Explore & discover

Helpful Links

DVR and STB in next room mixing signals


DVR and STB in next room mixing signals

We have our DVR in the living room and a STB in the kitchen that backs up to the living room.  When finished watching a recording on the DVR in the LR when I select 'erase' I get a message that the program is being watched on another STB.  When I go into the kitchen, the STB in the kitchen is 'On' even though we did not power that box on.  If I press the power button on the STB to off I can go back to the LR and erase the program.  Occasionally when I erase a program from the DVR in the LR the DVR will also erase the first recorded program on the list.


We have the DVR and 3 STB, one of them wireless.  I have tried moving the DVR and STB's to different rooms but continue to have the same problems with the STB in the kitchen getting turned on without the power button being pushed on the remote control in the LR or the kitchen.  The STB in the kitchen come on seemingly by itself.


Sometimes when I select a program to record in the LR, whatever channel the STB is tuned to in the kitchen will also get recorded.


Anyone else having similar problems?

Message 1 of 5
ACE - Expert
Accepted by topic author
Accepted by 993deck
‎09-30-2015 1:39 AM

Re: DVR and STB in next room mixing signals

993deck - I believe, your case is not unique. Not many other cases, but it does happen.

In a nutshell, the problem is the IR for every STB is the same. So, if an STB/DVR can "see" the IR intended for another box, it will respond. It does not know your intentions.

You can test this by covering the front of the STB in the kitchen with a cloth when you are not using that TV.

If you cannot conveniently relocate the STB, you can decrease the sensitivity of that box by covering the IR sensor (to the right of middle) with a somewhat transparent tape. Here is one tape that solve a lot of problems, it may solve this one, allowing near IR & enough to block distant IR - http://www.homedepot.com/p/Commercial-Electric-2-in-x-150-ft-Vinyl-Electrical-Bundling-Tape-Silver-3...

The ultimate solution is to get a point anywhere remote to use RF instead of IR for the kitchen.

More -

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 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.

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 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. Only if the remote is RF (like the point anywhere remote) transmitted to a hidden device will it ward off IR corruption.

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.

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.
Tags (1)
Message 2 of 5

Re: DVR and STB in next room mixing signals

Thanks, aviewer. Will get some tape from Home Depot and give that a try. I can understand a remote control from one room interfering with a STB in another room (changing channels, changing volume, recording/erasing programs from the DVR), but I am still puzzled how a remote control in one room can turn ON the power of a STB in another room without the 'power' button being pushed. And further adding to the puzzle, why the remote in the kitchen does not do the same problems in reverse with the DVR in the LR. And I have two other STB's in room next to the kitchen and do not have problems in those rooms.
Message 3 of 5

Re: DVR and STB in next room mixing signals

Here is something you can do really quck regarding the message that you got when you tried to erase a recording.  I was getting it when I tried to erase a program that I finished watching in my bedroom.  My dvr is located on a lower floor in my home.  Unplug the ac cable on the RG for 30 seconds and reconnect it.   Afer it reboots do the same thing with the DVR/STB.  I have had this problem and that is how I resolved it.

Message 4 of 5
ACE - Expert

Re: DVR and STB in next room mixing signals

993deck - Every click of the OK button has the power to wake up the kitchen STB. If you were pressing the power button every other one would turn i off.

I guess the reflectivity is working in only one direction. The IR is very mysterious.
*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 5 of 5
Share this topic
Share this topic
Additional Support