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Posted Jan 25, 2014
7:13:46 AM
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DVR does not respond to remote

Brand new installation. During the day the DVR responds to the remote mostly (not great). In the evening hardly at all.

 

Can't be a service issue since the other unit (wireless) resposnds perfectly. Also noticed that the DVR does not always respond very well using the iPad/Phone app either.

 

Anyone have experience with this?

 

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Brand new installation. During the day the DVR responds to the remote mostly (not great). In the evening hardly at all.

 

Can't be a service issue since the other unit (wireless) resposnds perfectly. Also noticed that the DVR does not always respond very well using the iPad/Phone app either.

 

Anyone have experience with this?

 

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

DVR does not respond to remote

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Jan 25, 2014 7:40:49 AM
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Edited by JefferMC on Jan 25, 2014 at 7:42:13 AM

You are probably suffering from infrared (IR) interference.  Either a light that you are turning on in the evening, or the TV's reaction to the lower light is creating IR frequency light that is being bounced into the DVR's IR receiver and confusing it.


There are various cures for this:

  • If a light bulb, change it for another one.  CFL's are notorious
  • If your TV has a dynamic brightness setting, turn it off.
  • Set your DVR in some sort of recess where the remote control has a straight shot at the DVR but the source of IR interfernce does not
  • Angle the DVR to one site or the other so that the noise is blocked but your remote can still get to it
  • You can try placing layers of tape of varying opaqueness over the IR receiver on the DVR; usually the remote can get through where the noise cannot
  • Get an AT&T Point-Anywhere RF remote, place the RF-to-IR dongle in front of the IR receiver on the DVR, then cover the area to block IR noise
  • Use one of the IP remote control programs for your iOS or Android cell phone

 

You are probably suffering from infrared (IR) interference.  Either a light that you are turning on in the evening, or the TV's reaction to the lower light is creating IR frequency light that is being bounced into the DVR's IR receiver and confusing it.


There are various cures for this:

  • If a light bulb, change it for another one.  CFL's are notorious
  • If your TV has a dynamic brightness setting, turn it off.
  • Set your DVR in some sort of recess where the remote control has a straight shot at the DVR but the source of IR interfernce does not
  • Angle the DVR to one site or the other so that the noise is blocked but your remote can still get to it
  • You can try placing layers of tape of varying opaqueness over the IR receiver on the DVR; usually the remote can get through where the noise cannot
  • Get an AT&T Point-Anywhere RF remote, place the RF-to-IR dongle in front of the IR receiver on the DVR, then cover the area to block IR noise
  • Use one of the IP remote control programs for your iOS or Android cell phone

 

*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.

Re: DVR does not respond to remote

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Jan 25, 2014 8:09:06 AM
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cxxxv - There certainly are problems with the remote. Jeffer tells us about the common previous experiences with IR You introduce a few twists.

The one that scares me is problems with the IOS apps. Since the IOS apps eliminate IR they are generally fast and perfect. Jeffer even recommended it as a solution to IR problems.

Having the performance deteriorate at night makes me think it could be overpowering the the IR sensor, Or perhaps the TV or other lighting situations have more impact at night.. Try building a tent with a blanket and pole from your hand with the remote and the STB so that it can operate without any outside interference.

Does the DVR have a green oval light on the front? If it does not blink when you push a remote button, the DVR does not recognize the IR/ If it does blink & still does nothing, there is a problem with the DVR. You can experiment with the IR by covering the sensor with some barely transparent material.

Since the problem seems more systemic than just IR or IOS you might ask for a new DVR. Beore you do that & since you have not yet built up a lot of recordings try a reload of he software -

On the box - Holding the down arrow, the OK button and the power button at the same time, will create what is called a disaster recovery (DR). You need to hold all those buttons at once till you see the 3 lights on the front of the DVR/STB flash. After that, you should get a gear and in about 20 minutes or so, everything should come back after that.

Unfortunately, doing the above will most likely result in you losing any recorded items you might have.

Here is some background on problems with the remote -

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-3...

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=U...

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.
cxxxv - There certainly are problems with the remote. Jeffer tells us about the common previous experiences with IR You introduce a few twists.

