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Tivo problem with long press of direction down button

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by sga000, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I have a very strange problem! It occurs on multiple Tivo's (4) and multiple TVs (2). (Primarily, I want this to work with a TiVo Bolt and an LG TV).

    I got a new LG TV and wanted to use old Logitech computer speakers for sound. I can also use the speakers of the new TV, but I wanted to experiment and see which I liked better.

    But the new TV only has optical digital audio out, and the old Logitech speakers need a 3.5 mm jack (headphone), nonexistent on this new TV. So I needed two new pieces of equipment. The first is a digital to analog converter (DAC). That works fine for converting the signal. But then I had no way to control the volume with a remote. That meant I had to get an MCM 50-8394, line level volume control with IR remote. It only has three buttons, volume up, volume down, and mute. I'm able to plug the headphone plug from the speakers into that (with various cables). This setup works well!

    However I have one issue when using my TiVo remote. Continuously holding down the down button (direction, not volume) turns the volume down! More details...

    There is a blue button on the MCM device that shows when it is receiving any of the three signals that its little remote can control (volume up, volume down, mute). But whenever I hold down the down button on the Tivo remote, that blue button lights up, indicating that it is seeing that signal. It actually does accomplish the repetitive down button action that I am trying to accomplish, e.g. it repeatedly goes down in Guide or My Shows. The problem is that it somehow is seen by this MCM device as volume down. And the volume is repeatedly adjusted down as long as I hold down the direction down button. (A quick/single press of the down button is not seen by the MCM. As far as I can tell, no other buttons or held down buttons cause any problem).

    I tried a DVD player connected to this TV. Continuously holding the down button down on that DVD remote does not have any effect on the MCM, i.e. the volume does not go down.

    I've also tried this with a Harmony remote. Same incorrect results.

    Does anyone have any insight into why the TiVo is sending a recognizable volume down signal to this MCM device?
     
  2. ThAbtO

    ThAbtO TiVoholic by the bay

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    Computer speakers may not give adequate sound.

    Suggest you invest in a sound bar. It would, at least, have optical input, controls and should have better sound, even 7.1.
     
  3. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    The TV speakers are good, so I am not interested in a sound bar. But this other solution with my computer speakers sounds terrific and is almost perfect...except for this one problem. I'm hoping someone can address my specific issue.
     
  4. yesno

    yesno Member

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    Jun 27, 2003
    Arizona
    Is the Tivo remote address set on 0? If so try changing it to 1-9.
     
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  5. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I have multiple tivo's, and they all have different addresses, ranging from 1 to 3. Different remotes are set with those individual addresses, i.e. each remote addresses only one tivo. All of them have this problem with holding down the direction down button.
     
  6. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    Staunton, VA
    Seems strange and you probably need one of the remote gurus around here to comment. I found this datasheet on the remote for the MCM remote control.

    upload_2018-9-15_12-15-13.png

    Is it possible the unit accidentally "learned" the TiVo down button as a volume down (although what would be the difference between a single down versus holding it down in terms of what the TiVo remote sends)? I thought that I had read here that some soundbars can do something along this line but that would seem unlikely for this device.

    Scott
     
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  7. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I doubt that the MCM learned anything. It's not very complicated. And as you said, why would it be different for single press rather than holding it down. I've done lots of searching, and there's very little about this device....mostly just praise for how it works well. It did for me...except...!

    I do hope a "remote guru" might weigh in here. I wonder if there's a diagnostic I can do to help figure out the code being sent and responded to. I saw info about emailing Tivo (or calling) on their site, so I'll try do that if no one answers here. I don't see any way to contact the makers of this MCM device. Anyway, I appreciate your response.
     
  8. HerronScott

    HerronScott Well-Known Member

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    I think @mdavej is who you need.

    Scott
     
  9. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

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    You know you can use the Ch+ and CH- buttons to scroll an entire page in the Guide, right?

    -KP
     
  10. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Yes, I know there are workarounds. But I like to find solutions to problems, and I would imagine there is someone here who might have an answer. If not, I'll be pursuing it elsewhere.
     
  11. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Scott, do you think the person you mentioned is still active here? I guess I could check his profile, and it might tell me some things about him. I haven't been on this site in a long time, so I'm not sure about private messages. I could try that if it exists here. It would be better if he responded here rather than me sending him a PM (I don't want to bother him). Thanks.
     
  12. snerd

    snerd Active Member

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    I'm not Scott, nor do I play him on TV, but mdavej posted in other threads earlier today and is generally around quite frequently.
     
  13. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    There's another thread around here somewhere about similar problems with new LG TVs. Are you running the remote in IR mode instead of RF mode? In RF mode it should only send out IR signals that your TV could misinterpret on the Power, Input and Volume Up/Down buttons.
     
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  14. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    Sorry, I'm a bit confused. First of all, this happens on both the new LG TV and a 10 year old Samsung TV.

    Secondly, I am not using RF mode. This problem first occurred when using a Harmony remote which only controls IR devices. Because I wanted to eliminate the variable of the Harmony, I tried using an actual TiVo remote. The same problem occurred on that as well. It was also in IR mode.

    Finally, you mentioned the TV misinterpreting certain buttons. But the button that is being misinterpreted is the DIRECTION down button when it is held down. Not volume down or any of the ones that you mentioned.
     
