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S3 + Plasma = Useless Remote?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by SLCMike, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Sep 21, 2006 #21 of 224
    jetboy_jones

    jetboy_jones New Member

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    Sep 18, 2006
    So now I'm worried that I could have an S3 with problem IR reception but because I don't currently have a plasma tv I can't test it. I guess I have to get a plasma now :)

    P.S. TIVO, how about adding a Plasma proximity step to your hardware QA.
     
  2. Sep 21, 2006 #22 of 224
    bocktar

    bocktar New Member

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    Sep 24, 2001
    Lawrence,...
    I'm using the S3 w/ a Sony KDE42XS955 plasma and have not experienced any IR issues. The room has windows and abundant daylight at times.
     
  3. Sep 21, 2006 #23 of 224
    tgbroom

    tgbroom New Member

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    Feb 5, 2005
    I have 3 S3's, 1 with 42" elite- having IR problems, 1 with 50" elite- having IR problems, 1 with Qualia Projector- no Problems....

    did everything suggested to try and fix, also using IR repeaters with Plasmas, no luck.

    So i have to freakin' return them? WTF?
     
  4. Sep 21, 2006 #24 of 224
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    plasma's AND the backlights from directview LCD's can screw up IR receivers.

    There's lots of info on the web about the plasma's.

    I can attest personally to the issues with SHARP Aquos LCD's.

    sounds like the OP's plasma might be only a tad bit troublesome such that it is enough to screw up a faulty receiver (in the bad tivo) but not mess up a good receiver (in the new tivo or the other devices)
     
  5. Sep 21, 2006 #25 of 224
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    I found that not all plasma rated repeaters are equal.

    I found the speakercraft targets work well. They work well at filtering out the background light from the plasma/lcd's but allowing the remotes to work well.
     
  6. Sep 21, 2006 #26 of 224
    tgbroom

    tgbroom New Member

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    Feb 5, 2005
    never had any issues with previous S2's with everything else remaining the same, and in the same position.

    kinda frustrating when trying to us remote....
     
  7. Sep 21, 2006 #27 of 224
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    readign the OP it seems clear that not all IR receivers are equal.

    Might want to try and return it and see if a differnt S3 is better.

    But might also be a different brand or style IR receiver in the S3 so it's more susceptible.

    Dont know myself.
     
  8. Sep 23, 2006 #28 of 224
    MacGuruTX

    MacGuruTX Member

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    Sep 19, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'm having the exact same Problem but with an LCD...

    Sharp Aquos 37"

    Turn off the TV and the Tivo works great. With it on, its at about 1% reception.

    I've tried covering the TV ir receiver, moving the S3 back and forth and over in relation to the LCD with no luck.

    Turn off the TV and you get instant reception on the S3... :mad:
     
  9. Sep 23, 2006 #29 of 224
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ

    I have the exact same tv-- the backlight creates havoc for IR recievers. Apparently Sharp uses a full spectrum bulb or somethign for the backlights and they give off tons of IR that can drown out the infrared sent by the remote control. (how there remote isn't effected I dont know)


    There's a couple things to try- adjust the setting for the backlight brightness. Turn it down all the way and see if that helps, then turn it up slowly to see when you get hosed.

    If that doesn't work then you can use the speakercraft plasma proof IR repeater. It will set you back some scratch. I tried Channel PLus and one other brand and the speakercraft plasma proof target was the only one I could get to work.

    Basically they have a little target, then you need a conroller block and then an emitter- they make little sheilds that cover their emitters if you want to leave the S3 out in view- you can attach the emmiteer and cover it with the sheild and hopefully only the inteded IR gets in to the S3's 'eye'.

    When I first got the set it caused intermittent problems with my HDVR2 (SD directivo) and the various IR repaeters I tried to use to place the HDVR2 in an adjacent closet.

    I finally figured out that I had the backlight set on the auto adjust setting- if it was pitch dark the backlight would be low enough that i had no issues (not enough stray IR to cause issues) . If it was daylight it wouldn't work with the HDVR2 but would work with the plasma proof repeater -with speaking to speakercraft tech support we finally figured out after much trial and error- and using the nightshot on my sony camcorder to "see" the IR interference- that during the day the backlight would be so bright as to trigger the electronic filter in the plasma proof target. In the middle, it was pretty much hopeless- too much IR interference to get stuff to work directly and too little to trigger the electronic filter in the plasma proof target.


