Remote Control Problems with HD XL

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by TishTash, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. TishTash

    TishTash Active Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Merrick, NY


    Just wondering if anyone else has this problem: It seems that my HD XL has remote control burps. Pushing buttons on the remote may or may not register with the unit. For example, repeatedly pressing the right cursor key ends up with about every fourth or fifth keypress being ignored. (If you happen to be pushing down on the ignored keypress, the usually repeatable command is not executed as well.)

    Now, the light on the remote lights up fine; the confirmation light on the unit lights up as well on the registered keypresses, but on those ignored keypresses, the confirmation light does not light up, implying the unit seems to choke on some properly sent remote signals. Pressing the remote keys slowly and deliberately would alleviate the situation, you would think, and it kind of does, but not by much: Maybe every tenth key will be ignored instead of every fifth, so I'm not too sure if it's merely the unit's inability to catch fast keypresses.

    I know it's not the glo-remote that came with the unit because it works flawlessly with another HD (non-XL) unit, and that unit's basic black remote also seems to be hit or miss with the XL, so it's definitely the unit.

    It's not the end of the world: You just have to keep pressing the desired key until the unit displays by either visual or auditory feedback that it has registered the keypress. It's annoying, mostly, having to keep an eye and ear out for missed keypresses, and training yourself to repress those keys; it certainly reduces the snappiness of any quick remote navigation most of us are used to, resulting in a sluggish look-and-feel.

    P.S. Just a moment ago, the unit seems to be picking up every keypress quite snappily. Then it reverted back to its ornery self as described above. Maybe restarting the TiVo would regain its responsiveness....
  2. DivotionXL

    DivotionXL New Member

    Dec 27, 2008
    I just purchased an XL a few days ago. I'm experiencing the same problem. I also picked up an HD at the same time. The HD never seems to miss a remote command. The remote is not the issue; I've tried the HD remote and my Series 2 remote, and they both exhibit the same issue. The unit just seems to ignore inputs about 10 to 20% of the time. I have the latest updates. I've power cycled the unit. I've followed all the tips recommended to correct remote misbehaviors.

    I called TiVo customer support. They haven't heard of the problem, so I don't expect a software patch in the near future, if that's the problem. I'm guessing it's a hardware issue. Did you resolve your issue? I hate to exchange the unit for another one if this is just an XL anomaly. I hope it's not.

    Thank you.
  3. TishTash

    TishTash Active Member

    Jan 23, 2008
    Merrick, NY
    It seems like it depends on the time of day. Most of the time, the unit responds to the remote okay. Other times, it seems to ignore every third or fourth keypress. I think the XL has a lot of overhead that seems to render it insensitive to remote signals when it's busy doing something (exactly what we may never be able to accurately tell, but probably indexing and such).

    But you're right, the HD itself tends to be more snappy without these periods of remote sluggishness. Oh well, c'est la vie. (I would keep complaining to TiVo, so they hear enough of these complaints to perhaps offer a software patch.)
  4. CatBurger00

    CatBurger00 Intrigued by above

    Sep 19, 2003
    I am having this problem with my new HD TiVo (not XL). It wasn't too bad at first, but there has been a few times now when I have had to sit there and press the remote button 10 times before it will register with the TiVo.

    I have a S2 right below it, and it receives every remote keypress perfectly.
  5. LordNelson

    LordNelson New Member

    Mar 10, 2009


    I had the exact same problem. I discovered that my Sony Bravia LCD ambient room light sensor was causing the problem. Apparently it emits enough stray IR to confuse the TiVO remote. I believe this is a known issue with other LCD and plasma TVs also. Fortunately the Bravia has a way to turn off this feature. Problem solved!

  6. bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    The TiVo will always be less responsive for ~48 hours after guided setup, while guide data is reindexed in the background. The TiVo will also be less responsive for ~48 hours after some software updates are installed (such as the update from 8.1.7 to 11.0b), when guide data must be reindexed.

    Batteries in the TivoHD XL's premium "GLO" remote only last 2-4 months if you leave the backlighting enabled. When the batteries run low, the IR signals output by the remote get weak, the the TiVo becomes less responsive to remote commands as a result. To turn off the remote's backlight, thereby increasing battery life to 8-12 months, press and hold the TIVO and the THUMBS DOWN buttons until the red light blinks three times. To turn it back on, do the same, except with the THUMBS UP button.

    Assuming neither of the above applies to your case, then IR interference from your LCD, plasma, or fluorescent lighting is the likely cause. If you turn off the lights and no longer see the problem, then that obviously tells you that your lighting is at fault. Fluorescent light fixtures are known to cause IR interference, some more than others.

    As alluded to by the previous poster, certain display models have an ambient light room sensor, which works by emitting IR; this causes a lot of trouble for some IR devices. Other televisions simply emit high levels of IR; some do it only for the first 2-15 minutes after they are powered on, while others do it whenever they are on.

    Ideally, one would confirm whether IR interference was the problem by testing the TiVo in another room with an older "tube" TV, with ambient lighting turned off. However, this isn't always an option.

    You can generally eliminate these IR interference issues by moving to RF control for the TiVo. You can add RF capability to the TiVo remote with the Next Generation Remote Control Extender. With this product, place the included IR receiver "eye" over the IR sensor on the front of the TiVo, and cover it with a small piece of black electrical tape to prevent other IR sources from hitting the STB/DVR's sensor. The TiVo's IR sensor is located to the right of the record lights and just to the left of the "Fixed" text. If you have trouble locating the TiVo's IR sensor, shine a flash light on the front of the TiVo and look for the round circle just to the left of the "Fixed" text.

    Poor remote responsiveness can also be caused by a failing internal or external drive, or a defective (or loose) eSATA cable to an external drive, but this will generally be accompanied by regular pixelization / dropouts and/or reboots.
  7. tiassa

    tiassa Me --Avatar

    Jul 2, 2008
    If it is time of day dependent, could it be that your Tivo is getting hit with direct sunlight? That will majorly mess up the IR sensor.
  8. BigBearf

    BigBearf New Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    Have you tried changing the remote code to something other than "0". To do this go to the Messages & Settings>System Information and scroll down to "Remote Address" screeen. Press Tivo and Pause button together until you see a flashing red light at the top of the remote and change the remote address to a number between 1 and 9. Use the arrow keys to go back to System Information screen and then double check to make sure the remote address has registered.

    I think this will help remove some interference. Especially if you have more than one Tivo within IR range.

    Hope this helps,
  9. guy_jin

    guy_jin TiVotee

    Mar 10, 2009
    as others have said, there are other things that could be interfering with IR reception. In the room with the Tivo, do you have lamps that are behind you? Do you own a Wii? (it's sensor bar emits IR.)

    If you have a digital camera, try looking at the end of your remote while pushing buttons on it. most digital cameras can see a little into the IR spectrum, and you should see a flashing light. have someone watch you with the camera while you try to operate the tivo. when you start experiencing problems, take a closer look: if the remote still flashes but has no effect, have the other person look around the room with the camera for interference.

    also, hi, I'm new. :)
  10. awardly

    awardly New Member

    Jan 25, 2004
    I had the same issue with my new premiere TiVo. It was one of two I bought, the first one is fine and no problems , but the second had the problem with an unresponsive remote, i changed the UI to the standard UI from the pre-configured HD UI.

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