse DVR box is the only thing that has ever had this issue.

 

It became too much of a problem.  Two replacement remotes + no solution = wife wants the Uverse TV gone.  I'll be cancelling tomorrow.

Message Edited by loki_racer on 12-16-2009 11:28 PM
Message 27 of 34
ACE - Master

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!

Careful with that door...You know what happens!!  Don't let it hit you......oh, never mind:smileyvery-happy:

"If you find this post helpful and it solved your issue please mark it as a solution.  This will help other forum members locate it and will also let everyone know that it corrected your problem. If they have the same issue they will know how to solve theirs"

*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 28 of 34
Mentor

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!


BeeBee wrote:
Careful with that door...You know what happens!!  Don't let it hit you......oh, never mind:smileyvery-happy:

I can only hope your sentiment isn't shared by ATT.  I would think they would value my $65/mo for TV service a little more than it costs them to use IR receivers that work with common name brand tv's and remotes.

Message 29 of 34
Expert

Re: DVR doesn't respond to remote control - my husband figures out a crazy fix!


loki_racer wrote:
I love this response.  Don't get me wrong, this might be a valid solution, but it's extremely disappointing that of all the AV equipment I own, the Uverse DVR box is the only thing that has ever had this issue.

 

You asked the question, you received a valid response that is a possible solution.  Did you even try it?  What were the results?

 

I didn't build the U-Verse box, I just know what's wrong with it. :smileyhappy:

 

If you feel you need to move to another provider or otherwise cancel U-Verse for whatever reason, that is certainly your right and you should do what's best for you.  But don't chastize my response because it's not what you wanted to hear.

 

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