  15. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    I mentioned those specific buttons because they're the only ones that send out IR codes (intended for the TV) if the remote is in RF mode. Using RF mode takes a Roamio or Bolt and its factory remote, but it's worth a try since your original post said that you have a Bolt. Press and hold the TiVo and D buttons for 3 seconds until the remote flashes yellow instead of red. TiVO + C sets it back to IR mode.

    IR codes should never be misinterpreted (especially across brands), but I've seen several cases of recent TVs that will respond inappropriately to almost anything especially if there's interference from something else like CFL bulbs or another remote with a button stuck down in the room. The backlight or power savings modes on newer TVs can also generate IR interference.

    Try the factory Bolt remote in RF mode. It should solve the problem and works better anyway.
     
  16. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I need to be more clear. I have several Tivo's and other devices. So I really want to use a Harmony remote to control everything, i.e. I don't want to use the factory Bolt remote (or any of the other factory Tivo remotes or other device remotes).

    When this problem occurred using the Harmony remote, I switched to the factory Bolt remote to make sure it was not related to the Harmony. The Bolt remote was using IR mode. The same "long press down button problem" occurred.

    The problem does not occur if I switch to RF mode on the Bolt factory remote. But that remote does not allow me to set volume up/down or mute for this MCM device. The only way to do that is with the Harmony. So no matter whether I use the factory remote with IR or RF, it just isn't good for my purposes. And again, I want to use the Harmony for everything.

    There are no CFL bulbs on, no remotes with a button stuck down. The LG TV is new, but this also occurred with an old Samsung TV (and 3 older Tivo's). I don't know enough about possible IR interference, but it seems very strange that it would only affect the held-down down button on any Tivo remote.

    As I said in another post, I can get around this problem by using other buttons, like channel down or single presses of down. But I'm very curious and would like to know what's actually going wrong. So I was hoping there was some kind of diagnostic, capture tool, something that would show me what was being sent when the down button is held down. And then what did the Tivo do when it saw that. The down repeat function does actually occur on the TV screen. But in addition, somehow an IR signal for volume down is sent to the MCM device.

    Taking the Tivo out of the picture, I tried a DVD player. Holding down the down button on its remote does not cause the volume down problem. But I would guess the codes generated are different, so this may not be interesting information.

    Maybe the MCM device is somehow flawed. But I don't know enough to know where the "bad signal" originally starts and how it gets to the MCM. The company is now owned by Newark, and I saw some questions on the site. They don't answer. I don't see others complaining anywhere (Amazon has plenty of good reviews, but only one mentions Tivo. They used this MCM to work with their Bose speakers). I also have a DAC in between the TV's optical digital out cable and this MCM. So there are many pieces in play here! Anyway, I thought this was a good place to ask, but maybe I'll have to give up. Thanks for your response though.
     
  17. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Many cheap devices like this play pretty fast and lose when interpreting signals. If I were to analyze both waveforms (I don't have the time or tools to do it at the moment), I bet I'd see some similarity between the NEC1 and Tivo protocols where the repeat happens.

    You have a few options as I see it, in no particular order:
    - Replace the MCM with a different device.
    - Switch your Tivo remote(s) to RF.
    - Don't hold the down arrow. Try multiple presses instead.
    - Attenuate the signal at the MCM so it requires direct aim to change. Painters (masking) tape usually does the trick. May require more than one layer. Move the MCM off to the side so it's at quite a big angle compared to the Tivo.

    Changing the address is a good idea. But that only changes a couple of bits. I'm thinking the MCM will still respond since it apparently has really terrible IR signal processing.
     
  18. ggieseke

    ggieseke Well-Known Member

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    It stinks, but if there are no other sources of IR interference the only possible explanation is that the TV(s) are at fault. Your choices are to use multiple TiVo remotes in RF mode instead of the Harmony, single button presses, or complain to the TV manufacturer until they fix it. The NEC2 IR protocol that TiVo and a lot of other manufacturers use has been around forever, and it's very reliable if properly implemented.
     
  19. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I don't know if you saw my post right before yours.
    - I don't see another fairly cheap ($36) device like this MCM that has inline level volume control with IR remote. There may be amps that are more expensive, but I'm not interested in those.
    - I explained in that post about using RF, Harmony, etc.
    - I mentioned that I can use other buttons. But this is an "exercise" for me to get to the root of the problem, not to get around it. It looks like I may eventually do this, but for now, it's not what I'm looking for.
    - I'm trying to use a single Harmony remote to do everything. So if I cover the MCM, it not only won't recognize the held-down down button, but also the volume up/down and mute.
    - I have used addresses 1-3 for the Tivo, and all have the same incorrect behavior. Maybe I am misunderstanding what address you mean.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2018
  20. sga000

    sga000 New Member

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    Mar 11, 2008
    I don't know anything about the NEC2 IR protocol. But your remark about its reliability and long existence makes me think this is not due to the Tivo. As far as your suggestions, I don't want to use multiple remotes. I certainly can use various buttons instead (that's what I've been doing and it's what I intended to do if I couldn't get an answer to exactly where the problem lies). And I don't want to pursue the manufacturer route. Thanks.
     

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