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My TiVo Remote Stopped Working Well . . .

We get this a lot by email and by phone: My TiVo is responding to my remote very slowly. I think my remote or my IR board is bad. I’ve changed the batteries and rebooted the unit.

We’ve got a strange answer for this, but it’s the right one almost every time: IR interference.

For some reason, TiVos are unusually susceptible to other IR waves. So other remotes, IR blasters, and other products can cause this behavior. Half the time, there’s a remote jammed under a couch cushion with a button stuck down.

So we tell people to just take all of the other remotes out of the room, and see what happens. That almost always does the trick.

The key way to know if this applies to you? “My TV still works fine with my TiVo remote . . .”

159 replies on “My TiVo Remote Stopped Working Well . . .”

My remotes stopped working when I used a three way compact flourescent light bulb in my lamp. After a few weeks something in the bulb started making a wired buzzing noise and this must have caused major IR interference. I went back to using a regular bulb and the problem went away.

Wow – that’s a new one, but we’ll add it to the list. I have CFs in my room with my TiVos and they work fine, but they aren’t three-ways.

Pretty interesting.

Thanks for pointing to the IR possibility. The culprit in my case was a Roomba recharging station. Apparently when the Roomba isn’t docked, the dock sends out a homing beacon that can affect a Tivo. Annoying night, but this thread brought about a quick resolution. Thank you, Internets!

My remote works except for the volume control, the tv input, and now the on/off-tried above suggestions and they did not work-any other ideas?

That probably just means you need to reset it to work with your TV.

Go into:

Messages and Setup -> Settings

and you should see an option to customize your remote in there.

We have several TiVo remotes and we now have to press the buttons very, very hard in order to make the red light come on and thereby get a response from the unit. Sometimes we have to push several buttons really hard many times before it works. How is this fixed? Is there something we are supposed to do to fix the remote?

Well, if it were one remote, then I would say it’s just a bad remote. But I can’t understand how you’re having this problem on several remotes.

Pressing harder really doesn’t have any effect on the remote. How do these work with your TV for volume and power?

The remotes all work TV volume, channel changing, on/off, etc. It’s just that we have to push down really hard on any button to light up the remote’s red light and know the connection to the TV is made. These remotes are several years old. One is the original TiVo remote and the other two are DirectTV/TiVo remotes (peanut shapes).

Thanks so much! A bag was sitting on top of the stereo remote. Don’t know that we would’ve ever figured out the problem. You saved us possibly hours of frustration.

Our remote just stopped responding to: power, mute, volume and input. Everything else on remote works. Tried re-coding the remote, didn’t work. The light on the Tivo (yellow) DOES light up if we try power or volume, etc, but nothing happens. Tried changing batteries, nothing happens. Remote is original – years old, probably like 6 years. Tried restarting Tivo, no change. Is it time for a new remote??


Sounds like only your TV isn’t working with the remote. Does your TV work with it’s original remote? Any chance it’s a new TV?

Thank you for this post! This resolved an issue with getting my Directv tivo to reboot properly.

THANK YOU!! For days my tivo has been acting crazy! I called the support line and the guy had no idea what was wrong. He told me my tivo was broken and tried to sell me a new one. Doing this worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

I bought a new HD TiVo (Model TCD652160) and had Comcast insert a single multi-stream card in it so I don’t have to use a digital cable box. The HD TiVo was unable to receive network non-HD channels. Instead of ABC, we received Encore. CBS was Starz. We could receive ESPN 2HD but not ESPN 1HD. Comcast tried several cards but couldn’t fix the problem.

Why was the card so out of sync with the channel line up even though we had checked off all the appropriate channels? Any ideas? Anyone else have these problems?

I just had this same problem. Unplugged everything in the room, took out all the batteries. It still wasn’t working. I reset my tivo, reset the remote and continued to do a global reset. None of these worked I then checked tivo’s website, it said it could be a tv backlight issue. I had just just the energy savings setting on my LG HDTV, I switched them back to what they had been prior to the remote malfunction and it worked! TiVo i working great again. Thought I would share so someone else won’t share my frustration quite as long.

Just installed a new HD Series 3 over the holiday. Set it up in one room (wireless internet WiFi attached) and then moved it to another and then the insanity started. TiVo responded for a while, then shut off the TV (Sony Bravia 26″) only to have the TiVo go unresponsive. Other hard drive issues with this as well with spontaneous glitches in the video and with calls into support got a new exchange. Went through the same process again and had to update this one with new firmware because, unlike the first one, this one didn’t recognize the cable cards. Moved it from one room to the other and jammed again and then works again and then jammed again. The only IR emitting source is the TV and I need to see if one of the settings for light output is affecting the TiVo. No remotes are stuck on, and nothing else is emitting IR except for a lamp and the ambient sunlight. This is really stupid for a simple IR receiver to be so sensitive to jam the controller. Flashlight resetting worked shortly on the first one, but not on this one. Is there a way to attached an IR extended receiver to the TiVo? Like an IR blaster? Same kinda thing that the old Series 2’s use to have to control the VCR?