    (also helps somewhat to get the IR "eye" behind the LCD- but if you are hanging it on a wall that's basically not an option.)


    Good luck.
     
  10. Sep 24, 2006 #30 of 224
    ronfl

    ronfl New Member

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    Oct 26, 2002
    Cable card install finished today, and having the same irritating 50-80% failure on remote IR commands.

    I called TiVo and they apparently have many calls on this, the agent I spoke with said he was forwarding my issue to "engineering". He said it's a known issue but they are not sure what is causing it. He suggested that it was my TV (Samsung 63" plasma), but my S2 sat right under the TV on the same spot where the S3 is with no issues.

    He mentioned that they may be able to resolve with a firmware/software update. I'm debating on if I should send it back or wait? If I do want to send it back for an exchange, what should I say so they send a new one and pay the shipping.
     
  11. Sep 24, 2006 #31 of 224
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 New Member

    391
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    Sep 6, 2006
    Redondo...
    Hi guys, I have some info for you.

    My plasma (Marantz PD5040D) has been having the same issue. If I turn it off the remote it works like a superhero, turn it on and it's superman on kryptonite.

    I talked to tech support and they said it's a big issue at Tivo because there are a lot of plasma owners and if the plasma is mounted against a wall it's impossible to rececess the S3 further than the plasma.

    They also said they have a lot of reports on this problem and it's driving plasma guys up the wall.

    They said they're looking into 2 solutions.

    1) changing the IR codes to ones that are more plasma compatible
    2) changing the IR hardware in the S3

    They said that if they change the hardware and our plasma is causing problems that should be good enough grounds for an exchange.
     
  12. Sep 24, 2006 #32 of 224
    lightrunner

    lightrunner New Member

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    Sep 24, 2006
    Unfortunately I am having the same problem. I purchased 2 Tivo S3's. One for my Samsung HLP5685W DLP and the other for my Pioneer PDP-4270HD.
    I started setting up the S3 for my plasma first. I positioned the S3 directly underneath the plasma in the first shelf of my wooden table top stand. Everything was going fine until I ran into the same Remote Control issue. The S3 would only respond about every 10 to 15 clicks on the remote. I thought it might be the remote so I opened the box of my second S3 (for the Samsung DLP) and pulled out the remote and tried it only to find out it did the same thing. Then I suspected bad batch of batteries. So I replaced all the batteries on the remote and still the same problem. I had heard about possible interference from other remotes so I took all other remotes in the room out of the room and still the same problem.
    Then I started suspecting a bad S3. I grabbed the other one from the box and slapped it in and still the same problem. Then I thought maybe a batch of bad Tivo S3’s. So I took both of them out to my living room where my Samsung DLP sits and plugged both of them in directly underneath the DLP one at a time. Both worked perfectly.
    I had also heard that Plasmas can cause a lot of IR interference. I took one of the S3’s back to the other room where the plasma is to try some different combinations. First I pulled the plasma as far forward as the table top stand would let me and then situated the S3 on the same first shelf but this time scooted it as far back as it would go. By doing this I was able to set the S3 behind the front plane of the plasma. It looked ugly as hell and I’m glad it did because it still didn’t work. Next I set the plasma and the S3 back to their normal positions, this time I turned off the plasma and immediately I could see the remote control light responding perfectly to my clicks on the remote. However I still was not sure if this was truly working since I couldn’t see nor hear anything on the screen (S3 directly connected to plasma via hdmi when plasma off all is off). So I grabbed a dark garbage bag and covered the plasma with it and turned it on and noticed S3 still working as if the Plasma was off. Then I pulled the garbage bag off and turned down the brightness on the plasma. This didn’t work. Then I set the brightness back and pulled out everything from the other shelves and placed the S3 at the bottom shelf which is about two feet below the plasma. This didn’t work either although I started getting better response about every 5 to 8 clicks on the remote. So then I decided to create a hood for the S3. I just took the advertisement from the Tivo HD box, the one with the gray dots and looks kinda like onion paper and reads ‘The TiVolution will now be televised in HD’
    I just placed that (long way cross sectional to the S3) on top of the S3 (still in the bottom shelf) and just let it hang over the face of the S3 and the remote started working perfectly.
    Its such a shame since the new S3 looks so nice.
    I called Tivo support and they stated it was a bad remote. I explained to the tech everything that I did and still he said both remotes were bad “I’ll send you 2 new ones. Here is your case number. Goodbye”
    I started researching online when I cam across this thread. Once I read about SLCMike getting a replacement and it working I decided that’s what I was going to do. So I called Tivo support back and told them that one of my S3’s would only get to the Welcome. Powering On screen then flicker and power off. I also advised them that the Welcome. Powering On screen was completely green and not the usual orange and black. They immediately gave me an Exchange number. Then I told them that my other S3 would not even power on. We trouble shooted of course plugging in different power cords different outlets etc… but to no avail. They immediately gave me an Exchange number. Now I feel bad about this but from my previous conversation with Tivo Support they were not willing to exchange these S3's but only the remotes. And these are brand new.
    So I will let you know when I receive my replacement if they come with better IR sensors. I have a feeling it wont.

