How to Fix TV Not Responding to Remote

There was a time when to carry out every operation on television; you had to turn knobs on the TV manually. As TVs get smarter, there’s a lot you CAN’T do without a remote! So, it can be quite frustrating when you’re pressing buttons on your remote, and it isn’t responding.

Is Your TV Not Responding To The Remote? Causes and Fixes

Let’s look at some common issues that might cause your TV not to respond  to the remote, along with some solutions:

  1. Battery Issues

Every remote control has a kind of battery powering it; checking that everything is okay regarding the battery is a great place to start. A number of common battery issues are:

  • Dead batteries
  • Wrongly-placed or missing batteries
  • Wrong type of battery

Battery issues are the most common and thankfully, the easiest remote issues to fix. To check if your battery is dead, you can check for leaks or simply try the batteries in another device. If they’re dead, you can simply replace them with a new one.

Also, every battery has a particular direction each one should face for the remote to function properly. You might have put in the wrong type of battery; for example, putting AAA batteries in a remote that requires AA ones. 

To know what size of the battery to use and how to place them, most remote producers engrave that information in the battery compartment.

  1. Remote Transmitter Issues

 Most remotes communicate with the TV via infrared (IR) technology. Usually, a remote sends information to the TV by sending IR rays through the LED light at the top of the remote. When this transmitter is bad, the remote is no longer able to send information to the TV.

The infrared light being emitted by the remote is invisible to the naked eyes, but can be seen using a camera.

To check if the LED light is okay, simply place your remote in front of your phone camera; then press the remote while looking at your screen. If the LED light is good you should see it light up on the phone screen. Make sure your camera has IR filter turned off in settings before trying this or it won’t work.

If the transmitter is bad, you might need to get a new remote or take it to a repairer to have a new one fixed. If it got detached from the panel, it could probably be soldered back on.

  1. TV Receiver Issues

When your remote sends signals, your TV has a Receiver through which the instructions sent are received. In all TVs that use IR remotes, the receiver is usually placed in front. This receiver is a tiny camera that is able to pick the little traces of light sent by the remote controller.

In newer TVs, BlueTooth technology is used instead, and the remotes don’t use IR receivers; rather they use BlueTooth antennas located within the TV. The antenna, like all parts of a machine, can get bad too.

There is no non-technical way to check if your receiver is bad or to fix it for that matter. This means you can only assume this is the case after you’ve tried the other fixes. However, you’ll still need confirmation from a qualified technician.

Please do not try fixing this issue yourself as the receiver is usually placed within the panel of the TV, and such servicing is potentially dangerous if you’re not trained.

  1. Check for obstructions/distance

The signals TV remotes send cannot travel infinite distances. For this reason, if your TV remote doesn’t seem to be working, you should first try the simple fix of getting closer.

Also, IR signals cannot go around solid objects. As a result, if there’s an obstruction of your remote transmitter or the TV receiver, your remote won’t work. Bluetooth remotes don’t have the same issue but there’s a limit in distance also.

A quick fix would be to first, go closer to your TV and try the remote; then make sure there’s nothing hindering the flow or reception of the remote signals.

  1. Wrong model

If you just changed your remote, it could be that the new one you bought isn’t compatible with your TV.  For instance, if your TV is an LG product, it doesn’t mean every LG TV Remote in the market would work for your TV. 

With every press of a remote button, your remote sends signals, containing the specific instruction and a unique Device Address. Only a TV with a matching Device Address can receive the signals being sent.

Sample of TV Remote Address.

TV not responding
Every Remote has a unique Device Address 

You should go to an official store of the brand of TV you use– either online or physically– and get a new one.

  1. Bad remote

A TV remote doesn’t have many working parts, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get broken. For example, a button or the battery terminals could get broken or rusted.

Some simple remote issues can be fixed, but in this case, prevention is better than cure. Taking simple precautions like preventing your remote from falling, keeping fluids away from remotes, and keeping them away from children could save you from buying a new remote.

How Do I Know What Kind of Remote To Buy?

Simply check the model of TV you have and see what the corresponding remote model is on the manufacturer’s website. You can also contact their customer care online or in a physical store near you.

Alternatively, you could buy a universal remote and find out how to program it here.

What’s The Maximum Distance I Can Use My Remote?

If your TV uses an infrared remote, you can use it without issues around 30 feet (10 meters) range and requires line-of-sight. A Bluetooth remote control has a similar range but does not require line-of-sight and can even go through some walls.

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