After a Tivo reset and the removal of all batteries from other remotes, I was scanning the room with my digital camera and I looked up and noticed my nice new dimmable candelabra florescent bulbs hanging under my ceiling fan and wondered… Turning off the light instantly solved the problem. I did not know that they produced IR. So check your remotes and your florescent bulbs

Help- Our Tivo remote works except for the “tivo” button. It turns the light on the Tivo box from green to yellow, but the menu doesn’t come up. I have seen similar posts prior…. but no solutions. HELP!!!! Thanks

Thanks to Tyler F for solving my problem. I was going bananas. I had a Tivo Series one that worked perfectly, but replaced with a new HD TiVo when I got my new home theater system. It was working perfectly until the LG screen arrived – then it got very slow to respond. I NEVER would have thought to monkey with the power saving settings, but turning it off worked like a charm.

On my way to this point, I discovered that Wii sensor bars constantly emit IR. Use a camera, camcorder or even your phone’s camera to spot potential sources of IR interference.

Thanks very much.

I was going mental trying to figure this one out. Of course, rogue remote with a magazine on top of it.

Good work

I had been experiencing the same problem as “John Tomlinson”, above. When I pressed a button on the TiVo remote, the command repeated many times. It made browsing the “Now Playing” list an exercise in frustration because you had to press “Select” at just the right moment as the cursor scrolled through the list of shows.

After reading this, I thought, nah… there’s no way I have a rogue remote sending out a signal. Well, I was wrong. The digital camera suggestion from “cafe” is absolutely brilliant. I had no idea you could see IR signals like that! 🙂

We have a caddy that holds all of our remotes, it turns out one remote was leaning against another and was pressing a button. I could see it happening perfectly in the camera’s viewfinder. I freed that remote and viola- the “repeated command” problem went away. To prove it, I then held down a random button on the offending remote. While that button was being held down, I pressed channel up on the TiVo remote while in “Now Playing”. Sure enough, the list started scrolling up endlessly. As soon as I released the button on the offending remote, it stopped.

Thanks guys- this is an expensive, upgraded HD TiVo (from WeaKnees) with lifetime service- the thought of having to replace it made me sick to my stomach. To John Tomlinson: even if you think a rogue remote is not the problem (as I did), try removing all remotes from the room anyway. It takes just a minute and may pay off. And thanks for that great tip cafe!!

Ok – Could someone PLEASE explain exactly what to do with the digital camera to see if there’s interference in the room??? My TIVO remote is also working sporadically. Not sure what to do w/ the camera… Am i actually taking pictures of the entire room???

Rhonda – you aren’t taking a picture of anything. Turn your digital camera on then pick up a remote. In one hand point the camera at the remote and in the other hand point the remote at the camera lens and press a button on the remote. If it is emitting an IR signal, your camera’s view screen will pick it up. IR is invisible to the human eye but glows a purplish color through a camera lens. If you have a “rogue remote” in the room you can also use your digital camera to scan the room for the culprit.

Can my old Tivo standalone which controls a cable box via IR cable and is in the same room be causing this interference? i pulled batteries on all my remotes and shut down the wii and i definitely noticed an improvement but it is still much slower than normal… also, can a wifi router or switch cause this at all?

I need some help. I have a DirecTv Phillips DSR708. Just in the last few days the Tivo receiver stopped accepting changes from the channel/page select button. all other functions work properly. It is not the remote, because an identical remote does not work either and it works on another unit. It is in the unit itself. Any ideas on what the problem is and how it can be fixed?

I haven’t seen my exact problem listed. The remote works fine with the exception of the guide button. It works MOST of the time. The TiVo is only a couple of months old and we just bought the TV a week ago. No rogue button squashed remotes. We have 2 TiVo remotes in the room. There is a wireless router/modem in the next room in close proximity to the TiVo. Neither remote can access the channel guide. Is there a setting that makes the guide unable to be accessed? My husband seems to think I somehow screwed up a setting.

PLEASE help.

None of the Memorex codes work for volume, power and volume. Everything works fine until I changed to the Memorex TV.

You’re a star! Thank you. Discovered too remotes down back of sofa. Tivo now working!

This is fabulous! I just started having problems today – no little yellow light in response to the remote. Spent some time with the TiVo support people, who said my remote was dead, so I ordered a new remote. I was reading through this post, and thought I would try the digital camera trick, and sure enough, my light was giving off an IR signal from three of the bulbs – not a new light fixture, or even new bulbs – but only newly causing the problem. Switched off the light, and remote works perfectly!

My TiVo guide was acting crazy. Once I was able to get to the guide, it would continue to scan channels. I did not think it could be another remote, but it was. Under the lap top and causing the problem. Thank you for letting me quickly solve the problem.

My TiVo remote is working well except for the TiVo button. When I press it the yellow light on the TiVo box lights up, but nothing else happens. Any Ideas? I have changed the batteries and removed the other remote from the room still nothing. I have had the remote for about 3 years.

