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Remote "missing" channels


Remote "missing" channels

I was just set up today. In programming my remote, I must have done something, or fried its brain. I have no channels hidden. I have channels marked as favorites. When I hit "next channel" button, it skips many channels - i.e., if I am on channel 1004 and hit the button, instead of going to 1005 (a legit channel) it goes to 999 or 423, for example, and does not cycle numerically except in certain channel number sequences. I have no parental controls set.  I did a factory reset and it didn't change anything.


Any suggestions/explanations?

Message 1 of 9
ACE - Expert

Re: "missing" channels on remote

mooncat7 - There are gaps in the assigned channel numbers that would be skipped because there is no content there. You can check for that by looking at the guide.

If you hold the button down you can watch the channel selection scroll by in the channel indicator. When you remove your finger from the button the scroll may continue for some time. This would be because the STV/DVR is a little slower in processing the data than it is in accepting it..

To get one channel on the up/down button may require a light quick touch. yours could be being held longer because that is what you are used to or the button could be sticking.

Try the up/down arrow by the OK button to see if it works the same or differently. It will scan using the preview & you change the main screen by pressing the OK button. It may be a faster process in the STB or it will show if the chan button is sticking.

There are possible problems with the remote in the area of IR interference and slow response to process accepted commands that hurts your rhythm when using the remote . I have pasted an overview below. It includes section on RF, which would not apply to you. I include it just to show every area of remote control may be problematic.

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. -

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 -

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.
Message 2 of 9
ACE - Expert

Re: Remote "missing" channels

mooncat7 - The focus of my answer on the other thread - - was - poor up.down function.

Your description here sounds more like IR corruption. Keep track of the result when press up/down. Is it always going to the same channel?? This means it is being corrupted to a different command. You can tes by building a tent from thge STB to your wrist with a pole and blanket. Operate the remote under the blanket to see if it works without fault. If it does there is some lighting problem. Could be the TV set to an auto brightness.

If it still does not work, it could be the IR signal is too strong. Either case may be solved by covering the IR sensor on the STB with something slightly transparent.
*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: "missing" channels on remote

Thanks for your reply, aviewer, but don't think the things you mention are my issues. The remote was working when the tech left, and was working until mid way of my programming attempts ;-(


I'm aware there are channel # gaps, but the remote does not advance sequentially even for local channels that I know are sequential. Using the other arrow keys makes no difference. For instance, I am now on 1005. There are channels I should receive on 1005, 1006, 1007, 1008, 1009, etc. When I use either arrow key it goes to 1423, HSN Shop by Remote. When I push it again, it goes to either 423, or the 1400s or 1500s, and *then* it appears to be cycling. Totally weird. I've tried everything.  Also my re-programming of the remote doesn't seem to "stick." I reprogram it. My TV turns off. I will turn the Power button back on. The TV also comes on and the volume button is working. But after I change a channel, connection seems to be lost, as the volume stops working and turning off the Power button does not turn off the TV. So frustrating!

Message 4 of 9
ACE - Expert

Re: "missing" channels on remote

mooncat7 - OK We have to start somewhere. If it is not the remote, it is the STB.DVR. Do you have more than one?? This cannot be happening on both.

You need a hard reboot - First try power disconnect for thirty seconds. If that is not effective do this one that will reload your software -

Holding the down arrow, the OK button and the power button at the same time, will create what is called a disaster recorvery (DR). You need to hold all those buttons at once till you see the 3 lights on the fron 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.
A DR, is something in my opinion, that should only be done as a last resort, when all else has failed.
*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 9

Re: Remote "missing" channels

Thank you, a viewer.  I have responded in the other thread as well. Covering the IR makes no difference, and my TV does not have auto brightness. This happens in both a light room and a dark room.  Doesn't work in the "tent." I don't think too much signal is my problem :-(


It does always seem to go to 1423. If I hit "back" it doesn't respond. If I hit the channel-forward area again it goes to channels in the 1500s and cycles. Last night it was going to channels in the 400s and cycling, i.e. sequentially advancing as it should. It seems to be skipping channels I had marked as favorites, and going to channels I originally hid. And yes, I know how to do that. But I have laboriously unchecked everything, both Hide and Favorites. Nothing is checked, so it should cycle through every channel, but doesn't. My best guess is that it is "stuck" somewhere in its brain between Hides and Favorites. Or I have a faulty remote.   Arrrgh!

Message 6 of 9

Re: "missing" channels on remote

I did the quick reboot and it did not help. Not willing to try the DR, sorry ;-( "Should" come back is a bit too scary for me. At least as it is now, I can manually change channels and watch TV with both remotes. I will try to call my installer tomorrow and see what he says/thinks. He was topnotch.


thank you for your help.

Message 7 of 9

Re: "missing" channels on remote

I wanted to come back and post my resolution in case other TWC switchers have a similar issue. It was entirely user error. The "Hide" channel function works opposite to the way TW's Favorites works. I had inadvertently hidden all the channels I wanted to watch! Fixed now. Embarrassed, but posting because another former TWC subscriber might do what I did.
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Message 8 of 9
ACE - Expert

Re: "missing" channels on remote

mooncat7 - Thanks for fessing up. It will probably help others. It opened my eyes. We all imagine what we are used to, I did not really think about that it was chan up/down (even though that is what you said). I was thinking direct channel number entry, which is what I use more) & I know it will jump if there is no actual channel for the number I entered.

I have seen that people have posted that hidden channels were available by direct entry, so I discounted that. Next time I will have to say it. If I did you could have emphasized that is not the problem.

*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 9 of 9
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