    Best
     
  13. Sep 24, 2006 #33 of 224
    ronfl

    ronfl New Member

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    Oct 26, 2002
    Oh my god. Your solution with the "onion" paper worked perfectly! I tried covering the top with cardboard overhanging the front about an inch, but that didnt' work. Moved the box behind the screen plane, that didn't work. Drooping the paper compeletly over the front works, your a genious! Of course now I can't see what time it is or what is recording. I'm surprised the TiVo IR goes through the paper but it does.

    I wonder how we find out if they change the internal IR hardware and how long they will let us go before being able to exchange it?
     
  14. Sep 24, 2006 #34 of 224
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 New Member

    391
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    Sep 6, 2006
    Redondo...
    Hopefully, less than a month. This is a pretty big issue with Tivo for obvious reasons.

    Guess we'll have to use these ugly-as-sin workarounds until Tivo gets the issue resolved...
     
  15. Sep 24, 2006 #35 of 224
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

    7,308
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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I'm pretty shocked none of the beta testers noticed this. You would think at least some of them would have had plasma's or Aquos LCD's....

    And if you search the net- plasma's screwing up remotes is a fairly common thing.


    I think Directv went with RF on their new HD DVR remote. Being a monday morning quarterback, that might have been wise...
     
  16. Sep 24, 2006 #36 of 224
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 New Member

    391
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    Sep 6, 2006
    Redondo...
    The problem with RF is that it's a huge pain in the butt to deal with where home automation and learning remotes come in.

    Tivo should have just made an IR remote that didn't have these issues! :D

    You're correct in that you'd think some of the beta testers would have a plasma. Guess Tivo didn't choose a good pool to represent all apsects of user equipment. I do recall that none of the beta reviews I had read online were by plasma owners.

    I wonder how Tivo is going to fix the problem? They *have* to fix this problem... it's too annoying!

    Any kind of fix they do is going to cost them as you're going to either have to exchange the remote or the S3 or both.

    The CSRs mentioned a possible firmware fix to change the IR codes used. This is fine and dandy, but how will these new IR codes get to the remotes?

    The cheapest fix I can think of is going to involve a remote exchange at the least...
     
  17. Sep 25, 2006 #37 of 224
    Innerloop

    Innerloop New Member

    120
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    Sep 10, 2000
    Marin...
    Weird - I fully expected to have this same problem as I am using a Samsung 42" Plasma and the S3 is mounted directly below and several inches in front of the Plasma screen. Its no more than 1.5 feet below.

    Yet it works great - no issues noticed. Is it only certain BRAND Plasmas that have this interference problem?

    Does using a Universal remote instead like the Harmony help at all?

    Very strange. I am glad not to have the problem, but confused as to why I don't.
     
  18. Sep 25, 2006 #38 of 224
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 New Member

    391
    0
    Sep 6, 2006
    Redondo...
    Guess you're lucky. No it's not the only brand... just a popular one.

