Please help me evict the gremlins from my TV
December 4, 2016 6:07 PM   Subscribe

My Viore TV has developed an interesting problem -- when it's in its usual spot in the living room, any button pressed on the remote will "stick" and keep repeating. If I move the TV to a different spot, the problem stops and the remote works perfectly. Even weirder, when I brought in a different TV, it had the same problem. Can you help me troubleshoot?

Here's what I've tried so far:

- Using a different remote: I tried using the IR blaster on my phone to control the TV. No effect on problem
- Changing batteries in remote: Problem still occurred with fresh batteries in both remotes
- Swapping power cables: no effect on problem for either TV
- Using a different power outlet: no effect on problem for either TV
- Resetting TVs by disconnecting power and letting them sit: No effect. The Vizio TV I brought in had been unplugged for weeks and immediately had the same problem.
- Turning off the lights: I just put a GE 3-way LED in the torchiere in the living room. Turning off the light and then removing the bulb from the room didn't have any effect on the problem for either TV
- Turning off other electronics: I have a cable box, DVD player, Raspberry Pi and several gaming consoles in the entertainment system. Disconnecting them from the TV, turning them all off and unplugging them had no effect on the problem for either TV
- Moving TVs: Moving both TVs to a different location, even just sitting them on the floor by the TV stand, solves the issue.

I'm out of things to try and my Googling hasn't turned up any other suggestions, especially since it happens with two different models of TV (Viore and Vizio.) Has anyone else seen this problem?
posted by dislegomena to Technology (8 answers total)
Does the repeating only continue as long as the remote button is pushed? If yes, then it could be due to the geometry of the set up, in which the IR signal is bouncing off of multiple surfaces and multiple signals are arriving at the sensor at about the same time.
posted by Napoleonic Terrier at 6:21 PM on December 4, 2016

You might want to try throwing a bed-sheet over objects in the room, walls or windows. Start as close as it will work, then move back until it stops working. This will help you locate the source (if it's some kind of reflection/bounce thing or another source of IR).
posted by fonetik at 6:39 PM on December 4, 2016

Response by poster: The repeating continues after the button is pushed -- if I push Volume Up once, the volume on the TV will continue to increase until it hits 100. Ditto for Volume Down, channel change, input select, etc.
posted by dislegomena at 9:15 PM on December 4, 2016

Does it still do it if you put the remote directly up to the IR window on the tv, and block out other light?
posted by primethyme at 9:31 PM on December 4, 2016

Is this during the day? Is sunlight or a reflection of it hitting the TV in one position and not another? Or is there a security camera with IR illumination nearby? I've seen that happen when some other strong IR source (like the sun) was flooding the receiver. The position-dependence supports that somewhat. Primethyme's idea of blocking out all other light could help diagnose that.
posted by whatnotever at 9:34 PM on December 4, 2016

Best answer: I've has a situation where a faulty remote (for an AC) would cause other remotes (for Roku and TV) to operate in unpredictable ways, or not work at all. If you have several remotes you might try putting them in a different room to at least eliminate that possibility.
posted by metagnathous at 9:48 PM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding whatnotever's advice. I've heard of sunlight causing televisions to turn on and off by themselves if the angle is just right.
posted by tacodave at 2:42 PM on December 5, 2016

Response by poster: I tested all your suggestions and it looks like metagnathous found the problem -- as soon as I removed the basket of remotes from the room, the problem went away. I guess one of them must have been dying at just the right angle and position to interfere with the TV's sensors. So weird! Looks like I'm in for an evening of changing out remote batteries.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by dislegomena at 6:47 PM on December 5, 2016

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