My red Tivo remote light stays on while the television volume continues to increase.

I have to take the batteries out of the Tivo remote in order to use my tv remote to reduce the volume. “If’ the red Tivo light turns off, the volume quits increasing but the other buttons don’t work.

Any ideas/suggestions would be appreciated.


I have just got an lg ld560 lcd tv and it is giving out ir interference to my tivo box, as the remote won’t work when the tv is on, but works fine when the tv is off. How can i fix this? will i have to get a new tv?!! will i have to get rid of tivo?

Would having 2 TIVO remotes in the same room cause this? (One for him and one for me…..saves on arguments. LOL)
One works great, the other is sluggish and erratic.

If the TIVO remote stopped working the TIVO but still works the TV, that would mean that something has gone wrong with the TIVO itself that controls the remote.
With that, is that the resitors burned? How does this happen? If it is, can it be easily replaced like the changing out power supply? And if it is too expensive, can you change out the lifetime subscription with a new one and still have a lifetime subscription?

Hahahaa! Wow, that was it!

The VCR was getting mashed by the ThighMaster under the coffee table. As soon as I unmashed it, the TiVO remote started working! Hurray!!

This afternoon my Tivo remote began working very poorly–about 1 of every 10 button presses got through. Changed remotes, changed batteries, and cycled the power on the Tivo to no avail. I wasn’t looking forward to a weekend of football and the Ryder Cup without my little Tivo, and the expletives began to fly! Found this post via Bing and removed all my remotes from the room. Still no luck. Then I realized my Roomba had stopped earlier due to an error and was away from its base. As soon as I returned it to its base, my Tivo remove resumed working normally.

I apologized to my Tivo, and now the Roomba is in trouble.

Bad Roomba, bad!

Ok, I am not sure my problem is this exact one, ie, interference. I have a Directivo which is, admittedly, several years old. The remote does work, but with increasing frequency of trouble. It will function properly for a while then it will not take another command without waiting a good twenty seconds in between.

We are not hooked up to a phone line, so the messages protesting this piled up to the point where I couldn’t get into the messages section without crashing. So I concluded that maybe it was a hd issue, so I did the delete everything option. Nope, still the problem.

I was not able to find any rogue remotes, and I do have a Wii wireless sensor bar, but it only shows the IR on during use, not when it’s off, so I don’t think that’s the problem. What else could it be? Is it time to bite the bullet and replace the remote, or is it something with the Tivo?

My tivo remote stopped working yesterday, I changed the batteries and rebooted the tivo(#1) and nothing. The light on the remote is still lighting up. So I took the remote downstairs to my other tivo(#2) and same problem. When I bring the remote from downstairs upstairs, my tivo(#1) works fine. So I am assume it is the tivo remote(#1) that is broken…..any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

intermittently the red light will not always turn on on our remote and seems to be worse when we first start to use it. We have to press hard or vey accurately in the centre of the buttons. TiVo button is the trickiest. Have changed the batteries – is there any other possibility? Thanks.

I have a problem similar to Elna.

For the last couple of days my Tivo remote has been working very slowly. I have to hold a button down for at least 3 seconds before the red light on the remote comes on and sends a signal. The same thing happens whether I am controlling the Tivo or my Television (volume/power). It’s very frustratin and makes fast forwarding and rewinding near impossible.

I read about IR interference and have taken the batteries out of all of the other remotes in the room. I have gathered though that because I have the same problem with Tivo and TV control that this probably isn’t the issue.

I’ve also changed the batteries 3 times, with no effect.

I’d love some advice – do I need to buy a new remote?



Jen I don’t know where you live but our remote has started working again and I think that it might have been the humidity we have experienced over the past week – 98% on one day. As the weather has settled down the remote seems to be behaving again.

Don’t know whether people living in places that are always humid have difficulty but for the minute that seems to be it. Will have to check my theory if we get another bout of humid weather!



I had been pulling my hair out dealing with rebooting issues until I swapped out the hard drive with a Weaknees replacement (thank you very much). The only only issue is that my Swap/Live TV button, which used to let me switch from one CableCard to another, now brings up the Tivo Guide. I noticed that along with the hard disk I purchased came a tip on how to enable a 30-second skip — what I would like to know is whether or not there is a remote key sequence that will reactivate the swap feature I used to enjoy.



Don’t only look for tv/vcr/dvd remotes. I found it to be the remote for my kids remote control helicopter (which happened to be right in front of me the whole time). I turned the remote off and all was fixed.

I was having a problem with my Series 3 where it seemed the last command on the remote would lock on the TIVO, so much where it kept scrolling thru the now playing list without stopping. I reset it 3 times and I was going crazy. I read weaknees and saw the post, I laughed and figured that can’t be it. Sure enough, I was missing my DVR remote and it was under a book. Problem sovled!…Thanks Weaknees. I now am now a believer..I will never doubt you again….. All hail Weakness:-)

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