    I have a Marantz PD5040D and I'm experiencing this problem.
     
  19. Sep 25, 2006 #39 of 224
    lightrunner

    lightrunner New Member

    35
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    Sep 24, 2006
    I have come up with a better alternative to the 'onion paper' hood. It just wasn't aesthetically pleasing. I figured the IR sensor had to be right behind the face plate as with most A/V components. So I decided to take my S3 apart and see if I could shield it some how without completely blocking it. Taking apart the S3 was very easy and the inside was very easy to work in. Removing the face plate was just as easy. Two screws at each upper corner, unplug the white ribbon cable from the main board than push back the three clips at the top holding the face plate to the main chassis and the face plate is off. There are 8 screws holding a green circuitry board on the back of the face plate. Once removed you will see the IR sensor on the other side of the circuitry board. It looks like a small black bulb that sits on a stand. You will also see a small square hole on the back of the face plate where the IR sensor extends into. I had to improvise since I could not use a piece of paper to sit flush across the hole which would block the IR sensor from extending through it. So I used GLAD Press and Seal by taking six 1.5 inch x 2 inch strips and covering the hole and creating a little dimple for the IR sensor. I put everything back to together and turned the S3 back on and viola it works perfectly and you CAN'T EVEN SEE IT. You might have to use more strips depending on how bright your plasma is or how much interference it produces. You could also use strips of those plastic grocery bags as long as there not clear but I didn't want to deal with tape. Here are the quick steps.

    1. Unscrew the torque screws from the back of the Tivo S3 then remove the black cover of the S3
    2. Unplug the white ribbon cable connecting the Face Plate to the main board. REMOVE FROM THE MAIN BOARD it just pulls right out of the connector. Just make sure you are pulling on it gently.
    3. Unscrew the two torque silver screws at the top of each right and left corners that fastens the face plate to the main chassis.
    4. Gently lift up on the three black clips on top of the S3 holding the face plate to the main chassis. You will need to feel around for it but there's one in the center and two towards the left of the S3 if you are facing it. Just run your fingers along the top lip of the opening and you will feel it.
    5. Gently pull apart the Face Plate while threading the white ribbon cable back through the slit on the chassis. Then unscrew the eight silver screws holding the circuitry board to the back of the Face Plate. Then GENTLY lift up on the green circuitry board. There are loose items underneath. They are easy to put back but just incase you don't want the hassle of searching and retrieving them off the floor.
    6. Find the small square hole on the left close to where the input buttons are. Take 6 to 8 (depending on your plasma) 1.5 inches x 2.0 inches of GLAD Press and Seal fix them across the hole making sure to create a small dimple in the hole for the IR Sensor. I just pushed my pinky finger where the small hole was to create the dimple.
    7. Gently place the green circuitry board back and screw it down to the back of the Face Plate.
    8. Thread the white ribbon cable back through the small slit in the front of the main chassis and reattach the Face Plate to the main chassis. Clip the bottom of the Face Plate to the chassis first and the rest will snap right in with a firm push.
    9. Screw the two torque screws back on for the Face plate then Insert the blue end of the white ribbon cable back in the black connector on the main board.
    10. Screw the black hood back on.

    Now your ready to connect your S3 back to your plasma or lcd and test the remote.

    You know tivo could have a quick fix buy retrofitting a plastic hood that fits into the IR sensor hole. They could send it out to the less unfortunates like us to self install.

    Here are some pictures of what I did. Just copy and paste the link in your URL address bar and hit enter.

    http://public.fotki.com/lightrunner/tivo_remote_fix/

    updated: sorry i had to post 5 times before i could add a url link.
     
  20. Sep 25, 2006 #40 of 224
    ronfl

    ronfl New Member

    17
    0
    Oct 26, 2002
    I also have a Samsung (63") and URC 200/Osirus which has great IR strength but still won't overcome the IR issues with the S3.

    My thought is that it's more hardware issue than software/firmware updates to fix. The reason I think that is the IR codes/signals are the same commands that operate my S2 and S3. I also must echo that I find it very short sided to set up beta testers without plasma screens, especially with the number of HD users having plasma.
     

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