Comcast says TV interfering w/cable box [Backlight interferes w/ remote] - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 05:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok here's the deal. I just switched from my regular digital Comcast box to a new HD box. As soon as I got home from the local Comcast satellite "store" I hooked it up. And immediately started having problems. The box doesn't receive a signal from the remote very well. So I brought the box back the next day and switched it out for another box, and a new remote. Same thing.
So I call Comcast to find out what the heck is going on... no one can figure it out. So they set up an appt for a technician to come to my place and try to see if he can fix it.
The tech showed up yesterday. I explained to him what was going on, and then showed him what I meant. I press a button on the remote and I might get one response per every 50 presses of a button. Very frustrating. So the tech tries another new remote, the 3rd one since I switched to HD last week. Same thing.
Here's where it gets even more frustrating. The tech calls his supervisor for guidance, and his supervisor tells him to find something that would be interfering with the infrared signal. So the tech goes "your XBOX is interfering with the infrared signal." And I go "um... no, the XBOX isn't even on." So he disconnects the XBOX and tries it again, same thing. No response from the remote to the box. So he calls his supervisor back. After he hangs up the phone with his supervisor he turns to me and says "I'm sorry, there's nothing we can do to help you, your TV is interfering with the infrared signal, call Panasonic." And then he gets up and leaves.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life.
By the way, I have a 50" Panasonic PZ77u plasma. The original black digital box worked just fine.
My TV isn't interfering with anything... Comcast is just full of crap.

So my question for you experts is this: what do I do next?
Call Panasonic and see if they will come out and check it out?
Call Comcast back a 3rd time and complain, with probably no results?

I can't believe they pulled this crap on me. Way to shirk your responsibilities and blame the problem on something else just so they don't have to deal with the problem anymore.
I'm so upset and would love to just drop Comcast all together, but I can't have satellite in my apartment, so I'm stuck with cable.

Sorry if this wasn't typed out very well, I'm really tired and upset.
Is anyone else having this problem with Comcast HD?
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post #2 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:25 AM
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Unplug the TV and try the remote/cable box. Or try the cable box on another TV in a different room.

Or... put the IR emitter of the remote directly in front of the IR window (receiver) of the cable box.

If all of that produces the same results, it's beyond me. Unless, you used the same dead batteries in every remote that you tried.
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post #3 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:28 AM
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Some plasmas DO interfere with IR remote receivers - as some plasmas didn't have decent IR filtering on their screens, and generate significant amounts of IR noise. It was a known issue in the UK with some models of set top boxes.

Are you able to try a different TV - with the Plasma unplugged from the mains?
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post #4 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Tried all that. Even the technician sat there right in front of the tv/box and put the remote right up to the box... did that with both boxes, same thing.

Don't have a 2nd TV, so can't try that. Brand new remotes both times.
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post #5 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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My TV didn't interfere with the digital Motorola Comcast box. Why the HD Motorola Comcast box?
Makes no sense.
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post #6 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

My TV didn't interfere with the digital Motorola Comcast box. Why the HD Motorola Comcast box?
Makes no sense.

Plasma and LCD displays can interfere: they throw out so much IR noise that the box does not always respond to a remote control signal: the IR noise fills the room bouncing off walls. LCD displays in particular throw off a lot of noise from the CCFL backlight, especially within a few minutes of turn on

there is a simple test: turn off the display and see if the problem goes away

and a simple fix: put a small piece of generic masking tape over the IR eye of the stb: this acts as a filter: use additional layers if necessary. Some folks have success with a post it note instead of tape: try it. Also try to orient the stb so it is not directly in the line of sight of the display

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post #7 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I just can't ever have HD then? Sweet. Back to digital then I guess.
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post #8 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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What does stb stand for?
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post #9 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

What does stb stand for?

set top box: the Comcast box

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post #10 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
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If I cover the infrared eye on the cable box then it's really not going to receive the signal.
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post #11 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

If I cover the infrared eye on the cable box then it's really not going to receive the signal.

you asked for help: this trick with the masking tape works more often than not: it still allows the signal to be received but acts as a filter

the tape is translucent

would it not be worth a try?

