Need Help with IR Blaster

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by woodmanca, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. woodmanca

    woodmanca New Member

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    Jul 17, 2007

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    I have the Pioneer Series 2 Tivo DVR and always had it connected to the cable box via the serial port to change the channels...our new cable box does not have a serial port and so I am forced to use the IR Blaster, which connects to the Pioneer/Tivo unit via a minijack. I am now not able to change the channels with the Tivo remote, even though the Tivo unit itself is changing channels (I see that on the Tivo display) AND I can change the channels on the cable box with the remote control (so I know that the IR sensor on the cable box is working...). The IR blaster that I am using came from the cable company (Comcast)...has anyone had this problem? Any ideas on how I can test if the IR output from the Tivo unit is working?
    Thanks for all help!
     
  2. mmcclure

    mmcclure New Member

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    Feb 3, 2002
    The digital camera test:

    You can also visually inspect the emitters to see if they are transmitting a signal when you press a button on the remote control. To do this, you'll need any digital camera and you'll need to position yourself so that you can press a button on the remote control while viewing the IR emitter up close. Getting help from a friend might be the easiest solution.

    When a remote control button is pressed, if you are viewing the IR emitters through the camera LED viewfinder, you will actually see a small flash of white light (as shown above). The flash is quick but easily detected through the camera LED display. If you see emitters flashing when you send commands, chances are good the problem is not in the hardware.

    Have fun.

    mike.
     
  3. mick66

    mick66 Dirty Burger

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    The 'verse
    The camera's LCD display may be a much better place to be looking for the flashes from an IR emitter. ;)
     
  4. woodmanca

    woodmanca New Member

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Well, I tried using my digital camera, watching the LCD screen, and aiming a couple of IR remotes, and could not see a flash...(so, the "positive control" for this experiment did not work)...am I doing something wrong..
    Thanks again-
     
  5. WayneCarter

    WayneCarter Active Member

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    Mar 16, 2003

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    I am not sure that all cameras are sensitive to IR - I assume by "a couple of IR remotes", you were using remotes that do work. If so, your cam would seem to be "IR-blind". Are you sure TiVo has been configured to use the proper IR codes? ... that the IR blasters are shining on the cable box's sensor?

    You might try configuring TiVo to operate the TV directly as a way of testing the blasters.
     
  6. woodmanca

    woodmanca New Member

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    Jul 17, 2007
    Some progress...I can see the IR lights from my handheld remotes on the digital camera's LCD (had to get a real close-up, but its working). The Tivo does NOT seem to be triggering the IR Blaster to light-up...So, I have the IR Blaster coming out of Tivo, and I change the channel with the Tivo remote (Tivo unit shows that it "changed" the channel), but the IR Blaster (which would sit in front of the cable box) is NOT giving a signal. I wonder if Tivo only works with certain IR Blasters....(this one came from the Cable Co, Comcast).
     
  7. WayneCarter

    WayneCarter Active Member

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    Mar 16, 2003
    I wouldn't assume that it would - have you tried TiVo's own blasters? Are you sure they are plugged into the "IR" jack and not the "Serial" jack?
     
  8. woodmanca

    woodmanca New Member

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    Jul 17, 2007
    The IR Blaster is plugged into the IR port, not the serial port. I'm afraid I've long since lost the Tivo IR Blaster (we had been using the serial connection, until Comcast changed the cable box to one that does not have a serial port). I can order a Tivo IR blaster, but I don't know where to find one in a retail store...or if other IR blasters which are available would work with Tivo. I guess I'll just try some.
    Thanks!
     
  9. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

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    Dec 13, 2001
    Burlington, VT
    Based on what you are saying, it still could just be the blaster you have.

    Anyways, I have ordered from, and used the blasters from Smarthome. I have ordered single ones and dual-headed ones with my IR system.

    The Smarthome branded singles are currently $4.99.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.smarthome.com/8170s.html


    The Smarthome branded doubles are currently $9.99

    [​IMG]

    http://www.smarthome.com/8171s.html


    I use these to distribute/send IR from my Pronto remote pointing towards the fron of the room to my equipment on shelves behind where we sit. I don't know 100% if these will work for you, but I think they should. Can someone else confirm this for me........
     
  10. alansplace

    alansplace ------ Alan ------

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    Apr 30, 2006
    Southern...
    have you rerun the guided setup?
    --
    Alan :D
     
  11. stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Nashua, NH
    The Smarthome blasters work fine with a TiVo.
     
  12. woodmanca

    woodmanca New Member

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    Jul 17, 2007
    After a little bit of trouble-shooting I think there is some incompatibility between my Comcast Cable Box and the Pioneer/Tivo S2 unit. When I use the Tivo IR Blaster, I DO detect the IR flash (seen with a digital camera) when I change channels on the Tivo remote, but this fails to activate the cable box to change channels on the TV. On the other hand, when I use the IR blaster that Comcast provides, plugged into the Tivo unit, I do NOT see an IR flash when I use the Tivo remote to change channels (though I do see the channel "change" on the Tivo unit itself)....I know that the IR detector on the cable box works because the cable remote can change the channel, but I must say that is MUCH brighter than the flash coming from the Tivo IR Blaster..
    I've ordered the Smarthome IR blaster mentioned in this thread, and hope that it will solve the problem...Comcast does not have a cable box with a serial port available, and if you go out and buy one on ebay, they refuse to activate it!
    Very frustrating...
     

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