The one that scares me is problems with the IOS apps. Since the IOS apps eliminate IR they are generally fast and perfect. Jeffer even recommended it as a solution to IR problems.

Having the performance deteriorate at night makes me think it could be overpowering the the IR sensor, Or perhaps the TV or other lighting situations have more impact at night.. Try building a tent with a blanket and pole from your hand with the remote and the STB so that it can operate without any outside interference.

Does the DVR have a green oval light on the front? If it does not blink when you push a remote button, the DVR does not recognize the IR/ If it does blink & still does nothing, there is a problem with the DVR. You can experiment with the IR by covering the sensor with some barely transparent material.

Since the problem seems more systemic than just IR or IOS you might ask for a new DVR. Beore you do that & since you have not yet built up a lot of recordings try a reload of he software -

On the box - Holding the down arrow, the OK button and the power button at the same time, will create what is called a disaster recovery (DR). You need to hold all those buttons at once till you see the 3 lights on the front of the DVR/STB flash. After that, you should get a gear and in about 20 minutes or so, everything should come back after that.

Unfortunately, doing the above will most likely result in you losing any recorded items you might have.

Here is some background on problems with the remote -

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.
*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.

Re: DVR does not respond to remote

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Jan 25, 2014 11:01:52 AM
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ACE - Expert
I may have made a bad assumption: I thought he meant the iOS application took a long time to perform changes to recording schedules, not to button presses using the IP remote feature. Since that is essentially the same as WRA, in that it contacts an AT&T server who then interacts with the DVR, it's not as responsive as one might like.
I may have made a bad assumption: I thought he meant the iOS application took a long time to perform changes to recording schedules, not to button presses using the IP remote feature. Since that is essentially the same as WRA, in that it contacts an AT&T server who then interacts with the DVR, it's not as responsive as one might like.
*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.

Re: DVR does not respond to remote

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Jan 26, 2014 8:48:01 PM
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ACE - Expert

cxxxv wrote:

Brand new installation. During the day the DVR responds to the remote mostly (not great). In the evening hardly at all.

 

Can't be a service issue since the other unit (wireless) resposnds perfectly. Also noticed that the DVR does not always respond very well using the iPad/Phone app either.

 

Anyone have experience with this?

 

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


If it's an LCD (LED) TV check for these settings on your advanced settings on the menu: Dynamic Contrast, Auto or Ambient Brightness, Energy/Power Saver, Intelligent Sensor or Auto Iris.

If you have any of them or similar ones try turning them 'off' one by one until you find the culprit, then turn the non-offending ones back on to double check. All of these can cause Uverse remote problems w/an LCD (LED).

If it's a plasma, make sure the DVR/STB is in front and the face pointing the same direction as the TV, so it gets no IR from the front of the screen. Good luck Smiley Wink

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? PM ATT Uverse Care (all service problems) or ATT Customer Care (all other problems)
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more


cxxxv wrote:

Brand new installation. During the day the DVR responds to the remote mostly (not great). In the evening hardly at all.

 

Can't be a service issue since the other unit (wireless) resposnds perfectly. Also noticed that the DVR does not always respond very well using the iPad/Phone app either.

 

Anyone have experience with this?

 

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.


If it's an LCD (LED) TV check for these settings on your advanced settings on the menu: Dynamic Contrast, Auto or Ambient Brightness, Energy/Power Saver, Intelligent Sensor or Auto Iris.

If you have any of them or similar ones try turning them 'off' one by one until you find the culprit, then turn the non-offending ones back on to double check. All of these can cause Uverse remote problems w/an LCD (LED).

If it's a plasma, make sure the DVR/STB is in front and the face pointing the same direction as the TV, so it gets no IR from the front of the screen. Good luck Smiley Wink

 

Chris


Please NO SD stretch-o-vision or 480 SD HD Channels
Need Help? PM ATT Uverse Care (all service problems) or ATT Customer Care (all other problems)
Your Results May Vary, In My Humble Opinion
I Call It Like I See It, Simply a U-verse user, nothing more

*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.

Re: DVR does not respond to remote

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