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post #12 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I'll try it, for sure.
If it doesn't help, what should I do next? If anything.
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post #13 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

Yeah I'll try it, for sure.
If it doesn't help, what should I do next? If anything.

there are a lot of experienced members here on AVS to help you: hang in there and let us know how you make out

make sure the masking tape is the inexpensive painter tape/ beige color: or a piece of post-it note paper [translucent]

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post #14 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Will do. Thanks for your help.
I'll report back in a couple hours, when I get the chance to try this.

And you mean regular clear tape, right? Clear/cloudy, not colored.
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post #15 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 06:59 AM
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post #16 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

Will do. Thanks for your help.
I'll report back in a couple hours, when I get the chance to try this.

And you mean regular clear tape, right? Clear/cloudy, not colored.

yep: cheap original painters masking tape

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post #17 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 07:04 AM
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great links

in my HT, which has several LCD and plasma displays: the IR noise problem was unsolvable...especially at night:

my only solution was to go to an RF remote control system

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post #18 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 08:44 AM
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here is an even better idea:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1#post15016651

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post #19 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok, it worked. First I tried masking tape, then I tried heavy duty gift wrapping Scotch tape, and that also worked.

I don't know how or why, but it works. Thanks for the help!
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post #20 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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You da man Marky Mark.
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post #21 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 09:53 AM
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great news

this trick is not mine: I learned it here on AVS several years ago from other members when I had a similar problem...I was also skeptical

This is what AVS is all about: glad it worked

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post #22 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 09:54 AM
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Glad to hear you have an inexpensive solution/workaround!
Good thread, good info/help and most of all... good results. Thanks to all!
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post #23 of 73 Old 11-06-2008, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick26 View Post

Ok, it worked. First I tried masking tape, then I tried heavy duty gift wrapping Scotch tape, and that also worked.

I don't know how or why, but it works. Thanks for the help!

It acts as an infrared filter. The noise from the plasma or LCD is high enough to cause problems but much lower than that from the IR remote control, by reducing the amount of IR passed to the receiver, the remote signals still get through, but the background noise is reduced enough to stop causing problems.
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post #24 of 73 Old 11-07-2008, 05:19 AM
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I had the same problem only it was caused by a fluorescent lamp(CFL). The tape trick worked for me also.
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post #25 of 73 Old 01-08-2009, 09:07 PM
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If you don't have any masking tape, three layers of plain printer paper, or just one sheet folded over onto itself three times, have also done the trick for me in blocking IR interference. Find the sensor, tape the paper over it, and (with any luck) you should be all set.
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post #26 of 73 Old 01-10-2009, 12:08 AM
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I have this same problem with a DCH3200 from Cox. With the (LCD) TV off, the remote works the box fine, but with the TV on the remote won't operate the box. So......where is the IR receive window on the cable box?? I looked all over the front with a flashlight and still can't find it.

God Bless,
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post #27 of 73 Old 01-10-2009, 12:21 AM
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I found the IR sensor, it's above the channel up/down buttons in a rather large oval shape. You can only see it when a flashlight is pointed in that area at a angle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint S. View Post

I have this same problem with a DCH3200 from Cox. With the (LCD) TV off, the remote works the box fine, but with the TV on the remote won't operate the box. So......where is the IR receive window on the cable box?? I looked all over the front with a flashlight and still can't find it.


God Bless,
-Clint
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post #28 of 73 Old 01-10-2009, 12:41 AM
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Well I'm screwed. Masking tape didn't work, translucent scotch tape didn't work, a paper towel didn't work, polarized sunglasses didn't even work. I have to put the remote up against the IR window touching it for the remote to work. I guess I'll try some other materials--mirror sunglasses, wax paper, etc.

God Bless,
-Clint
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post #29 of 73 Old 01-10-2009, 01:32 AM
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Two layers of plain white paper seems to have done the trick for me. Thanks for a helpful thread guys.

God Bless,
-Clint
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post #30 of 73 Old 01-30-2009, 06:05 PM
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I experienced the same probrom with my Motorola DCH3200 HD cable box and Sharp LCD TV. With the TV off, the cablebox remote works just fine as seen by the channels changing on the DCH3200 display. But, when the TV is on, the cablebox remote ceases to work.

As suggested here, I fixed the problem by taping a piece of white paper over the IR receiver on the DCH3200.

Here's a picture:

LL
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